Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

"That I doubt his own love can compete with it? Here, the parts shift?

"Here, the creature surpass the Creator,-the end, what Began?

“Would I fain in my impotent yearning do all for this

man,

"And dare doubt he alone shall not help him, who yet alone can?

"Would it ever have entered my mind, the bare will, much less power,

"To bestow on this Saul what I sang of, the marvellous dower

"Of the life he was gifted and filled with? to make such a soul,

"Such a body, and then such an earth for insphering the whole?

"And doth it not enter my mind (as my warm tears attest)

"These good things being given, to go on, and give one more, the best?

"Ay, to save and redeem and restore him, maintain at the height

"This perfection,-succeed with life's dayspring, death's minute of night?

"Interpose at the difficult minute, snatch Saul the mistake, "Saul the failure, the ruin he seems now, and bid him awake

"From the dream, the probation, the prelude, to find himself set

"Clear and safe in new light and new life,-a new harmony yet

"To be run, and continued, and ended-who knows?or endure!

"The man taught enough, by life's dream, of the rest to make sure;

"By the pain-throb, triumphantly winning intensified bliss,

"And the next world's reward and repose, by the struggles

in this.

XVIII.

"I believe it! 'Tis thou, God, that givest, 'tis I who receive:

"In the first is the last, in thy will is my power to believe.

"All's one gift: thou canst grant it moreover, as prompt to my prayer

"As I breathe out this breath, as I open these arms to the air.

"From thy will, stream the worlds, life and nature, thy dread Sabaoth:

"I will?-the mere atoms despise me! Why am I not loth

"To look that, even that in the face too? Why is it I dare

"Think but lightly of such impuissance? What stops my despair?

“This;—'tis not what man Does which exalts him, but what man Would do!

"See the King-I would help him but cannot, the wishes fall through.

"Could I wrestle to raise him from sorrow, grow poor to enrich,

"To fill up his life, starve my own out, I wouldknowing which,

"I know that my service is perfect. Oh, speak through me now!

"Would I suffer for him that I love? So wouldst thou -so wilt thou!

"So shall crown thee the topmost, ineffablest, uttermost

crown

"And thy love fill infinitude wholly, nor leave up nor down

[ocr errors]

"One spot for the creature to stand in! It is by no breath,

"Turn of eye, wave of hand, that salvation joins issue with death!

"As thy Love is discovered almighty, almighty be proved "Thy power, that exists with and for it, of being Beloved! "He who did most, shall bear most; the strongest shall stand the most weak.

"Tis the weakness in strength, that I cry for! my flesh, that I seek

"In the Godhead! I seek and I find it. O Saul, it shall be

"A Face like my face that receives thee; a Man like

to me,

"Thou shalt love and be loved by, for ever: a Hand like this hand

"Shall throw open the gates of new life to thee! See the Christ stand!"

XIX.

I know not too well how I found my way home in the night.

There were witnesses, cohorts about me, to left and to right,

Angels, powers, the unuttered, unseen, the alive, the

aware:

I repressed, I got through them as hardly, as strugglingly there,

As a runner beset by the populace famished for newsLife or death. The whole earth was awakened, hell loosed with her crews;

And the stars of night beat with emotion, and tingled and shot

Out in fire the strong pain of pent knowledge: but I fainted not,

For the Hand still impelled me at once and supported, suppressed

All the tumult, and quenched it with quiet, and holy behest, Till the rapture was shut in itself, and the earth sank

to rest.

Anon at the dawn, all that trouble had withered from earth

Not so much, but I saw it die out in the day's tender birth;

In the gathered intensity brought to the grey of the hills; In the shuddering forests' held breath; in the sudden wind-thrills;

In the startled wild beasts that bore off, each with eye sidling still

Though averted with wonder and dread; in the birds stiff and chill

That rose heavily, as I approached them, made stupid with awe:

E'en the serpent that slid away silent,—he felt the new law. The same stared in the white humid faces upturned by the flowers;

The same worked in the heart of the cedar and moved the vine-bowers:

And the little brooks witnessing murmured, persistent and low,

With their obstinate, all but hushed voices-"E'en so, it is so!"

AN EPISTLE

CONTAINING THE STRANGE MEDICAL EXPERIENCE OF
KARSHISH, THE ARAB PHYSICIAN.

[Men and Women 1855.]

KARSHISH, the picker-up of learning's crumbs,
The not-incurious in God's handiwork

(This man's-flesh he hath admirably made,
Blown like a bubble, kneaded like a paste,
To coop up and keep down on earth a space
That puff of vapour from his mouth, man's soul)
-To Abib, all-sagacious in our art,

Breeder in me of what poor skill I boast,

Like me inquisitive how pricks and cracks
Befall the flesh through too much stress and strain,
Whereby the wily vapour fain would slip
Back and rejoin its source before the term,-
And aptest in contrivance (under God)
To baffle it by deftly stopping such:-
The vagrant Scholar to his Sage at home

Sends greeting (health and knowledge, fame with peace)
Three samples of true snakestone-rarer still,
One of the other sort, the melon-shaped,
(But fitter, pounded fine, for charms than drugs)
And writeth now the twenty-second time.

My journeyings were brought to Jericho:
Thus I resume. Who studious in our art
Shall count a little labour unrepaid?

I have shed sweat enough, left flesh and bone
On many a flinty furlong of this land.
Also, the country-side is all on fire
With rumours of a marching hitherward:
Some say Vespasian cometh, some, his son.
A black lynx snarled and pricked a tufted ear;
Lust of my blood inflamed his yellow balls:
I cried and threw my staff and he was gone.
Twice have the robbers stripped and beaten me,
And once a town declared me for a spy;
But at the end, I reach Jerusalem,

Since this poor covert where I pass the night,
This Bethany, lies scarce the distance thence
A man with plague-sores at the third degree

« AnteriorContinuar »