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We strove, and he was stronger, And I have never wept.
Let him possess thy body,
That bound me to the flesh, Thank God that it is broken, And now I live afresh!
Now I can see thee clearly;
Is rent and blown away:
I saw its bright wings growing, And knew that thou must fly.
Now I can love thee truly,
For nothing comes between The senses and the spirit, The seen and the unseen; Lifts the eternal shadow, The silence bursts apart, And the soul's boundless future Is present in my heart.
WORN and footsore was the Prophet,
"God of all the olden prophets,
"Hear me. guider of my fathers,
Grant thy servant but a sign!"
Bowing then his head, he listened
Not a murmur stirred the air :
And set free my spirit's wings.
"But I looked for signs and wonders,
"Ere I entered on my journey,
The beloved of my heart;
"In her hand she held a flower, Like to this as like may be, Which, beside my very threshold, She had plucked and brought to me." 1842.
But whence came that ray? We call our sorrows Destiny, but ought Rather to name our high successes so. Only the instincts of great soulsare Fate, And have predestined sway: all other things,
Except by leave of us, could never be. For Destiny is but the breath of God Still moving in us, the last fragment left Of our unfallen nature, waking oft Within our thought, to beckon us beyond
The narrow circle of the seen and known,
And always tending to a noble end, As all things must that overrule the soul,
And for a space unseat the helmsman, Will.
The fate of England and of freedom
Seemed wavering in the heart of one plain man:
One step of his, and the great dialhand,
That marks the destined progress of
in the eternal round from wisdom on
And an arm prompt to do the 'hests of both.
His was a brow where gold were out of place,
And yet it seemed right worthy of a
(Though he despised such), were it only made
But, saved or lost, all things are in His hand."
So spake he, and meantime the other stood
With wide gray eyes still reading the blank air,
As if upon the sky's blue wall he saw Some mystic sentence, written by a hand,
Such as of old made pale the Assyrian king,
Girt with his satraps in the blazing feast.
"HAMPDEN! a moment since, my purpose was To fly with thee,
-for I will call it
flight, Nor flatter it with any smoother
With the more potent music of our swords?
Think'st thou that score of men beyond the sea
Claim more God's care than all of England here?
No: when he moves His arm, it is to
Whole peoples, heedless if a few be crushed,
As some are ever, when the destiny Of man takes one stride onward nearer home.
Believe it, 't is the mass of men He loves;
And, where there is most sorrow and most want,
Where the high heart of man is trodden down
The most, 't is not because He hides his face
From them in wrath, as purblind teachers prate :
Not so there most is He, for there is He
Most needed. Men who seek for Fate abroad
Are not so near His heart as they who dare
Frankly to face her where she faces them,
On their own threshold, where their souls are strong
To grapple with and throw her; as I
And, for success, I ask no more than this,
To bear unflinching witness to the truth.
All true whole men succeed; for what is worth
Success's name, unless it be the thought,
The inward surety, to have carried out A noble purpose to a noble end, Although it be the gallows or the block? 'Tis only Falsehood that doth ever need
These outward shows of gain to bolster her.
Be it we prove the weaker with our swords;
Truth only needs to be for once spoke out,
And there's such music in her, such strange rhythm,
As makes men's memories her joyous slaves,
And clings around the soul, as the sky clings
Round the mute earth, forever beautiful,
And, if o'erclouded, only to burst forth More all-embracingly divine and clear: Get but the truth once uttered, and 't is
Like fragile bubbles yonder in the stream,
Than in a cycle of New England sloth,
Not their most learned clerks can understand.
New times demand new measures and new men;
The world advances, and in time outgrows
The laws that in our fathers' day were best;
And, doubtless, after us, some purer scheme
Will be shaped out by wiser men than we,
Made wiser by the steady growth of truth.
We cannot bring Utopia by force:
No man is born into the world, whose work
Is not born with him; there is always work,
And tools to work withal, for those who will;
And blessed are the horny hands of toil! The busy world shoves angrily aside The man who stands with arms akimbo set,
Until occasion tells him what to do; And he who waits to have his task marked out
Shall die and leave his errand unfulfilled.
Our time is one that calls for earnest deeds:
Reason and Government, like two
broad seas, Yearn for each other with outstretchëd
Across this narrow isthmus of the throne, And roll their white surf higher every day.
One age moves onward, and the next builds up
Cities and gorgeous palaces, where stood The rude log huts of those who tamed the wild.
Rearing from out the forests they nad felled
The goodly framework of a fairer state: The builder's trowel and the settler's axe Are seldom wielded by the selfsame hand;
Ours is the harder task, yet not the less Shall we receive the blessing for our toil From the choice spirits of the aftertime. My soul is not a palace of the past, Where outworn creeds, like Rome's gray senate, quake,
Hearing afar the Vandal's trumpet hoarse,
That shakes old systems with a thunderfit.
The time is ripe, and rotten-ripe, for change;
Then let it come: I have no dread of what
Is called for by the instinct of mankind; Nor think I that God's world will fall