O loved if known! in dull December’s day
One scarce believes there is a month of June;
But up the stairs of April and of May
The dear sun climbeth to the summer’s noon.
Dear mourner! I love God, and so I rest;
O better! God loves thee, and so rest thou:
He is our spring-time, our dim-visioned Best,
And He will help thee—do not fear the How.
My heart is full of inarticulate pain,
And beats laboriously. Ungenial looks
Invade my sanctuary. Men of gain,
Wise in success, well-read in feeble books,
Do not come near me now, your air is drear;
’Tis winter and low skies when ye appear.
Beloved, who love beauty and love truth!
Come round me; for too near ye cannot come;
Make me an atmosphere with your sweet youth;
Give me your souls to breathe in, a large room;
Speak not a word, for see, my spirit lies
Helpless and dumb; shine on me with your eyes.
O all wide places, far from feverous towns!
Great shining seas! pine forests! mountains wild!
Rock-bosomed shores! rough heaths! and sheep-cropt downs!
Vast pallid clouds! blue spaces undefiled!
Room! give me room! give loneliness and air!
Free things and plenteous in your regions fair.
White dove of David, flying overhead,
Golden with sunlight on thy snowy wings,
Outspeeding thee my longing thoughts have fled
To find a home afar from men and things;
Where in his temple, earth o’erarched with sky,
God’s heart to mine may speak, my heart reply.
O God of mountains, stars, and boundless spaces!
O God of freedom and of joyous hearts!
When thy face looketh forth from all men’s faces,
There will be room enough in crowded marts;
Brood thou around me, and the noise is o’er;
Thy universe my closet with shut door.
Heart, heart, awake! the love that loveth all
Maketh a deeper calm than Horeb’s cave.
God in thee, can his children’s folly gall?
Love may be hurt, but shall not love be brave?—
Thy holy silence sinks in dews of balm;
Thou art my solitude, my mountain-calm.
Ah me! in ages far away,
The good, the heavenly land,
Though unbeheld, quite near them lay,
And men could understand.
The dead yet find it, who, when here,
Did love it more than this;
They enter in, are filled with cheer,
And pain expires in bliss.
Oh, fairly shines the blessed land!
Ah, God! I weep and pray—
The heart thou holdest in thy hand
Loves more this sunny day.
I see the hundred thousand wait
Around the radiant throne:
To me it is a dreary state,
A crowd of beings lone.
I do not care for singing psalms;
I tire of good men’s talk;
To me there is no joy in palms,
Or white-robed solemn walk.