To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From it’s own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, not falter, nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory
Oh, slow to smite and swift to spare,
Gentle and merciful and just!
Who, in the fear of God, didst bear
The sword of power, a nation’s trust!
In sorrow by thy bier we stand,
Amid the awe that hushes all,
And speak the anguish of a land
That shook with horror at thy fall.
Thy task is done; the bond are free:
We bear thee to an honored grave,
Whose proudest monument shall be
The broken fetters of the slave.
Pure was thy life; its bloody close
Hath placed thee with the sons of light,
Among the noble host of those
Who perished in the cause of Right.
"Delicta juventutis et ignorantius ejus, quoesumus ne memineris, Domine."
I left, to earth, a little maiden fair,
With locks of gold, and eyes that shamed the light;
I prayed that God might have her in His care
Earth's love was false; her voice, a siren's song;
(Sweet mother-earth was but a lying name)
The path she showed was but the path of wrong
"Cast her not out!" I cry. God's kind words come --
"Her future is with Me, as was her past;
It shall be My good will to bring her home
But the real travelers are those who leave for leaving’s sake;
Their hearts are light as balloons,
They never diverge from the path of their fate
And, without knowing why, always say, ‘Let’s go.’
They are the ones whose desires have the shape of clouds,
And who dream as a new recruit dreams of cannon fire,
Of limitless pleasures, ever-changing, unknown,
Which the human mind has never been able to name.
The forests, with their myriad tongues,
Shouted of liberty;
And the Blast of the Desert cried aloud,
With a voice so wild and free,
That he started in his sleep and smiled
At their tempestuous glee.
He did not feel the driver’s whip,
Nor the burning heat of day;
For Death had illumined the Land of Sleep,
And his lifeless body lay
A worn-out fetter, that the soul
Had broken and thrown away!
’Mid white Sierras, that slope to the sea,
Lie turbulent lands.
Go dwell in the skies,
And the thundering tongues of Yosemitè
Shall persuade you to silence, and you shall be wise.
I but sing for the love of song and the few
Who loved me first and shall love me last;
And the storm shall pass as the storms have passed,
For never were clouds but the sun came through.