The world is not little. Life is not mean. It spreads itself in aspiration, it has possession through its hope. It inhabits all remoteness that the eye can reach; it inherits all sweetness that the ear can prove; always bereaved of the whole, it yet looks for a whole; always clasping its little part, it believes in the remainder. Sometimes, too often, like a bird it gets tangled in a net which notwithstanding it knew of. It must fly with broken wings ever alter. Or, worse, it is tempted to descend, as the geni into the vase, for a little while, when sealed down at once unaware, it must lie in the dark so long, that it perhaps denies the light in heaven for lack of seeing it.
If those who have the most satisfying lot that life can give are to breathe freely, they must get through, and on, and out of it.
Not because it is too small for us, but too great, it bears so many down. On the whole that vast mass of us which inherits its narrowest portion, tethered, and that on the world’s barest slope, does best.
The rich and the free have a choice, they often choose amiss. Yet no choice can (excepting for this world) be irretrievable; and that same being for whom the great life of the world proved too much, learns often in the loss of everything, what his utmost gain was not ordained to teach.
He wanted all, and at last he can take that all, without which nothing can make him content. He perceives, and his heart makes answer to, the yearning Fatherhood above; he recognises the wonderful upward drawing with love and fear.
“This is God!
He moves me so, to take of Him what lacks;
My want is God’s desire to give; He yearns
To add Himself to life, and so for aye
Make it enough.”
“The fairy woman
’Well-a-day, and well-a-day,
Forsooth I brought thee one rose, one,
and thou didst cast my rose away.’
Hark! Oh hark, she mourneth yet,
’One good ship—the good ship sailed,
One bright star, at last it set,
one, one chance, forsooth it failed.’
thy dusk hair from thy veiled eyes,
show thy face as thee beseems,
For yet is starlight in the skies,
weird woman piteous through my dreams,
‘Nay,’ she mourns, ’forsooth not now,
veiled I sit for evermore,
Rose is shed, and charmed prow
shall not touch the charmed shore.
“There thy sons
that were to be,
thy small gamesome children play;
There all loves that men foresee
straight as wands enrich the way.
Dove-eyed, fair, with me they wonn
where enthroned I reign a queen,
In the lovely realms foregone,
in the lives that might have been.”