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Three souls which make up one soul : first, to wit,
A soul of each and all the bodily parts,
Seated therein, which works, and is what Does,
*And has the use of earth, and ends the man
Downward: but, tending upward for advice,
Grows into, and again is grown into
By the next soul, which, seated in the brain,
Useth the first with its collected use,
And feeleth, thinketh, willeth,-is what Knows :
Which, duly tending upward in its turn,
Grows into, and again is grown into
By the last soul, that uses both the first,
Subsisting whether they assist or no,
And, constituting man's self, is what Is—
And leans upon the former, makes it play,
As that played off the first: and, tending up,
Holds, is upheld by, God, and ends the man
Upward in that dread point of intercourse,
Nor needs a place, for it returns to Him.
What Does, what Knows, what Is; three souls, one
I give the glossa of Theotypas.]
And then, “A stick, once fire from end to end ;
Now, ashes save the tip that holds a spark !
Yet, blow the spark, it runs back, spreads itself
A little where the fire was: thus I urge
The soul that served me, till it task once more
What ashes of my brain have kept their shape,
And these, make effort on the last o' the flesh,
Trying to taste again the truth of things—”
(He smiled)—" their very superficial truth; <
As that ye are my sons, that it is long .
Since James and Peter had release by death,
And I am only he, your brother John,
Who saw and heard, and could remember all.
Remember all! It is not much to say.
What if the truth broke on me from above
As once and oft-times? Such might hap again :
Doubtlessly He might stand in presence here,
With head wool-white, eyes flame, and feet like brass,
The sword and the seven stars, as I have seen-
I who now shudder only and surmise
* How did your brother bear that sight and live ?'
“If I live yet, it is for good, more love
Through me to men: be nought but ashes here
That keep awhile my semblance, who was John,-
Still, when they scatter, there is left on earth
No one alive who knew (consider this !)
-Saw with his eyes and handled with his hands
That which was from the first, the Word of Life.
How will it be when none more saith “I saw ?'
“Such ever was love's way: to rise, it stoops. Since I, whom Christ's mouth taught, was bidden
teach, I went, for many years, about the world, Saying “It was so; so I heard and saw, Speaking as the case asked : and men believed. Afterward came the message to myself In Patmos isle; I was not bidden teach, But simply listen, take a book and write, Nor set down other than the given word, With nothing left to my arbitrament To choose or change: I wrote, and men believed. Then, for my time grew brief, no message more, No call to write again, I found a way, And, reasoning from my knowledge, merely taught Men should, for love's sake, in love's strength, believe; Or I would pen a letter to a friend. And urge the same as friend, nor less nor more: Friends said I reasoned rightly, and believed. But at the last, why, I seemed left alive Like a sea-jelly weak on Patmos strand, To tell dry sea-beach gazers how I fared When there was mid-sea, and the mighty things ; Left to repeat, • I saw, I heard, I knew,' And go all over the old ground again, With Antichrist already in the world,
And many Antichrists, who answered prompt
“Am I not Jasper as thyself art John ?
Nay, young, whereas through age thou mayest forget:
Wherefore, explain, or how shall we believe ?'
I never thought to call down fire on such,
Or, as in wonderful and early days,
Pick up the scorpion, tread the serpent dumb;
But patient stated much of the Lord's life
Forgotten or misdelivered, and let it work :
Since much that at the first, in deed and word,
Lay simply and sufficiently exposed,
Had grown (or else my soul was grown to match,
Fed through such years, familiar with such light, we
Guarded and guided still to see and speak)
Of new significance and fresh result;
What first were guessed as points, I now knew stars,
And named them in the Gospel I have writ.
For men said, 'It is getting long ago :'
* Where is the promise of His coming ?'—asked
These young ones in their strength, as loth to wait,
Of me who, when their sires were born, was old.
I, for I loved them, answered, joyfully,
Since I was there, and helpful in my age;
And, in the main, I think such men believed.
Finally, thus endeavouring, I fell sick,
Ye brought me here, and I supposed the end,
And went to sleep with one thought that, at least,
Though the whole earth should lie in wickedness,
We had the truth, might leave the rest to God.
Yet now I wake in such decrepitude
As I had slidden down and fallen afar,
Past even the presence of my former self,
Grasping the while for stay at facts which snap,
Till I am found away from my own world,
Feeling for foot-hold through a blank profound,
Along with unborn people in strange lands,
Who say—I hear said or conceive they say—
* Was John at all, and did he say he saw ?
Assure us, ere we ask what he might see!'
“ And how shall I assure them ? Can they share
- They, who have flesh, a veil of youth and strength
About each spirit, that needs must bide its time,
Living and learning still as years assist
Which wear the thickness thin, and let man see-
With me who hardly am withheld at all,
But shudderingly, scarce a shred between,
Lie bare to the universal prick of light?
Is it for nothing we grow old and weak,
• We whom God loves ? When pain ends, gain ends too.
To me, that story—ay, that Life and Death
Of which I wrote it was '-to me, it is ;