I could paint upon a stage,
Upon myself, another name,
And fool the watchers with my art,
And die in beds of green and fame.
Or I could paint upon a mind
An image of a larger earth,
A history of kings and queens,
Of villains’ life and heroes’ death.
I could play on magic wood
And bring to life a siren’s song.
With bow and string, I’d fire my shot
And all my lis’ners pull along.
Or I could whisper written words
In children’s ears, to their delight
And teach them rhymes of love and grief
To give their souls a clearer sight.
I could dance across the world
And leap in ecstasy and flame.
Lift my hand, lower my head
And hear the crowds murmur my name.
Or I could be an unknown face,
The smile in a child’s mind
That fostered questions of the world
And raised his eyes to things divine.
And I could write a masterpiece
Of tragedy and nameless fears
And heartless kill my heroine
And bring my audience to tears.
But if I touched a child's heart
And made him yearn to understand,
To know, to think, then I would be
Still satisfied, and willing, end.