Have a strange power to shut and rivet

down Their own horizon round us, to unwing Ourheaven-aspiring visions, and to blur With surly clouds the Future's gleam

ing peaks, Far seen across the brine of thankless

years. If the chosen soul could never be alone Indeepmid-silence, open-doored toGod, No greatness ever had been dreamed

or done ; Among dull hearts a prophet never

grew; The nurse of full-grown souls is solitude. The old world is effete; there njan with Jostles, and, in the brawl for means to

live, Life is trod under-foot, - Life, the one

block Of marble that's vouchsafed wherefrom

to carve Our great thoughts, white and godlike,

to shine down The future, Life, theirredeemable block, Which one o'er-hasty chisel-dint oft

mars, Scanting our room to cut the features out Of our full hope, so forcing us to crown With a mean head the perfect limbs, or

leave The god's face glowing o'et a satyr's

trunk, Failure's brief epitaph.

Yes, Europe's world Reels on to judgment; there the com

mon need, Losing God's sacred use, to be a bond 'Twixt Me and Thee, sets each one

scowlingly O'er his own selfish hoard at bay; no

state, Knit strongly with eternal fibres up Of all men's separate and united weals, Self-poised and sole as stars, yet one as

light, Holds up a shape of large Humanity To which by natural instinct every man Pays loyalty exulting, by which all Mould their own lives, and feel their

pulses filled

With the red, fiery blood of the general

life, Making them mighty in peace, as now

in war They are, even in the flush of victory,

weak, Conquering that manhood which should

them subdue. And what gift bring I to this untried

world? Shall the same tragedy be played anew, And the same lurid curtain drop at last On one dreaddesolation, one fierce crash Of that recoil which on its makers God Lets Ignorance and Sin and Hunger

make, Early or late? Or shall that common

wealth Whose potent unity and concentric force Can draw these scattered joints and

parts of men Into a whole ideal man once more, Which sucks not froni its limbs the life

away, But sends its flood-tide and creates itself Over again in every citizen, Be there built up? For me, I have no

choice; I might turn back to other destinies, For one sincere key opes all Fortune's

doors; But whoso answers not God's earliest

call Forfeits or dulls that faculty supreme Of lying open to his genius Which makes the wise heart certain of

its ends.

Here am I ; for what end God knows,

not I; Westward still points the inexorable

soul : Here am I, with no friend but the sad

sea, The beating heart of this great enter

prise, Which, without me, would stiften in

swift death ; This have I mused on, since mine eye

could first Among the stars distinguish and witho

joy Rest on that God-fed Pharos of the


for years,

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On some blue promontory of heaven

lighted That juts far out into the upper sea; To this one hope my heart hath clung As would a foundling to the talisman Hung round his neck by hands he

knew not whose ; A

poor, vile thing and dross to all beside, Yet he therein can feel a virtue left By the sad pressure of a mother's hand, And unto him it still is tremulous With palpitating haste and wet with

tears, The key to him of hope and human

ness, The coarse shell of life's pearl, Expect

ancy: This hope hath been to me for love and

fame, Hath made me wholly lonely on the

earth, Building me up as in a thick-ribbed

tower, Wherewith enwalled my watching spirit

burned, Conquering its little island from the

Dark, Sole as a scholar's lamp, and heard

men's steps, In the far hurry of the outward world, Pass dimly forth and back, sounds heard

in dream As Ganymede by the eagle was

snatched up From the gross sod to be Jove's cup

bearer, So was I lifted by my great design : And who hath trod Olympus, from his

eye Fades not that broader outlook of the

gods ; His life's low valleys overbrow earth's

clouds, And that Olympian spectre of the past Looms towering up in sovereign mem

ory, Beckoning his soul from meaner heights

of doom. Had but the shadow of the Thunder

er's bird, Flashing athwart my spirit, made of A swift-betraying vision's Ganymede,

While other youths perplexed their

mandolins, Praying that Thetis would her fingers

twine In the loose glories of the lover's hair, And wile another kiss to keep back

day, 1, stretched beneath the many-centu

ried shade Of some writhed oak, the wood's Lao

coön, Did of my hope a dryad mistress make, Whom I would woo to meet me privily, Or underneath the stars, or when the

moon Flecked all the forest floor with scat

tered pearls. O days whose memory tames to fawn

ing down The surly fell of Ocean's bristled neck! I know not when this hope enthralled

me first, But from my boyhood up I loved to

hear The call pine-forests of the Apennine Murmur their hoary legends of the

sea, Which hearing, I in vision clear beheld The sudden dark of tropic night shut

down O'er the huge whisper of great watery

wastes, The while a pair of herons trailingly


up cell

Flapped inland, where some league

wide river hurled The yellow spoil of unconjectured

realms Far through a gulf's green silence,

never scarred Ry any but the North-wind's hurrying

keels. And not the pines alone ; all sights

and sounds To my world-seeking heart paid fealty, And catered for it as the Cretan bees Srought honey to the baby Jupiter, Who in his soft hand crushed a violet, Godlike foremusing the rough thunder's

gripe ; Then did I entertain the poet's song, My great Idea's guest, and, passing

o'er That iron bridge the Tuscan built to

hell, I heard Ulysses tell of mountain

chains Whose adamantine links, his manacles, The western main shook growling, and

still gnawed. I brooded on the wise Athenian's tale Of happy Atlantis, and heard Björne's

keel Crunch the gray pebbles of the Vin

land shore : For I believed the poets ; it is they Who utter wisdom from the central

deep, And, listening to the inner flow of

things, Speak to the age out of eternity. Ah me! old hermits sought for soli

tude In caves and desert places of the earth, Where their own heart-beat was the

only stir Of living thing that comforted the

year; But the bald pillar-top of Simeon, In midnight's blankest waste, were

populous, Matched with the isolation diear and

deep or him who pines among the swarm of

men, At once a new thought's king and pris


Feeling the truer life within his life, The fountain of his spirit's prophecy, Sinking away and wasting, drop by

drop, In the ungrateful sands of sceptic ears He in the palace-aisles of untrod woods Doth walk a king; for him the pent Widens beyond the circles of the stars And all the sceptred spirits of the past Come thronging in to greet him as their

peer ; But in the niarket-place's glare and

throng He sits apart, an exile, and his brow Aches with the mocking memory of its

crown. But to the spirit select there is no

choice ; He cannot say, This will I do, or that, For the cheap means putting Heaven's

ends in pawn, And bartering his bleak rocks, the free

hold stern Of destiny's first-born, for smoother

fields That yield no crop of self-denying will; A hand is stretched to him from out

the dark, Which grasping without question, he

is led Where there is work that he must do

for God. The trial still is the strength's comple

ment, And the uncertain, dizzy path that

scales The sheer heights of supremest pur

poses Is steeper to the angel than the child. Chances have laws as fixed as planets

have, And disappointment's dry and bitter

root, Envy's harsh berries, and the choking

pool Of the world's scorn, are the right

mother-milk To the tough hearts that pioneer their

kind, And break a pathway to those unknown

realms That in the earth's broad shadow lie

enthralled ;

I have dug out the pith and sinewy

heart or my aspiring life's fair trunk, be so Cast up to warp and blacken in the

sun, Just as the opposing wind'gins whistle

off His cheek-swollen mates, and from the

leaning mast Fortune's full sail strains forward !

One poor day! Remember whose and pot how short it

is! It is God's day, it is Columbus's. A lavish day! One day, with life and

heart, Is more than time enough to find a

world. 1844.

Endurance is the crowning, quality, And patience all the passion of great

hearts ; These are their stay, and when the

leaden world Sets its hard face against their fateful

thought, And brute strength, like a scornful con

queror, Clangs his huge mace down in the other

scale, The inspired soul but flings his pa

tience in, And slowly that outweighs the ponder

ous globe, One faith against a whole earth's un

belief, One soul against the flesh of all man

kind. Thus ever seems it when my soul can

hear The voice that errs not; then my tri

umph gleams, O’er the blank ocean beckoning, and

all night My heart flies on before me as I sail ; Far on I see my lifelong enterprise, Which rose like Ganges 'mid the freez

ing snows Of a world's sordidness, sweep broad

ening down, And, gathering to itself a thousand

streams, Grow sacred ere it mingle with the sea ; I see the ungated wall of chaos old, With blocks Cyclopean hewn of solid

night, Fade like a wreath of unreturning mist Before the irreversible feet of light;: And lo, with what clear omen in the

east On day's gray threshold stands the

eager dawn, Like young Leander rosy from the sea Glowing at Hero's lattice !



The tower of old Saint Nicholas soared

upward to the skies, Like some huge piece of Nature's

make, the growth of centuries ; You could not deem its crowding spires

a work of human art, They seemed to struggle lightward from

a sturdy living heart. Not Nature's self more freely speaks in

crystal or in oak, Than, through the pious builder's hand,

in that gray pile she spoke ; And as from acorn springs the oak, so,

freely and alone, Sprang from his heart this hymn to

God, sung in obedient stone. It seemed a wondrous freak of chance

so perfect, yet so rough, A whim of Nature crystallized slowly

in granite tough; The thick spires yearned towards the

sky in quaint harmonious lines, And in broad sunlight basked and slept,

like a grove of blasted pines. Never did rock or stream or tree lay

claim with better right

One day more These muttering shoalbrains leave the

helm to me : God, let me not in their dull ooze be

stranded; Let not this one frail bark, to hollow


Our promised land stands full in sight;

shout now as ne'er before !" And as the tower came crushing down,

the bells, in clear accord, Pealed forth the grand old German

hymn, -“All good souls, praise the Lord !”


I saw a Sower walking slow
Across the earth, from east to west;
His hair was white as mountain snow,
His head drooped forward on his breast.
With shrivelled hands he flung his seed.
Nor ever turned to look behind;
Of sight or sound he took no heed;
It seemed he was both deaf and blind.

To all the adorning sympathies of

shadow and of light; And, in that forest petrified, as forester

there dwells Stout Herman, the old sacristan, sole

lord of all its bells. Surge leaping after surge, the fire roared

onward red as blood, Till half of Hamburg lay engulfed be

neath the eddying flood ; For miles away the fiery spray poured

down its deadly rain, And back and forth the billows sucked,

and paused, and burst again. From square to square with tiger leaps

panted the lustful fire, The air to leeward shuddered with the

gasps of its desire ; And church and palace, which even now

stood whelmed but to the knee, Lift their black roofs like breakers lone

amid the whirling sea. Up in his tower old Herman sat and

watched with quiet look ; His soul had trusted God too long to be

at last forsook ; He could not fear, for surely God a

pathway would unfold Through this red sea for faithful hearts,

as once he did of old. But scarcely can he cross himself, or on

his good saint call, Before the sacrilegious flood o'erleaped

the churchyard wall ; And, ere a pater half was said, 'mid

smoke and crackling glare, His island tower scarce juts its head

above the wide despair. Upon the peril's desperate peak his

heart stood up sublime ; His first thought was for God above,

his next was for his chime ; * Sing now and make your voices heard

in hymns of praise,” cried he, "As did'the Israelites of old, safe walk

ing through the sea 1 * Through this red sea our God hath

made the pathway safe to shore ;

His dim face showed no soul beneath,
Yet in my heart I felt a stir,
As if I looked upon the sheath
That once had clasped Excalibur.
I heard, as still the seed he cast,
How, crooning to himself, he sung, –
“I sow again the holy Past,
The happy days when I was young.
“Then all was wheat without a tare,
Then all was righteous, fair, and true;
And I am he whose thoughtful care
Shall plant the Old World in the New.
“The fruitful germs I scatter free,
With busy hand, while all men sleep;
In Europe now, from sea to sea,
The nations bless me as they reap."
Then I looked back along his path,
And heard the clash of steel on steel,
Where man faced man, in deadly wrath,
While clanged the tocsin's hurrying peal.
The sky with burning towns flared redh
Nearer'the noise of fighting rolled,
And brothers' blood, by brothers shed,
Crept, curdling, over pavements cold.
Then marked I how each germ of truth
Which through the dotard's fingers ran

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