And again he pointed across the sea,
And another vision arose in me:
And I knew I walked an ocean of fear,
Yet of safety too, for the Master was near;
And every wave of sorrow or dread,
O’er which strong faith should upraise my head,
Would show from the height of its troubled crest
Still nearer and nearer the Land of Rest.
And when the storm-spray on the wind should arise,
And with tears unbidden should blind mine eyes,
And hide from my vision the Home of Love,
I knew I must look to the star above,
And the mists of Passion would quickly flee,
And the storm would faint to serenity.
And again it seemed as if words found scope,
The sorrowing words of a farewell Hope:
“I will meet thee again in that deathless land,
Whenever thy foot shall imprint the strand;
And the loveliest things that have here been mine,
Shall there in eternal beauty shine;
For there I shall live and never die,
Part of a glorious Eternity;
For the death of Time is To be forgot,
And I go where oblivion entereth not.”
He was dead. He had gone to the rest of his race,
With a sad smile frozen upon his face.
Deadness clouded his eyes. And his death-bell rung,
And my sorrowing thoughts his low requiem sung;
And with trembling steps his worn body cast
In the wide charnel-house of the dreary Past.
Thus met the noble Old Year his end:
Rest him in peace, for he was my friend.
As my thoughts returned from their wandering,
A voice in my spirit was lingering;
And its sounds were like Spring’s first breeze’s hum,
When the oak-leaves fall, and the young leaves come:
Time dieth ever, is ever born:
On the footsteps of night so treadeth the morn;
Shadow and brightness, death and birth,
Chasing each other o’er the round earth.
But the spirit of Time from his tomb is springing,
The dust of decay from his pinions flinging;
Ever renewing his glorious youth,
Scattering around him the dew of Truth.
Oh, let it raise in the desert heart
Fountains and flowers that shall never depart!
This spirit will fill us with thought sublime;
For the End of God is the spirit of Time.
I dreamed of a song, I heard it sung;
In the ear that sleeps not its music rung.
And the tones were upheld by harmonies deep,
Where the spirit floated; yea, soared, on their sweep
With each wild unearthly word and tone,
Upward, it knew not whither bound,
In a calm delirium of mystic sound—
Up, where the Genius of Thought alone
Loveth in silence to drink his fill
Of dews that from unknown clouds distil.
A woman’s voice the deep echoes awoke,
In the caverns and solitudes of my soul;
But such a voice had never broke
Through the sea of sounds that about us roll,
Choking the ear in the daylight strife.
There was sorrow and triumph, and death and life
In each chord-note of that prophet-song,
Blended in one harmonious throng:
Such a chant, ere my voice has fled from death,
Be it mine to mould of the parting breath.