Not there is my place where the workman his toil delivers,
I scarce can see the ground where the hero stands,
I must wait as the one poor fool in that host of givers,
With empty hands.
There was no time lent to me that my skill might fashion
Some work of praise, some glory, some thing of light,
For the swarms of hell came on in their power and passion,
I could but fight.
I am maimed and spent, I am broken and trodden under,
With wheel and horseman the battle has swept me o’er,
And the long, vain warfare has riven my heart asunder,
I can no more.
But my soul is still; though the sundering door has
The mirth and glitter, the sound of the lighted feast,
Though the guests go in and I stand in the night, unbidden,
The worst, the least.
My soul is still. I have gotten nor fame nor
Let all men spurn me, let devils and angels frown,
But the scars I bear are a guerdon of royal measure,
My stars—my crown.
I dreamed that life and time and space were one,
And the pure trance of dawn;
The increase drawn
From all the journeys of the travelling sun,
And the long mysteries of sound and sight,
The whispering rains,
And far, calm waters set in lonely plains,
And cry of birds at night.
I dreamed that these and love and death were one,
And all eternity,
The life to be
Therewith entwined, throughout the ages spun;
And so with Grief, my playmate; him I knew
One with the rest,—
One with the mounting day, the east and west—
Lord, is it true?
Lord, do I dream? Methinks a key unlocks
Some dungeon door, in thrall of blackened towers,
On ecstasies, half hid, like chill white flowers
Blown in the secret places of the rocks.