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Are we free from stubborn will,
From low hate and malice small,
From opinion's tyrant thrall?
Are none of us our own slaves still?
Are we free to speak our thought,
To be happy, and be poor,
Free to enter Heaven's door,
To live and labor as we ought?
Are we then made free at last
From the fear of what men say,
Free to reverence To-day,
Free from the slavery of the Past?
Our fathers fought for liberty,
They struggled long and well,
History of their deeds can tell
But ourselves must set us free.
WHY mourn we for the golden prime
When our young souls were kingly, strong, and true? The soul is greater than all time,
It changes not, but yet is ever new.
But that the soul is noble, we
Could never know what nobleness had been;
Be what ye dream! and earth shall see
A greater greatness than she e'er hath seen.
The flower pines not to be fair,
It never asketh to be sweet and dear,
But gives itself to sun and air,
And so is fresh and full from year to year.
Nothing in Nature weeps its lot, Nothing, save man, abides in memory, Forgetful that the Past is what Ourselves may choose the coming time to be.
All things are circular; the Past Was given us to make the Future great; And the void Future shall at last Be the strong rudder of an after fate.
We sit beside the Sphinx of Life, We gaze into its void, unanswering eyes, And spend ourselves in idle strife To read the riddle of their mysteries.
Arise! be earnest and be strong!
The Sphinx's eyes shall suddenly grow clear,
And speak as plain to thee ere long,
As the dear maiden's who holds thee most dear.
The meaning of all things in us
Yea, in the lives we give our souls- doth lie;
Make, then, their meaning glorious
By such a life as need not fear to die!
There is no heart-beat in the day, Which bears a record of the smallest deed, But holds within its faith alway That which in doubt we vainly strive to read.
One seed contains another seed,
And that a third, and so for evermore;
And promise of as great a deed
Lies folded in the deed that went before.
So ask not fitting space or time,
Yet could not dream of things which could not be;
Each day shall make the next sublime,
And Time be swallowed in Eternity.
God bless the Present! it is ALL;
It has been Future, and it shall be Past;
Awake and live! thy strength recall,
And in one trinity unite them fast.
Action and Life-lo! here the key
Of all on earth that seemeth dark and wrong;
Win this - and, with it, freely ye
May enter that bright realm for which ye long.
Then all these bitter questionings Shall with a full and blessèd answer meet;
Past worlds, whereof the Poet sings,
Shall be the earth beneath his snow-white fleet.
"GOE, LITTLE BOOKE!”
Go little book! the world is wide,
There's room and verge enough for thee;
For thou hast learned that only pride
Lacketh fit opportunity,
Which comes unbid to modesty.
Go! win thy way with gentleness:
I send thee forth, my first-born child,
Quite, quite alone, to face the stress
Of fickle skies and pathways wild,
Where few can keep them undefiled.
Thou camest from a poet's heart,
A warm, still home, and full of rest;
Far from the pleasant eyes thou art
Of those who know and love thee best,
And by whose hearthstones thou wert blest.
Go! knock thou softly at the door
Where any gentle spirits bin,
Tell them thy tender feet are sore,
Wandering so far from all thy kin,
And ask if thou may enter in.
Beg thou a cup-full from the spring
Of Charity, in Christ's dear name;
Few will deny so small a thing,
Nor ask unkindly if thou came
Of one whose life might do thee shame.
We all are prone to go astray,
Our hopes are bright, our lives are dim;
But thou art pure, and if they say,
"We know thy father, and our whim
He pleases not," - plead thou for him.
For many are by whom all truth,
That speaks not in their mother-tongue,
Is stoned to death with hands unruth,
Or hath its patient spirit wrung
Cold words and colder looks among.
Yet fear not! for skies are fair
To all whose souls are fair within;
Thou wilt find shelter everywhere
With those to whom a different skin
Is not a damning proof of sin.
But, if all others are unkind,
There's one heart whither thou canst fly
For shelter from the biting wind;
And, in that home of purity,
It were no bitter thing to die.
I PRAY thee call not this society;
I asked for bread, thou givest me a stone;
I am an hungered, and I find not one
To give me meat, to joy or grieve with me;
I find not here what I went out to see
Souls of true men, of women who can move
The deeper, better part of us to love,
Souls that can hold with mine communion free.
Alas! must then these hopes, these longings high,
This yearning of the soul for brotherhood,
And all that makes us pure, and wise, and good,
Come broken-hearted, home again to die?
No, Hope is left, and prays with bended head,
"Give us this day, O God, our daily bread!"
Great human nature, whither art thou fled?
Are these things creeping forth and back agen,
These hollow formalists and echoes, men?
Art thou entombed with the mighty dead?
In God's name, no! not yet hath all been said,
Or done, or longed for, that is truly great;
These pitiful dried crusts will never sate
Natures for which pure Truth is daily bread;
We were not meant to plod along the earth,
Strange to ourselves and to our fellows strange;
We were not meant to struggle from our birth
To skulk and creep, and in mean pathways range;
Act! with stern truth, large faith, and loving will!
Up and be doing! God is with us still.
TO A FRIEND.
One strip of bark may feed the broken tree,
Giving to some few limbs a sickly green;