Page images
PDF
EPUB

“ Or that this anguish fleeting hence, Unmanacled from bonds of sense, Be fix'd and froz'n to permanence :

“ For I go, weak from suffering here ;
Naked I go, and void of cheer:
What is it that I may not fear ?"

“ Consider well,” the voice replied, “ His face, that two hours since hath died ; Wilt thou find passion, pain or pride ?

“ Will he obey when one commands ? Or answer should one press his hands ? He answers not, nor understands.

“ His palms are folded on his breast :
There is no other thing express'd
But long disquiet merged in rest.

“ His lips are very mild and meek : Though one should smite him on the cheek, And on the mouth, he will not speak.

“ His little daughter, whose sweet face He kiss’d, taking his last embrace, Becomes dishonour to her race

“ His sons grow up that bear his name, Some grow to honour, some to shame, But he is chill to praise or blame.

e,

“ He will not hear the north-wind rave, Nor, moaning, household shelter crave From winter rains that beat his grave.

“ High up the vapours fold and swim : About him broods the twilight dim : The place he knew forgetteth him.”

“ If all be dark, vague voice,” I said, “ These things are wrapt in doubt and dread, Nor canst thou show the dead are dead.

“ The sap dries up: the plant declines.
A deeper tale my heart divines.
Know I not Death ? the outward signs ?

“ I found him when my years were few ;
A shadow on the graves I knew,
And darkness in the village yew.

“ From grave to grave the shadow crept:
In her still place the morning wept:
Touch'd by his feet the daisy slept.

". The simple senses crown'd his head :
• Omega ! thou art lord,' they said,
• We find no motion in the dead.'

“Why, if man rot in dreamless ease, Should that plain fact, as taught by these, Not make him sure that he shall cease?

“ Who forged that other influence,

That heat of inward evidence, By which he doubts against the sense ?

“ He owns the fatal gift of eyes, That read his spirit blindly wise, Not simple as a thing that dies:

“Here sits he shaping wings to fly :
His heart forebodes a mystery :
He names the name Eternity.

“ That type of Perfect in his mind In Nature can he nowhere find. He sows himself on every wind.

“ He seems to hear a Heavenly Friend, And thro’ thick veils to apprehend A labour working to an end.

“The end and the beginning vex His reason: many things perplex, With motions, checks, and counterchecks.

“He knows a baseness in his blood At such strange war with something good, He may not do the thing he would.

“Heaven opens inward, chasms yawn. Vast images in glimmering dawn, Half shown, are broken and withdrawn.

“Ah! sure within him and without, Could his dark wisdom find it out, There must be answer to his doubt.

« PreviousContinue »