He thought he kept the universe alone;
For all the voice in answer he could wake
Was but the mocking echo of his own
From some tree-hidden cliff across the lake.
Some morning from the boulder-broken beach
He would cry out on life, that what it wants
Is not its own love back in copy speech,
But counter-love, original response.
And nothing ever came of what he cried
Unless it was the embodiment that crashed
In the cliff's talus on the other side,
And then in the far-distant water splashed,
But after a time allowed for it to swim,
Instead of proving human when it neared
And someone else additional to him,
As a great buck it powerfully appeared,
Pushing the crumpled water up ahead,
And landed pouring like a waterfall,
And stumbled through the rocks with horny tread,
And forced the underbrush--and that was all.
Upon the Image of Death -
Before my face the picture hangs
That daily should put me in mind
Of those cold names and bitter pangs
That shortly I am like to find ;
But yet, alas, full little I
Do think hereon that I must die.
I often look upon a face
Most ugly, grisly, bare, and thin ;
I often view the hollow place
Where eyes and nose had sometimes been ;
I see the bones across that lie,
Yet little think that I must die.
I read the label underneath,
That telleth me whereto I must ;
I see the sentence eke that saith
Remember, man, that thou art dust!
But yet, alas, but seldom I
Do think indeed that I must die.
Continually at my bed's head
A hearse doth hang, which doth me tell
That I ere morning may be dead,
Though now I feel myself full well ;
But yet, alas, for all this, I
Have little mind that I must die.
The gown which I do use to wear,
The knife wherewith I cut my meat,
And eke that old and ancient chair
Which is my only usual seat,—
All these do tell me I must die,
And yet my life amend not I.
My ancestors are turned to clay,
And many of my mates are gone ;
My youngers daily drop away,
And can I think to 'scape alone?
No, no, I know that I must die,
And yet my life amend not I.
Not Solomon for all his wit,
Nor Samson, though he were so strong,
No king nor person ever yet
Could 'scape but death laid him along ;
Wherefore I know that I must die,
And yet my life amend not I.
Though all the East did quake to hear
Of Alexander's dreadful name,
And all the West did likewise fear
To hear of Julius Cæsar's fame,
Yet both by death in dust now lie ;
Who then can 'scape but he must die?
If none can 'scape death's dreadful dart,
If rich and poor his beck obey,
If strong, if wise, if all do smart,
Then I to 'scape shall have no way.
Oh, grant me grace, O God, that I
My life may mend, sith I must die.
Open the gate, my love,
Arise and open the gate,
For my soul is dismayed
And sorely afraid
And Hagar’s brood mocks my estate.
The heart of the hand-maid’s sons
Is hateful and haughty grown,
And all because of the cry
Of Ishmael piercing the sky,
Ascending and reaching the Throne.
I stumble ’twixt beast and beast,
The wild ass swift to slay
Has followed my flight
From the courts of Night
Where crushed of the boar I lay.
Alas! for my thick-sealed fate,
Ah woe for the days to come!
It helps but to pain me
That none can explain me,
And I, myself, I am dumb.
"Daughter of Zion, tried in Sorrow’s furnace,
E’en as I swore thy fathers, be at rest.
I swore it for My sake, and now thy crying
Hath mounted to My habitation blest,
And I have heard, for gracious is My breast."
"Obeisance low I made, for I am feeble,
Thy kindliness responds to all who yearn.
Come back, dear Lord, whose name is linked with pardon,
No other saviour Israel can discern,
Unto his myriad families return!"
"Where’er thy origin, whosoe’er thy master,
A man shall come—nay, I—thy cause to plead,
Whoever holds the bill of thy divorcement.
Like wall or tower of fire I guard thy seed,
Then wherefore weep or heart affrighted heed?"
"Why do I weep? Because Thou keepest silence,
Though violence rages and, all uncontrolled,
The mob destroys, and we as slaves to strangers,
Master and man together, have been sold,
And no Redeemer do our eyes behold."
"Who art thou thus to shrink from man in terror
And be dismayed because of mankind’s scorn?
My angel I will send, as wrote the prophet,
And gather Israel winnowed and new-born:
This miracle shall be to-morrow morn."
"To gather me my chieftains Thou didst promise,
The day comes not and miracle is none,
Nor see I Temple built nor any herald
Of Peace arrive to be my Holy One—
Ah, wherefore lingers Jesse’s promised son?"
"Behold, I keep the oath I swore to gather
My captives—kings shall bring their gifts to thee;
Created for a witness to the nations,
My holy ones shall testify to Me—
Yea, Jesse’s son Mine eyes already see."
THE DWELLERS IN CLAY -
O habitants of homes of clay,
Why lift ye such a swelling eye,
Ye are but as the beasts that die,
What do ye boast of more than they?
It is for us the wiser part
To know ourselves for worms whose doom
Is in the clay to find a tomb,
Nor, falsely proud, exalt our heart.
What shall aught profit mortal man
Whose latter end adjoins the grave?
Here were no change, though Nature gave
A thousand years to be his span.
Should he as rebel walk, behold
Earth opens hot to swallow up
His ashes in her flaming cup
And vain is all his might of gold.
Unhappy man, with chastened soul,
And opened eyes, true vision win,
To see thy lowly origin
And thy inevitable goal.
To what may be compared thy lot?
Thou art, O weak and wretched wight,
The gourd that shot up in the night
And in the morning it was not.
To be unborn were better worth
Than thus to reap distress and pain,
For how essay great things to gain
When struggling in this snare of earth?
A fallen creature from the womb,
Thou sinnest for a slice of bread,
And in a moment’s wildered dread,
Can live through every plague and gloom
While spirit with thy body links,
With living light shall glow thy flesh,
But should the soul desert its mesh,
To mire and sliminess it sinks.
Behold no jot with thee will stay
Of all the glory now so great,
Strangers shall seize thy loved estate,
And empty thou shalt go away.
Thy soul thou gavest o’er to lust,
Nor pondered on this bitter truth.
But if thou sinnest in thy youth,
What wilt thou do when thou art dust?
O let the wicked turn aside,
And take, O King, the path to Thee.
Perchance the Rock will heed the plea,
And from His wrath the sinner hide.
O haughty-souled, come gather all,
Remember and stand fast and raise
Your heart and hands in common praise
And thus to God in heaven call:
"Woe to our souls, and wellaway
For all the sins that we have sinned,
Alas, we have pursued the wind
And like to sheep have gone astray.
"What favour can we ask or grace?
The wave of sin has overflowed
Our heads, and heavy is our load
Of guilt, how dare we lift our face?
"Draw up Thy people from the pit,
Thou Ruler of the depth and height,
Stiff-necked were we in Thy despite,
Yet of Thy mercies bate no whit
"But shed Thy sweet compassion o’er
The people knocking at Thy gate,
Thou art the Master of our fate,
And unto Thee our eyes upsoar."
Almighty God, who sufferest Thyself
To be entreated, and who payest heed
Unto the poor, how long wilt Thou from me
Be far and hidden? Night and day I turn
And with a steadfast heart I call to Thee,
And pour incessant gratitude for Thy
Excelling goodness. O my King, with pain
For Thee my heart is torn, in Thee it trusts.
Dreaming this shut-in dream, it looks to Thee
For life’s interpretation. This I ask,
This is the plea to which I beg assent,
My sole petition, neither more nor less.
Root of our saviour,
The scion of Jesse,
Till when wilt thou linger,
Bring forth a flower,
For winter is over!
Why should a slave rule
The lineage of princes,
A hairy barbarian
Replace our young sovran?
The years are a thousand
Since, broken and scattered,
We wander in exile,
Like waterfowl lost in
The depths of the desert.
No man in white linen
Reveals at our asking
The end of our Exile.
God sealed up the matter,
And closed up the knowledge.
Who can grasp Thy greatness?
For Thou hast appointed the Sun for the computing
Of days and of years, and appointed periods,
And to make the fruit-tree to burgeon,
And, under the sweet influence of the Pleiades and the bands of Orion,
The green shoots luxuriant.
Six months he journeyeth towards the north to warm the air,
And the waters, the woods, and the rocks,
And as he draweth nigh to the north,
The days grow longer and the seasons wax,
Till there is found a place where the day is so lengthened
That it lasteth six months,
According to confirmed indications,
And six months he journeyeth towards the south
In his appointed courses
Till there is found a place where the night is so lengthened
That it lasteth six months,
According to the proof of searchers.
And from this may be known a fringe of the ways of the Creator,
A whisper of His mighty powers,
Of His strength and His wondrous works.
As from the greatness of servants
May the greatness of the master be known
By all men of understanding,
So through the ministering Sun is revealed
The grandeur and glory of the Lord,
"For all the goods of his Master are delivered into his hands."
If I should see your eyes again,
I know how far their look would go --
Back to a morning in the park
With sapphire shadows on the snow.
Or back to oak trees in the spring
When you unloosed my hair and kissed
The head that lay against your knees
In the leaf shadow's amethyst.
And still another shining place
We would remember -- how the dun
Wild mountain held us on its crest
One diamond morning white with sun.
But I will turn my eyes from you
As women turn to put away
The jewels they have worn at night
And cannot wear in sober day.
Although there were moments even still in the grey glint of morning when the room had the agitated, stricken appearance of a person who had changed his creed a thousand times, sighed, stretched himself, turned a complete somersault, sat up, smiled, lay down, turned up his toes and died of doubts. But this aspect was reserved exclusively for the housemaids and the translucent threads of dawn.
Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.
Every man is capable of being something better than he is.
What each individual really needs can only be known by himself; what he should contribute he can determine through his insight into the situation as a whole.
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
I don't regret how much I love, and I avoid those who repent their passion.
ONE ONE ONE - The lamps are different. But the Light is the same. So many garish lamps in the dying brain's lamp shop, Forget about them. Concentrate on essence, concentrate on Light. In lucid bliss, calmly smoking off its own hold fire, The Light streams toward you from all things, all people, all possible permutations of good, evil, thought, passion. The lamps are different, but the Light is the same. One matter, one energy, one Light, one Light-mind, endlessly emanating all things. One turning and burning diamond, one, one, one. Ground yourself, strip yourself down, To blind loving silence. Stay there, until you see you are gazing at the Light With its own ageless eyes.
The ocean of the body crashes against the ocean of the heart. Between them is a barrier they cannot cross.
There's a field somewhere beyond all doubt and wrong doing.
This discipline and rough treatment are a furnace to extract the silver from the dross. This testing purifies the gold by boiling the scum away.
That which befalls a fish out of water, befalls the mind that has come out of the remembrance of God and wanders in the remembrance of the world.