As one who sails upon a wide, blue sea Far out of sight of land, his mind intent Upon the sailing of his little boat, On tightening ropes and shaping fair his course, Hears suddenly, across the restless sea, The rhythmic striking of some towered clock, And wakes from thoughtless idleness to time: Time, the slow pulse which beats eternity! So through the vacancy of busy life At intervals you cross my path and bring The deep solemnity of passing years. For you I have shed bitter tears, for you I have relinquished that for which my heart Cried out in selfish longing. And to-night Having just left you, I can say: "'T is well. Thank God that I have known a soul so true, So nobly just, so worthy to be loved!"
Poor, impious Soul! that fixes its high hopes
In the dim distance, on a throne of clouds,
And from the morning's mist would make the ropes
To draw it up amid acclaim of crowds—
Beware! That soaring path is lined with shrouds;
And he who braves it, though of sturdy breath,
May meet, half way, the avalanche and death!
O poor young Soul!—whose year-devouring glance
Fixes in ecstasy upon a star,
Whose feverish brilliance looks a part of earth,
Yet quivers where the feet of angels are,
And seems the future crown in realms afar—
Beware! A spark thou art, and dost but see
Thine own reflection in Eternity!