Ever floats the dim Ideal
Far before the longing eyes;
Ever, as we travel onward,
Boundless the horizon flies;
Not the brimming cups of wisdom
Can the thirsty spirit slake,
And the molten gold in pouring
Will the mould in pieces break.
Voice within our inmost being,
Calling deep to answering deep,
Midst the life of weary labor
Thou shalt waken us from sleep!
All our joy is in our Future
And our motion is our rest,
Still the True reveals the Truer,
Still the good foretells the Best.
JUNE TWENTY-NINTH, EIGHTEEN FIFTY-NINE.
BY CAROLINE M. KIRKLAND.
To talk about the weather is the natural English and American mode of beginning an acquaintance.
This day—the one that glares upon us at our present writing—is eminently able to melt away what is called the frost of ceremony, and to induce the primmest of us to throw off all disguises that can possibly be dispensed with. It is a day to bring the most sophisticated back to first principles. The very thought of wrapping anything up in mystery, to-day, brings a thrill like the involuntary protest of the soul against cruelty. We are not even as anxious as usual to cover up our faults. We hesitate at enveloping a letter.
The shimmer that lives and moves over yonder dry fallow, as if ten thousand million fairies were fanning themselves with midges’ wings, fatigues the eye with a notion of unnecessary exertion. Wiser seems yon glassy pool, moveless, under heavy, not melancholy, boughs. That is reflecting—keeping one pleasant thought all the time—satisfying itself with one picture for a whole morning, as we all did while the “Heart of the Andes” was laid open to our longing gaze. The pool has the advantage of us, too; for it receives into its waveless bosom the loveliness of sky and tree without emotion, while we, gazing on the wondrous transcript made by mortal man of these measureless glories, felt our souls stirred, even to pain, with a sense of the artist’s power, and of the amount of his precious life that must have gone into such a creation.
By the way, if we had energy enough to-day to wish anything, it would be to find ourselves far away amid flashing seas and wild winds, hunting icebergs, with Church for our Columbus, his banner of Excelsior streaming over us, his wondrous eye piercing the distant wreaths of spray, in search of domes and pinnacles of opal and lapis lazuli, turned, now to diamonds, now to marble, by sun and shade. One whose good fortune it was to be with the young discoverer at Niagara, came away with the feeling of having acquired a new sense, by the potent magic of genius.