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That seemed to think and will, Evolving self and God
By some subjective skill, That had its day of passage hither, But knew no whence, and knows no whither.
If this be all in all :
Life but one mode of force ; Law but the plan which binds
The sequences in course ; All essence, all design,
Shut out from mortal ken,-
We bow to Nature's fate,
And drop the style of men.
The summer dust the wind wafts hither,
Is not more dead to whence and whither.
But if our life be life,
And thought and will and love
Not vague unconscious airs
That o'er wild harp-strings move;
If consciousness be aught
Of all it seems to be,
And souls are something more
Than lights that gleam and flee,Though dark the road that leads us thither, The heart must ask its whence and whither.
To matter or to force
The All is not confined ; Beside the law of things
Is set the law of mind ; One speaks in rock and star,
And one within the brain ; In unison at times,
And then apart again : And both in one have brought us hither, That we may know our whence and whither.
The sequences of law
We learn through mind alone; 'T is only through the soul
That aught we know is known : With equal voice she tells
Of what we touch and see Within these bounds of life,
And of a life to be ; Proclaiming One who brought us hither And holds the keys of whence and whither.
O shrine of God that now
Must learn itself with awe!
O heart and soul that move
Beneath a living law !
That which seemed all the rule
Of nature, is but part ;
A larger, deeper law
Claims also soul and heart.
The force that framed and bore us hither
Itself at once is whence and whither.
We may not hope to read
Or comprehend the whole Or of the law of things,
Or of the law of soul : E’en in the eternal stars
Dim perturbations rise ; And all the searcher's search
Does not exhaust the skies : He who has framed and brought us hither Holds in his hands the whence and whither.
He in his science plans
What no known laws foretell ;
The wandering fires and fixed
Alike are miracle :
The common death of all,
The life renewed above,
And both within the scheme
Of that all-circling love.
The seeming chance that cast us hither
Accomplishes his whence and whither.
Then, though the sun go up
His beaten azure way,
God may fulfill his thought,
And bless his world to-day ;
Beside the law of things
The law of mind enthrone,
And, for the hope of all,
Reveal himself in one ;
Himself the way that leads us thither,
The All-in-all, the Whence and Whither.
FRANCIS TURNER PALGRAVE.
In Thee, thou Son of God, in Thee I rest.
The immortality by sages guessed,
Hath not the rocky strength thy promise gives,
That who believes in Thee forever lives.
The worm on wings disporting is not here
The same that wove its shroud the vanished year.
The flowers breathe out their fragrance and decay,
The towering woods grow old and pass away ;
The flowers return, but not the same that vied
For last year's prize of beauty, and then died;
Resurgent woods again their branches spread,
But not the same that prostrate lie and dead.
O reproducing Nature ! from thy strife,
Comes never same, but always other life.
Men die, but lives right on humanity, -
So said a Greek ;- not this enough for me ;
Shall I myself relive ?- the quest I raise.
To share an undistinguishable haze
Of being, and, immerged in that vast sea,
To lose what most I ask, MYSELF TO BE,
Is empty vision, Seer of Attic clime,
Or Greek more earth-born of our modern time.
O man of Calvary, O Son of God,
I mark the path thy holy footsteps trod,
Through death to life, thy Living Self to me
Potence and pledge of immortality!
SEWALL SYLVESTER CUTTING.
If I Should Die To-night.
IF I should die to-night,
My friends would look upon my quiet face
Before they laid it in its resting-place,
And deem that death had left it almost fair ;
And, laying snow-white flowers against my hair,
Would smooth it down with tearful tenderness,
And fold my hands with lingering caress,
Poor hands, so empty and so cold to-night !
If I should die to-night, My friends would call to mind, with loving thought, Some kindly deed the icy hands had wrought, Some gentle word the frozen lips had said, Errands on which the willing feet had sped ; The memory of my selfishness and pride, My hasty words, would all be put aside, And so I should be loved and mourned to-night.
If I should die to-night, Even hearts estranged would turn once more to me, Recalling other days remorsefully ; The eyes that chill me with averted glance Would look upon me as of yore, perchance,
And soften in the old familiar way ;
For who could war with dumb, unconscious clay?
So I might rest, forgiven of all, to-night.
O friends, I pray to-night,
Keep not your kisses for my dead, cold brow;
The way is lonely, let me feel them now.
Think gently of me; I am travel-worn ;
My faltering feet are pierced with many a thorn.
Forgive, O hearts estranged, forgive, I plead !
When dreamless rest is mine, I shall not need
The tenderness for which I long to-night.
BELLE E. SMITH.
0 May ! Join the Choir Invisible.
Longum illud tempus quum non ero magis me movet quam hoc exiguum.-CICERO.
O MAY I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again
In minds made better by their presence : live
In pulses stirred to generosity,
In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn
For miserable aims that end with self,
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars,
And with their mild persistence urge man's search
To vaster issues. So to live is heaven :
To make undying music in the world,
Breathing as beauteous order that controls
With growing sway the growing life of man.
So we inherit that sweet purity
For which we struggled, failed, and agonized
With widening retrospect that bred despair.
Rebellious flesh that would not be subdued,
A vicious parent shaming still its child
Poor anxious penitence, is quick dissolved ;