Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume II/The Pilgrim

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For works with similar titles, see The Pilgrim.
For other versions of this work, see The Pilgrim (Coates).
Poems, Volume II by Florence Earle Coates
The Pilgrim

THE PILGRIM

ONCE a man set forth at morning,
Journeying with eager footstep,
Onward over fields new-wakened,
Where the dew lay on the blossoms,
Like to softly gleaming opals.


All the earth, refreshed by slumber,
In the early light and tender
Wore a green, benignant beauty;
And his heart sang high within him,
As the birds sang in the branches.


On he sped with fond impatience,—
While the world took on new wonder,—
Till he came unto a river
Where there waiting stood an angel,
Dark-browed, but with look celestial.


Then, appalled, the pilgrim started:—
"Death! Awaitest thou my coming—
Here where least I thought to meet thee?
It is Love that I am seeking!"

Very gently smiled the angel,
Dark-browed, with the look celestial:
"I am Love,—thyself hast named me;
Yet thou fearest! Lo! I leave thee
Till as now thou come to find me."
········
Once again the man, at sunrise,
Journeyed forth,—his step less buoyant,—
Passing over fields new-wakened,
Where the dew lay on the blossoms
Like to softly gleaming opals.


Once again Earth, fresh from slumber,
In the early light and tender
Wore her green and mystic beauty;
Yet his heart sang not within him
As the birds sang in the branches.


Onward still, without impatience,
Through a world whose charm half pained him,
Journeying,—behold!—the river
And the long-forgotten angel—
Dark-browed, with the look celestial!


As of old, the pilgrim started,
And his pale cheek flushed with anger:
"Death, thy pledge! Thou hast betrayed me!
Naught have I and thou in common:
It is Life that I am seeking!"


With transfiguring smile the angel,
Whose whole look now showed celestial,
Answered:—"Is it Life thou seekest?"
Be at rest, thou weary pilgrim!
Seek no further: thou hast found me."