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"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 germ.

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."

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 Past."

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 waitedest age: wait death nor be afraid!

Enough now, if the Right
And Good and Infinite

Be named here, as thou callest 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 last!

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 believe?

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 swelled 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, why passive lies our clay,-
Thou, to whom fools propound,

When the wine makes its round,

"Since life fleets, all is change; the Past gone, seize


Fool! All that is, at all,
Lasts ever, past recall;

Jiriczek, Englische Dichter.


Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure:
What entered into thee,

That was, is, and shall be:

Time's wheel runs back or stops: Potter and clay endure.

He fixed thee mid this dance

Of plastic circumstance,

This Present, thou, forsooth, wouldst fain arrest:
Machinery just meant

To give thy soul its bent,

Try thee and turn thee forth, sufficiently impressed.

What though the earlier grooves
Which ran the laughing loves

Around thy base, no longer pause and press?
What though, about thy rim,
Skull-things in order grim

Grow out, in graver mood, obey the sterner stress?

Look not thou down but up!
To uses of a cup,

The festal board, lamp's flash and trumpet's peal,
The new wine's foaming flow,

The Master's lips a-glow!

Thou, heaven's consummate cup, what need'st thou with earth's wheel?

But I need, now as then,

Thee, God, who mouldest men;

And since, not even while the whirl was worst,
Did I,-to the wheel of life
With shapes and colours rife,

Bound dizzily,--mistake my end, to slake Thy thirst:

So, take and use Thy work:
Amend what flaws may lurk,

What strain o' the stuff, what warpings past the aim!

My times be in Thy hand!
Perfect the cup as planned!

Let age approve of youth, and death complete the same!


[The Atlantic Monthly 1864.]

FEAR death?--to feel the fog in my throat,
The mist in my face,

When the snows begin, and the blasts denote
I am nearing the place,

The power of the night, the press of the storm,
The post of the foe;

Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form,
Yet the strong man must go:

For the journey is done and the summit attained,
And the barriers fall,

Though a battle's to fight ere the guerdon be gained, The reward of it all.

I was ever a fighter, so-one fight more,
The best and the last!

I would hate that death bandaged my eyes and forbore, And bade me creep past.

No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers The heroes of old,

Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life's arrears
Of pain, darkness and cold.

For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,
The black minute's at end,

And the elements' rage, the fiend-voices that rave,
Shall dwindle, shall blend,

Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain,
Then a light, then thy breast,

O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again,
And with God be the rest!

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