In His blest name, who was His own creation,
Who from all time makes making His vocation;
The name of Him who makes our faith so bright,
Love, confidence, activity, and might;
In that One’s name, who, named though oft He be,
Unknown is ever in Reality:
As far as ear can reach, or eyesight dim,
Thou findest but the known resembling Him;
How high soe’er thy fiery spirit hovers,
Its simile and type it straight discovers;
Onward thou’rt drawn, with feelings light and gay,
Where e’er thou goest, smiling is the way;
No more thou numberest, reckonest no time,
Each step is infinite, each step sublime.
What God would outwardly alone control,
And on His finger whirl the mighty Whole?
He loves the inner world to move, to view
Nature in Him, Himself in Nature, too,
So that what in Him works, and is, and lives,
The measure of His strength, His spirit gives.
Within us all a universe doth dwell;
And hence each people’s usage laudable,
That every one the Best that meets his eyes
As God, yea, e’en his God, doth recognize;
To Him both earth and heaven surrenders he,
Fears Him, and loves Him, too, if that may be.
Called to a new employ in boundless space,
The lonely monad quits its ’customed place
And from life’s weary round contented flees.
No more of passionate striving, will perverse
And hampering obligations, long a curse:
Free self-abandonment at last gives peace.
Soul of the world, come pierce our being
Across the drift of things our way to hew
Is our appointed task, our noblest war.
Good spirits by our destined pathway still
Lead gently on, best masters of our will,
Toward that which made and makes all things that are.
To shape for further ends what now has breath,
Let nothing harden into ice and death,
Works endless living action everywhere.
What has not yet existed strives for birth—
Toward purer suns, more glorious-colored earth:
To rest in idle stillness naught may dare.
All must move onward, help transform the mass,
Assume a form, to yet another pass;
’Tis but in seeming aught is fixed or still.
In all things moves the eternal restless Thought;
For all, when comes the hour, must fall to naught
If to persist in being is its will.
LINES ON SEEING SCHILLER’S SKULL (1826)
[This curious imitation of the ternary metre of Dante was written at the age of seventy-seven.]