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What man would live coffined with brick and
stone, Imprisoned from the influences of air, And cramped with selfish land-marks every
where, When all before him stretches, furrowless and lone,
The unmapped prairie none can fence or own? What man would read and read the selfsame
faces, And, like the marbles which the windmill
grinds, Rub smooth forever with the same smooth
minds, This year retracing last year's, every year's, dull
traces, When there are woods and un-man-stifled
What man o'er one old thought would pore and
For every fool to leave his dog's-ears in,
Just for the opening of a paltry door ?
What man would watch life's
element Creep Letheward forever, when he might Down some great river drift beyond men's
sight, To where the undethroned forest's royal tent
Broods with its hush o'er half a continent ?
What man with men would push and altercate,
Piecing out crooked means for crooked ends,
friends, Snatch back the rudder of his undismantled fate,
And in himself be ruler, church, and state ?
Cast leaves and feathers rot in last year's nest, The winged brood, flown thence, new dwell
ings plan; The serf of his own Past is not a man ; To change and change is life, to move and never
rest ;Not what we are, but what we hope, is best.
The wild, .free woods make no man halt or
Patching one whole of many incomplete ;
And each alone is helpless as the wind.
Each man is some man's servant; every soul
Is by some other's presence quite discrowned;
round, Yet not with mutual help; each man is his own
goal, And the whole earth must stop to pay his toll.
Here, life the undiminished man demands;
wants; What Nature asks, that Nature also grants; Here man is lord, not drudge, of eyes and feet and
hands, And to his life is knit with hourly bands.
Come out, then, from the old thoughts and old
ways, Before you harden to a crystal cold Which the new life can shatter, but not
mould ; Freedom for you still waits, still, looking backward,
stays, But widens still the irretrievable space.
OF all the myriad moods of mind
That through the soul come thronging, Which one was e'er so dear, so kind,
So beautiful as Longing ?
For one transcendent moment,
Can make its sneering comment.
Still, through our paltry stir and strife,
Glows down the wished Ideal,
Carves in the marble Real;
Desire must ope the portal ; Perhaps the longing to be so
Helps make the soul immortal. Longing is God's fresh heavenward will
With our poor earthward striving; We quench it that we may be still
Content with merely living;
Which we are hourly wronging,
And realize our longing.
Good God not only reckons
But when the spirit beckons,