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Rejoice we are allied
To That which doth provide
And not partake, effect and not receive !
A spark disturbs our clod;
Nearer we hold of God
Who gives, than of His tribes that take, I must believe.
Then, welcome each rebuff
That turns earth's smoothness rough,
Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go!
Be our joys three-parts pain !
Strive, and hold cheap the strain ;
Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge
For thence,-a paradox
Which comforts while it mocks,-
Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail :
What I aspired to be,
And was not, comforts me:
A brute I might have been, but would not sink i
What is he but a brute
Whose flesh hath soul to suit,
Whose spirit works lest arms and legs want play?
To man, propose this test-
Thy body at its best,
How far can that project thy soul on its lone way?
Yet gifts should prove their use :
I own the Past profuse
Of power each side, perfection every turn :
Eyes, ears took in their dole,
Brain treasured up the whole ;
Should not the heart beat once “How good to live
and learn ?"
Not once beat “ Praise be Thine ! “ I see the whole design, “ I, who saw power, see now love perfect too: “ Perfect I call Thy plan : " Thanks that I was a man! Maker, remake, complete,– I trust what Thou shalt
For pleasant is this flesh;
Our soul, in its rose-mesh
Pulled ever to the earth, still yearns for rest :
Would we some prize might hold
To match those manifold
Possessions of the brute,-gain most, as we did best!
Let us not always say “Spite of this flesh to-day “I strove, made head, gained ground upon the whole !" As the bird wings and sings, Let us cry “ All good things “ Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, than flesh
helps soul !"
Therefore I summon age
To grant youth's heritage,
Life's struggle having so far reached its term :
Thence shall I pass, approved
A man, for aye removed
From the developed brute; a God though in the
And I shall thereupon
Take rest, ere I be gone
Once more on my adventure brave and new :
Fearless and unperplexed,
When I wage battle next,
What weapons to select, what armour to indue.
Youth ended, I shall try
My gain or loss thereby ;
Leave the fire ashes, what survives is gold :
And I shall weigh the same,
Give life its praise or blame :
Young, all lay in dispute ; I shall know, being old.
For, note when evening shuts,
A certain moment cuts
The deed off, calls the glory from the grey :
A whisper from the west
Shoots—“Add this to the rest,
“ Take it and try its worth : here dies another day.”
XVII So, still within this life, Though lifted o'er its strife, Let me discern, compare, pronounce at last, “ This rage was right i' the main, “ That acquiescence vain : “ The Future I may face now I have proved the
For more is not reserved
To man, with soul just nerved
To act to-morrow what he learns to-day:
Here, work enough to watch
The Master work, and catch
Hints of the proper craft, tricks of the tool's true play.
As it was better, youth
Should strive, through acts uncouth,
Toward making, than repose on aught found made:
So, better, age, exempt
From strife, should know, than tempt
Further. Thou waitedst age : wait death nor be
Enough now, if the Right
And Good and Infinite
Be named here, as thou call'st thy hand thine own,
With knowledge absolute,
Subject to no dispute
From fools that crowded youth, nor let thee feel alone.
Be there, for once and all,
Severed great minds from small,
Announced to each his station in the Past !
Was I, the world arraigned,
Were they, my soul disdained,
Right? Let age speak the truth and give us peace at
Now, who shall arbitrate ?
Ten men love what I hate,
Shun what I follow, slight what I receive;
Ten, who in ears and eyes
Match me : we all surmise,
They, this thing, and I, that : whom shall my soul
Not on the vulgar mass
Called “work,” must sentence pass,
Things done, that took the eye and had the price ;
O’er which, from level stand,
The low world laid its hand,
Found straightway to its mind, could value in a trice :
But all, the world's coarse thumb
And finger failed to plumb,
So passed in making up the main account:
All instincts immature,
All purposes unsure,
That weighed not as his work, yet sv'elled the man's
Thoughts hardly to be packed
Into a narrow act,
Fancies that broke through language and escaped :
All I could never be,
All, men ignored in me,
This, I was worth to God, whose wheel the pitcher
Ay, note that Potter's wheel,
That metaphor ! and feel
Why time spins fast, wny passive lies our clay,–
Thou, to whom fools propound,