A hundred generations have gone into its making,
With all their love and tenderness, with all their dreams and tears;
Their vanished joy and pleasure, their pain and their heart-breaking,
Have colored this rare blossom of the long-unfruitful years.
Their victory and their laughter for this have strong men given,
For this have sweet, dead women paid in patience which survives
That a great soul might bring the world, as from the gate of heaven,
All that was rich and beautiful in those forgotten lives.