Alack! sad soul, alack!
As if I lay in thy grave,
I feel the Infinite sucking back
The individual life it gave.
Thy spring died to a pool, deep, black,
Which the sun from its pit did lave.
Thou might’st have been
one of us,
Cleaving the storm and fire;
Aspiring through faith to the glorious,
Higher and ever higher;
Till the world of storms look tremulous,
Far down, like a smitten lyre!
A hundred years! he might
Have darted through the gloom,
Like that swift angel that crossed our flight
Where the thunder-cloud did loom,
From his upcast pinions flashing the light
Of some inward word or doom.
It heareth not, brothers, the terrible thing!
Sounds no sense to its ear will bring.
Hath God forgotten it, alas!
Lost in eternity’s lumber room?
Will the wave of his Spirit never pass
Over it through the insensate gloom?
It lies alone in its lifeless world,
As a frozen bud on the earth lies curled;
Sightless and soundless, without a cry,
On the flat of its own vacuity.
Up, brothers, up! for a storm is nigh;
We will smite the wing up the steepest sky;
Through the rushing air
We will climb the stair
That to heaven from the vaults doth leap;
We will measure its height
By the strokes of our flight,
Its span by the tempest’s sweep.
What matter the hail or the clashing winds!
We know by the tempest we do not lie
Dead in the pits of eternity.
Brothers, let us be strong in our minds,
Lest the storm should beat us back,
Or the treacherous calm sink from beneath our wings,
And lower us gently from our track
To the depths of forgotten things.
Up, brothers, up! ’tis the storm or we!
’Tis the storm or God for the victory!
THE OUTER DREAM.
Young, as the day’s first-born Titanic brood,
Lifting their foreheads jubilant to heaven,
Rose the great mountains on my opening dream.
And yet the aged peace of countless years
Reposed on every crag and precipice
Outfacing ruggedly the storms that swept
Far overhead the sheltered furrow-vales;
Which smiled abroad in green as the clouds broke
Drifting adown the tide of the wind-waves,
Till shattered on the mountain rocks. Oh! still,
And cold and hard to look upon, like men
Who do stern deeds in times of turbulence,
Quell the hail-rattle with their granite brows,
And let the thunder burst and pass away—
They too did gather round sky-dwelling peaks
The trailing garments of the travelling sun,
Which he had lifted from his ocean-bed,
And swept along his road. They rent them down
In scattering showers upon the trees and grass,
In noontide rains with heavy ringing drops,