The Vision of Sir Launfal eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 75 pages of information about The Vision of Sir Launfal.
    Snatched up in wrath and horrible turmoil,
    Mountain on mountain, as the Titans erst,
    My brethren, scaling the high seat of Jove,
    Heaved Pelion upon Ossa’s shoulders broad
    In vain emprise.  The moon will come and go 320
    With her monotonous vicissitude;
    Once beautiful, when I was free to walk
    Among my fellows, and to interchange
    The influence benign of loving eyes,
    But now by aged use grown wearisome;—­ 325
    False thought! most false! for how could I endure
    These crawling centuries of lonely woe
    Unshamed by weak complaining, but for thee,
    Loneliest, save me, of all created things,
    Mild-eyed Astarte, my best comforter,[21] 330
    With thy pale smile of sad benignity?

[Footnote 21:  Daughter of Heaven and Earth, and symbol of Nature.]

      Year after year will pass away and seem
    To me, in mine eternal agony,
    But as the shadows of dumb summer clouds,
    Which I have watched so often darkening o’er 335
    The vast Sarmatian plain, league-wide at first,
    But, with still swiftness, lessening on and on
    Till cloud and shadow meet and mingle where
    The gray horizon fades into the sky,
    Far, far to northward.  Yes, for ages yet 340
    Must I lie here upon my altar huge,
    A sacrifice for man.  Sorrow will be,
    As it hath been, his portion; endless doom,
    While the immortal with the mortal linked
    Dreams of its wings and pines for what it dreams, 345
    With upward yearn unceasing.  Better so: 
    For wisdom is meek sorrow’s patient child,
    And empire over self, and all the deep
    Strong charities that make men seem like gods;
    And love, that makes them be gods, from her breasts 350
    Sucks in the milk that makes mankind one blood. 
    Good never comes unmixed, or so it seems,
    Having two faces, as some images
    Are carved, of foolish gods; one face is ill;
    But one heart lies beneath, and that is good, 355
    As are all hearts, when we explore their depths. 
    Therefore, great heart, bear up! thou art but type
    Of what all lofty spirits endure, that fain
    Would win men back to strength and peace through love: 
    Each hath his lonely peak, and on each heart 360
    Envy, or scorn, or hatred, tears lifelong
    With vulture beak; yet the high soul is left;
    And faith, which is but hope grown wise; and love
    And patience, which at last shall overcome.

TO W.L.  GARRISON.

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The Vision of Sir Launfal from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.