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'T is not a statue, grumbles John; nay, if

you come to that, We think of Hyde Park Corner, and con

cede you beat us flat With your equestrian statue to a Nose and

a Cocked hat; But 't is not a cathedral; well, e'en that we

will allow, Both statues and cathedrals are anachro

nistic now;

let me


Look how the dead leaves melt their way

down through deep-drifted snow; They take the sun-warmth down with them

— pearls could not conquer so; There is a moral here, you see; if you

would preach, you must Steep all your truths in sunshine would

you have them pierce the crust; Brave Jeremiah, you are grand and ter

rible, a sign And wonder, but were never quite a popu

lar divine; Fancy the figure you would cut among the

nuts and wine ! I, on occasion, too, could preach, but hold

it wiser far To give the public sermons it will take with

its cigar, And morals fugitive, and vague as are

these smoke-wreaths light In which ... I trace

- bless me! 't is out of sight. There are some goodish things at sea; for

instance, one can feel A grandeur in the silent man forever at the

wheel, That bit of two-legged intellect, that par

ticle of drill, Who the huge floundering hulk inspires with

reason, brain, and will, And makes the ship, though skies are black

and headwinds whistle loud, Obey her conscience there which feels the

loadstar through the cloud; And when by lusty western gales the full

sailed barque is hurled, Towards the great moon which, setting on

the silent underworld, Rounds luridly up to look on ours, and

shoots a broadening line, Of palpitant light from crest to crest across

the ridgy brine, Then from the bows look back and feel a

thrill that never stales, In that full-bosomed, swan-white pomp of

onward-yearning sails; Ah, when dear cousin Bull laments that

you can't make a poem, Take him aboard a clipper-ship, young

Jonathan, and show him A work of art that in its grace and grandeur

may compare With any thing that any race has fashioned

any where;

Your minsters, coz, the monuments of men

who conquered you, You'd sell a bargain, if we'd take the deans

and chapters too; No; mortal men build nowadays, as always

heretofore, Good temples to the gods which they in

very truth adore; The shepherds of this Broker Age, with all

their willing flocks, Although they bow to stones no more, do

bend the knee to stocks, And churches can't be beautiful though

crowded, floor and gallery, If people worship preacher, and if preacher

worship salary; 'T is well to look things in the face, the god

o' the modern universe, Hermes, cares naught for halls of art and

libraries of puny verse, If they don't sell, le notes them thus upon

his ledger — say, per Contra to a loss of so much stone, best Russia duck and

paper; And, after all, about this Art men talk a

deal of fudge, Each nation has its path marked out, from

which it must not budge; The Romans had as little art as Noah in his

ark, Yet somehow on this globe contrived to

make an epic mark; Religion, painting, sculpture, song - for

these they ran up jolly ticks With Greece and Egypt, but they were great

artists in their politics, And if we make no minsters, John, nor

epics, yet the Fates Are not entirely deaf to men who can build

ships and states; The arts are never pioneers, but men have

strength and health Who, called on suddenly, can improvise a


Nay, can more easily go on and frame them Their public 's gone, the artist Greek, the by the dozen,

lettered Shah, the hairy GrafThan you can make a dinner-speech, dear Folio and plesiosaur sleep well; we weary sympathizing cousin:

o'er a paragraph; And, though our restless Jonathan have not The mind moves planet-like no more, it your graver bent, sure be

fizzes, cracks, and bustles; Does represent this hand-to-mouth, pert, From end to end with journals dry the land rapid, nineteenth century;

o'ershadowed rustles, This is the Age of Scramble; men move As with dead leaves a winter-beech, and, faster than they did

with their breath-roused jars When they pried up the imperial Past's Amused, we care not if they hide the eternal deep-dusted coffin-lid,

skies and stars; Searching for scrolls of precedent; the wire- Down to the general level of the Board of leashed lightning now

Brokers sinking, Replaces Delphos - - men don't leave the The Age takes in the newspapers, or, to say steamer for the scow;

sooth unshrinking, What public, were they new to-day, would The newspapers take in the Age, and ever stop to read

stocks do all the thinking. The Iliad, the Shandmeh, or the Nibelun

genlied ?

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“ Upon the silver mountain, South by

East, Sits Brahma fed upon the sacred bean; He loves those men whose nails are still

increased, Who all their lives keep ugly, foul, and

lean; 'Tis of his grace that not a bird or beast Adorned with claws like mine was ever

seen; The

and stars are Brahma's thoughts divine, Even as these trees I seem to see are



“ Thou seem'st to see, indeed !” roared

Ahmed back; « Were I but once across this plaguy

stream, With a stout sapling in my hand, one

whack On those lank ribs would rid thee of that

dream! Thy Brahma-blasphemy is ipecac To my soul's stomach; couldst thou grasp

the scheme Of true redemption, thou wouldst know

that Deity Whirls by a kind of blessed spontaneity.

The youth was drifting in a slim canoe Most like a huge white water-lily's petal,

But neither of our theologians knew Whereof 't was made ; whether of heav

enly metal Seldseen, or of a vast pearl split in two And hollowed, was a point they could not

settle; 'Twas good debate-seed, though, and

bore large fruit In after years of many a tart dispute. There were no wings upon the stranger's

shoulders, And yet he seemed so capable of rising That, had he soared like thistledown,

beholders Had thought the circumstance noways sur

prising; Enough that he remained, and, when the

scolders Hailed him as umpire in their vocal prize


The painter of his boat he lightly threw Each had a theory that the human ear Around a lotos-stem, and brought her to. A providential tunnel was, which led

Io a huge vacuum (and surely here The strange youth had a look as if he They showed some knowledge of the genmight

eral head,) Have trod far planets where the atmosphere For cant to be decanted through, a mere (Of nobler temper) steeps the face with Auricular canal or mill-race fed light,

All day and night, in sunshine and in Just as our skins are tanned and freckled shower, here;

From their vast heads of milk-and-waterHis air was that of a cosmopolite

power. In the wide universe from sphere to sphere; Perhaps he was (his face had such grave The present being a peculiar case, beauty)

Each with unwonted zeal the other scouted, An officer of Saturn's guards off duty. Put his spurred hobby through its every

pace, Both saints began to unfold their tales at Pished, pshawed, poohed, horribled, bahed, once,

jeered, sneered, flouted, Both wished their tales, like simial ones, Sniffed, nonsensed, infideled, fudged, with prehensile,

his face That they might seize his ear; fool ! Looked scorn too nicely shaded to be knave! and dunce!

shouted, Flew zigzag back and forth, like strokes of And, with each inch of person and of pencil

vesture, In a child's fingers; voluble as duns, Contrived to hint some most disdainful They jabbered like the stones on that gesture.

immense hill In the Arabian Nights; until the stranger At length, when their breath's end was Began to think his ear-drums in some come about, danger.

And both could now and then just gasp

“impostor !In general those who nothing have to say Holding their heads thrust menacingly Contrive to spend the longest time in doing out, it;

As staggering cocks keep up their fighting They turn and vary it in every way,

posture, Hashing it, stewing it, mincing it, ragouting The stranger smiled and said, “Beyond a it;

doubt Sometimes they keep it purposely at bay, 'T is fortunate, my friends, that you have Then let it slip to be again pursuing it; They drone it, groan it, whisper it and United parts of speech, or it had been shout it,

Impossible for me to get between. Refute it, flout it, swear to't, prove it, doubt it.

“ Produce! says Nature, — what have you

produced ? Our saints had practised for some thirty | A new strait-waistcoat for the human mind; years;

Are you not limbed, nerved, jointed, Their talk, beginning with a single stem,

arteried, juiced, Spread like a banyan, sending down live | As other men ? yet, faithless to your piers,

kind, Colonies of digression, and, in them,

Rather like noxious insects you are used Germs of yet new dispersion; once by the To puncture life's fair fruit, beneath the ears,

rind They could convey damnation in a hem, Laying your creed-eggs, whence in time And blow the pinch of premise-priming off

there spring Long syllogistic batteries, with a cough. Consumers new

to eat and buzz and sting.

lost your

cross over

“Work! you have no conception how So having said, the youth was seen no 't will sweeten

more, Your views of Life and Nature, God and And straightway our sage Brahmin, the Man;

philosopher, Had you been forced to earn what you Cried, “That was aimed at thee, thou have eaten,

endless bore, Your heaven had shown a less dyspeptic Idle and useless as the growth of moss over plan;

A rotting tree-trunk!

“I would square At present your whole function is to eat

that score ten

Full soon,” replied the Dervise, “could I And talk ten times as rapidly as you can;

Were your shape true to cosmogonic laws, And catch thee by the beard. Thy nails You would be nothing but a pair of jaws.

I'd trim

And make thee work, as was advised by “Of all the useless beings in creation

him.” The earth could spare most easily you bakers

“ Work? Am I not at work from morn Of little clay gods, formed in shape and

till night fashion

Sounding the deeps of oracles umbilical Precisely in the image of their makers; Which for man's guidance never come to Why, it would almost move a saint to light, passion,

With all their various aptitudes, until I To see these blind and deaf, the hourly

call ?breakers

“ And I, do I not twirl from left to right Of God's own image in their brother For conscience' sake? Is that no work? men,

Thou silly gull, Set themselves up to tell the how, where, He had thee in his eye; 't was Gabriel when,

Sent to reward my faith, I know him

well.” “Of God's existence; one's digestion 's

“'T was Vishnu, thou vile whirligig!” So makes a god of vengeance and of blood;

and so Another, - but no matter, they reverse

The good old quarrel was begun anew; Creation's plan, out of their own vile mud One would have sworn the sky was black Pat up a god, and burn, drown, hang, or as sloe,

Had but the other dared to call it blue; Whoever worships not; each keeps his stud Nor were the followers who fed them Of texts which wait with saddle on and

slow bridle

To treat each other with their curses, too, To hunt down atheists to their ugly idol. Each hating t' other (moves it tears or

langhter ?) “This, I perceive, has been your occupa

Because he thought him sure of hell heretion;

after. You should have been more usefully employed;

At last some genius built a bridge of boats All men are bound to earn their daily Over the stream, and Ahmed's zealots filed ration,

Across, upon a mission to (cut throats Where States make not that primal contract | And) spread religion pure and undefiled; void

They sowed the propagandist's wildest By cramps and limits; simple devastation

oats, Is the worm's task, and what he has de- Cutting off all, down to the smallest child, stroyed

And came back, giving thanks for such His monument; creating is man's work

fat mercies, And that, too, something more than mist To find their harvest gone past prayers



and mark."

or curses.

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