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Welcome as children; thou upholdest

The lone Inventor by his demon haunted ;
The Prophet cries to thee when hearts are coldest,

And, gazing o'er the midnight's bleak abyss,

Sees the drowsed soul awaken at thy kiss,
And stretch its happy arms and leap up disenchanted.
Thou bringest vengeance, but so loving-kindly

The guilty thinks it pity; taught by thee,
Fierce tyrants drop the scourges wherewith blindly

Their own souls they were scarring; conquerors see
With horror in their hands the accursed spear

That tore the meek One's side on Calvary,
And from their trophies shrink with ghastly fear;

Thou, too, art the Forgiver,
The beauty of man's soul to man revealing;

The arrows from thy quiver
Pierce Error's guilty heart, but only pierce for healing.
0, whither, whither, glory-winged dreams,

From out Life's sweat and turmoil would ye bear me? Shut, gates of fancy, on your golden gleams,

This agony of hopeless contrast spare me!

cheating glow, and leave me to my night !
He is a coward, who would borrow

A charm against the present sorrow
From the vague Future's promise of delight:
As life's alarums nearer roll,

The ancestral buckler calls,

Self-clanging from the walls
In the high temple of the soul;
Where are most sorrows, there the poet's sphere is,

To feed the soul with patience,

To heal its desolations With words of unshorn truth, with love that never wearies.


I saw the twinkle of white feet,
I saw the flash of robes descending;

Before her ran an influence fleet,
That bowed my heart like barley bending.

As, in bare fields, the searching bees
Pilot to blooms beyond our finding,

It led me on, by sweet degrees
Joy's simple honey-cells unbinding.

Those Graces were that seemed grim Fates;
With nearer love the sky leaned o'er me;

The long-sought Secret's golden gates
On musical hinges swung before me.

I saw the brimmed bowl in her grasp
Thrilling with godhood ; like a lover

sprang the proffered life to clasp;-
The beaker fell; the luck was over.

The earth has drunk the vintage up;
What boots it patch the goblet's splinters ?

Can Summer fill the icy cup,
Whose treacherous crystal is but Winter's ?

O spendthrift, haste ! await the gods ;
Their nectar crowns the lips of Patience;

Haste scatters on unthankful sods
The immortal gift in vain libations.

Coy Hebe flies from those that woo,
And shuns the hands would seize upon her;

Follow thy life, and she will sue
To pour for thee the cup of honour.


I WENT to seek for Christ,

And Nature seemed so fair That first the woods and fields my youth enticed,

And I was sure to find Him there:

The temple I forsook,

And to the solitude
Allegiance paid; but Winter came and shook

The crown and purple from my wood; His snows, like desert sands, with scornful drift,

Besieged the columned aisle and palace-gate; My Thebes, cut deep with many a solemn rift,

But epitaphed her own sepulchred state: Then I remembered whom I went to seek, And blessed blunt Winter for his counsel bleak.

Back to the world I turned,

For Christ, I said, is King;
So the cramped alley and the hut I spurned,

As far beneath His sojourning:



Mid power and wealth I sought,

But found no trace of Him, And all the costly offerings I had brought With sudden rust and mould

grew I found His tomb, indeed, where, by their laws,

All must on stated days themselves imprison,
Mocking with bread a dead creed's grinning jaws,

Witless how long the life had thence arisen;
Due sacrifice to this they set apart,
Prizing it more than Christ's own living heart.

So from my feet the dust

Of the proud World I shook ;
Then came dear Love and shared with me his crust,

And half my sorrow's burden took.

After the World's soft bed,

Its rich and dainty fare,
Like down seemed Love's coarse pillow to my head,

His cheap food seemed as manna rare;
Fresh-trodden prints of bare and bleeding feet,

Turned to the heedless city whence I came,
Hard by I saw, and springs of worship sweet

Gushed from my cleft heart smitten by the same;
Love looked me in the face and spake no words,
But straight I knew those foot-prints were the Lord's.

I followed where they led,

And in a hovel rude,
With nought to fence the weather from His Leal,

The King I sought for meekly stood.

A naked, hungry child

Clung round His gracious knee, And a poor hunted slave looked up and smiled

To bless the smile that set him free; New miracles I saw His presence do;

No more I knew the hovel bare and poor, The gathered chips into a woodpile grew,

The broken morsel swelled to goodly store; I knelt and wept: my Christ no more I seek, His throne is with the outcast and the weak.

WHEN a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth's

aching breast
Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west,


shame ;

And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him

climb To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of Time. Through the walls of hut and palace shoots the instantaneous

throe, When the travail of the Ages wrings earth's systems to and fro; At the birth of each new Era, with a recognising start, Nation wildly looks at nation, standing with mute lips apart, And glad Truth's yet mightier man-child leaps beneath the

Future's heart. So the Evil's triumph sendeth, with a terror and a chill, Under continent to continent, the sense of coming ill, And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels his sympathies with God In hot tear-drops ebbing earthward, to be drunk up by the sod, Till a corpse crawls round unburied, delving in the nobler clod. For mankind are one in spirit, and an instinct bears along, Round the earth's electric circle, the swift flash of right or wrong; Whether conscious or unconscious, yet Humanity's vast frame Through its ocean-sundered fibres fecls the gush of joy or In the gain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim. Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide, In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side; Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom

or blight, Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right, And the choice goes by for ever 'twixt that darkness and that

light. Hast thou chosen, O my people, on whose party thou shalt

stand, Ere the Doom from its worn sandals shakes the dust against

our land ? Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet'tis Truth alone is strong, And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong. Backward look across the ages and the beacon-moments see, That, like peaks of some sunk continent, jut through Oblivion's

sea; Not an ear in court or market for the low foreboding cry Of those Crises, God's stern winnowers, from whose feet earth's

chaff must fly; Never shows the choice momentous till the judgment hath

passed by.


Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but record One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the

Word; Truth for ever on the scaffold, Wrong for ever on the throneYet that scaffold sways the Future, and, behind the dim un

known, Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch abore His own. We see dimly in the Present what is small and what is great, Slow of faith, how weak an arm may turn the iron helm of Fate: But the soul is still oracular; amid the market's din, List the ominous stern whisper from the Delphic cave within• They enslave their children's children who make compromise

with sin.' Slavery, the earthborn Cyclops, fellest of the giant brood, Suns of brutish Force and Darkness, who have drenched the

earth with blood, Famished in his self-made desert, blinded by our purer day, Groups in yet unblasted regions for his miserable prey ;Shall we guide his gory fingers where our helpless children play? Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched

crust, Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and 'tis prosperous to be

just; Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside, Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified, And the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied. Count me o'er earth's chosen heroes—they were souls that

stood alone, While the men they agonized for hurled the contumelious stone, Stood serene, and down the future saw the golden beam incline To the side of perfect justice, mastered by their faith divine, By one man's plain truth to manhood and to God's supreme

design. By the light of burning heretics Christ's bleeding feet I track, Toiling up new Calvaries ever with the cross that turns not back, And these mounts of anguish number how each generation

learned One new word of that grand Credo which in prophet- hearts

hath burned Since the first man stood God-conquered with his face to

heaven upturned. For Humanity sweeps onward; where to-day the martyr stands, On the morrow crouches Judas with the silver in his hands;

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