DEEPEST and keenest of our time who pace
The variant by-paths of the uncertain heart,
In undiscerned mysterious ways apart,
Thou huntest on the Assyrian monster's trace:
That sweeping-pinioned Thing—with human face,
Poor Man, with wings hoof-weighted lest they start
To try the breeze above this human mart,
In heights pre-occupied of a god-like race.
Among the stammering sophists of the age
Thy words are absolute, thy vision true;
No hand but thine is found to fit the gage
The Titan, Shakespeare, to a whole world threw.
Till thou hadst boldly to his challenge sprung,
No rival had he in our English tongue.