The Atlantic Monthly/Volume 18/Number 106/The Miner

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2329785The Atlantic Monthly — The Miner1866James Russell Lowell


Down 'mid the tangled roots of things
That coil about the central fire,
I seek for that which giveth wings,
To stoop, not soar, to my desire.

Sometimes I hear, as 't were a sigh,
The sea's deep yearning far above.
"Thou hast the secret not," I cry,
"In deeper deeps is hid my Love."

They think I burrow from the sun,
In darkness, all alone and weak;
Such loss were gain if He were won.
For 't is the sun's own Sun I seek.

The earth, they murmur, is the tomb
That vainly sought his life to prison;
Why grovel longer in its gloom?
He is not here; He hath arisen.

More life for me where He hath lain
Hidden, while ye believed him dead,
Than in cathedrals cold and vain,
Built on loose sands of "It is said."

My search is for the living gold,
Him I desire who dwells recluse,
And not his image, worn and old,
Day-servant of our sordid use.

If Him I find not, yet I find
The ancient joy of cell and church,
The glimpse, the surety undefined,
The unquenched ardor of the search.

Happier to chase a flying goal,
Than to sit counting laurelled gains,
To guess the Soul within the soul,
Than to be lord of what remains.

This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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