Page:Aurora Leigh a Poem.djvu/38

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29
AURORA LEIGH.


Made Atheist by suggestion; moral books,
Exasperating to license; genial books,
Discounting from the human dignity;
And merry books, which set you weeping when
The sun shines,—ay, and melancholy books,
Which make you laugh that any one should weep
In this disjointed life, for one wrong more.

The world of books is still the world, I write,
And both worlds have God’s providence, thank God,
To keep and hearten: with some struggle, indeed,
Among the breakers, some hard swimming through
The deeps—I lost breath in my soul sometimes,
And cried ‘God save me if there’s any God.’
But even so, God saved me; and, being dashed
From error on to error, every turn
Still brought me nearer to the central truth.

I thought so. All this anguish in the thick
Of men’s opinions . . press and counterpress
Now up, now down, now underfoot, and now
Emergent . . all the best of it, perhaps,
But throws you back upon a noble trust
And use of your own instinct,—merely proves
Pure reason stronger than bare inference
At strongest. Try it,—fix against heaven’s wall
Your scaling ladders of high logic—mount
Step by step!—Sight goes faster; that still ray
Which strikes out from you, how, you cannot tell,
And why, you know not—(did you eliminate,