Page:Alaska days with John Muir.djvu/42

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THE MOUNTAIN'S FAITH

 
At eventide, upon a dreary sea,
I watched a mountain rear its hoary head
To look with steady gaze in the near heaven.
The earth was cold and still. No sound was heard
But the dream-voices of the sleeping sea.
The mountain drew its gray cloud-mantle close,
Like Roman senator, erect and old,
Raising aloft an earnest brow and calm,
With upward look intent of steadfast faith.
The sky was dim; no glory-light shone forth
To crown the mountain's faith; which faltered not,
But, ever hopeful, waited patiently.
 
At morn I looked again. Expectance sat
Of immanent glory on the mountain's brow.
And, in a moment, lo! the glory came!
An angel's hand rolled back a crimson cloud.
Deep, rose-red light of wondrous tone and power—
A crown of matchless splendor — graced its head,
Majestic, kingly, pure as Heaven, yet warm
With earthward love. A motion, like a heart
With rich blood beating, seemed to sway and pulse,
With might of ecstasy, the granite peak.
A poem grand it was of Love Divine—
An anthem, sweet and strong, of praise to God—
A victory-peal from barren fields of death.
Its gaze was heavenward still, but earthward too—
For Love seeks not her own, and joy is full,
Only when freest given. The sun shone forth,
And now the mountain doffed its ruby crown
For one of diamonds. Still the light streamed down;
No longer chill and bleak, the morning glowed
With warmth and light, and clouds of fiery hue
Mantled the crystal glacier's chilly stream,
And all the landscape throbbed with sudden joy.