No, I have not your backward faith to shrink
Lone-faring from the doorway of God’s home,
To find Him in the names of buried men;
Nor your ingenious recreance to think
We cherish, in the life that is to come,
The scattered features of dead friends again.
Never until our souls are strong enough
To plunge into the crater of the Scheme—
Triumphant in the flash there to redeem
Love’s handsel and for evermore to slough,
Like cerements at a played-out masque, the rough
And reptile skins of us whereon we set
The stigma of scared years—are we to get
Where atoms and the ages are one stuff.
Nor ever shall we know the cursed waste
Of life in the beneficence divine
Of starlight and of sunlight and soul-shine
That we have squandered in sin's frail distress.
Till we have drunk, and trembled at the taste,
The mead of Thought’s prophetic endlessness.
The master-songs are ended, and the man
That sang them is name. And so is God
A name; and so is love, and life, and death,
And everything.—But we, who are too blind
To read what we have written, or what faith
Has written for us, do not understand:
We only blink, and wonder.
Last night it was the song that was the man,
But now it is the man that is the song.
We do not hear him very much to-day;—
His piercing and eternal cadence rings
Too pure for us—too powerfully pure,