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"Forerun thy peers, thy time, and let Thy feet, millenniums hence, be set In midst of knowledge dreamed not yet.

"Thou hast not gained a real height, Nor art thou nearer to the light, Because the scale is infinite.

""Twere better not to breathe or speak, Than cry for strength, remaining weak, And seem to find, but still to seek.

"Moreover, but to seem to find Asks what thou lackest, thought resigned, A healthy frame, a quiet mind.”

I said, "When I am gone away,
'He dared not tarry, men will say,
Doing dishonor to my clay."

"This is more vile," he made reply, "To breathe and loathe, to live and sigh, Than once from dread of pain to die.

"Sick art thou-a divided will Still heaping on the fear of ill The fear of men, a coward still.

"Do men love thee? Art thou so bound To men, that how thy name may sound Will vex thee lying underground?

"The memory of the withered leaf In endless time is scarce more brief Than of the garnered Autumn-sheaf.

"Go, vexed Spirit, sleep in trust; The right ear, that is filled with dust, Hears little of the false or just."

"Hard task, to pluck resolve," I cried, "From emptiness and the waste wide Of that abyss, or scornful pride!

"Nay-rather yet that I could raise One hope that warmed me in the days While still I yearned for human praise.

"When, wide in soul and bold of tongue, Among the tents I paused and sung, The distant battle flashed and rung.

"I sung the joyful Pæan clear, And, sitting, burnished without fear The brand, the buckler, and the spear

"Waiting to strive a happy strife, To war with falsehood to the knife, And not to lose the good of life

"Some hidden principle to move, To put together, part and prove, And mete the bounds of hate and love

"As far as might be, to carve out Free space for every human doubt, That the whole mind might orb about—

"To search through all I felt and saw, The springs of life, the depths of awe, And reach the law within the law:

"At least, not rotting like a weed, But having sown some generous seed, Fruitful of further thought and deed,

"To pass, when Life her light withdraws, Not void of righteous self-applause, Nor in a merely selfish cause

"In some good cause, not in mine own, To perish, wept for, honored, known, And like a warrior overthrown;

"Whose eyes are dim with glorious tears, When, soiled with noble dust, he hears His country's war-song thrill his ears:

"Then dying of a mortal stroke, What time the foeman's line is broke, And all the war is rolled in smoke."

"Yea!" said the voice, "thy dream was good,
While thou abodest in the bud.
It was the stirring of the blood.

"If Nature put not forth her power About the opening of the flower, Who is it that could live an hour?

"Then comes the check, the change, the fall.
Pain rises up, old pleasures pall.
There is one remedy for all.

"Yet hadst thou, through enduring pain, Linked month to month with such a chain Of knitted purport, all were vain.

"Thou hadst not between death and birth
Dissolved the riddle of the earth.
So were thy labor little-worth.

"That men with knowledge merely played,
I told thee-hardly nigher made,
Though scaling slow from grade to grade;

"Much less this dreamer, deaf and blind, Named man, may hope some truth to find, That bears relation to the mind.

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"For every worm beneath the moon Draws different threads, and late and soon Spins, toiling out his own cocoon.

"Cry, faint not: either Truth is born
Beyond the polar gleam forlorn,
Or in the gateways of the morn.

"Cry, faint not, climb: the summits slope Beyond the furthest flights of hope, Wrapt in dense cloud from base to cope,

"Sometimes a little corner shines,
As over rainy mist inclines
A gleaming crag with belts of pines.

"I will go forward, sayest thou, I'shall not fail to find her now. Look up, the fold is on her brow.

"If straight thy track, or if oblique, Thou know'st not. Shadows thou dost strike, Embracing cloud, Ixion-like;

"And owning but a little more

Than beasts, abidest lame and poor,
Calling thyself a little lower

"Than angels. Cease to wail and brawl! Why inch by inch to darkness crawl? There is one remedy for all."

"O dull, one-sided voice," said I, "Wilt thou make everything a lie, To flatter me that I may die?

"I know that age to age succeeds, Blowing a noise of tongues and deeds, A dust of systems and of creeds.

"I cannot hide that some have striven, Achieving calm, to whom was given The joy that mixes man with Heaven:

"Who, rowing hard against the stream,
Saw distant gates of Eden gleam,
And did not dream it was a dream;

"But heard, by secret transport led, Even in the charnels of the dead, The murmur of the fountain-head

“Which did accomplish their desire, Bore and forbore, and did not tire, Like Stephen, an unquenched fire.

"He heeded not reviling tones, Nor sold his heart to idle moans, Though cursed and scorned, and bruised with


"But looking upward, full of grace, He prayed, and from a happy place God's glory smote him on the face."

The sullen answer slid betwixt:
"Not that the grounds of hope were fixed,
The elements were kindlier mixed."

I said, "I toil beneath the curse,
But, knowing not the universe,
I fear to slide from bad to worse.

"And that, in seeking to undo One riddle, and to find the true, I knit a hundred others new:

"Or that this anguish fleeting hence,
Unmanacled from bonds of sense,
Be fixed and frozen to permanence :

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