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“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 har

mony 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.


"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 be

lieve. “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 would

knowing 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


“And thy love fill infinitude wholly, nor leave up nor


“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!”


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


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

there, As a runner beset by the populace famished for news, Life 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

earthNot 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!”




[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

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