Unpublished Thoughts in Verse.
Wellington: Lyon and Blair, Printers. Lambton Quay,1893.
Piercing the mist-clad mountain range which bounds
The world of sight and sense, a cavern leads
To the unknown beyond; from which no sounds
Are ever heard, nor ever light proceeds:
Silent and dark its portal yawns for all,
Blanching the cheeks on which its awful shadows fall
A river thro' that valley ever flows,
Life's murm'ring tide; and evermore the hills
Which bound the vale, from their dark wombs disclose
The sources of innumerable rills,
Which to that mystic stream their tribute bear,
Whose waters in that cavern ever disappear.
Each atom of that stream a human life,
In darkness risen, and in darkness lost;
The mass deep buried in the watera's strife,
A favor'd few upon the wave-tops toss'd;
Till high and low alike are lost to sight
Beneath that silent arch where reigns eternal night.
Sad type those waters of the feverish crowd
Struggling for transient fame or wealth or power,
Strong youth, and failing age, the poor, the proud,
Eager to grasp the bauble of the hour;
Whilst still th' inexorable current draws
Each one at last within that ghastly cavern's jaws.
In childhood some, some in bright youth, are swept
By the strong eddies 'neath the archway's gloom;
By grief or sickness stricken, some are kept
Long ling'ring on the threshold of their doom:
In the same gulf unconscious infants sink,
And age's palsied footsteps totter o'er the brink.
With outstretch'd hand and wild despairing shriek
Some grasp in terror the last shreds of life;
Some with dull mien in silent darkness seek
To find a long-sought rest from long-borne strife;
To bury shame or crime in voiceless sleep
Into the dread abyss some desperately leap.
Th' assassin's blood-stained hand, forestalling time,
It's victim oftimes hurls beyond the brink;
And countless myriads in manhood's prime
In the dark vault from battle's carnage sink;
And oft pale pestilence with poisonous breath
Swells swift and deep the current 'neath the arch of death.
In joyful resignation to the goal
Some move with patient step and hope-lit eyes,
Uprais'd to where the luminous clouds unroll
The mystic splendours of the lustrous skies;
Dreaming that past that cavern's awful gloom,
More glorious skies will shine a welcome to their home.
Such the sad emblem of humanity,
But for convictions lurking in the mind
Dim but unquenchable, which underlie
All thought upon the destiny of mankind;
That when th' external record we unfold
Of man from birth to death, the tale is not all told.
Secret convictions that the race of man,
Product of nature, but endow'd with soul,
Has wider sphere than lies in this life's span,
Has some enduring part in that vast whole,
Where present, past, and future all unite,
And vanish in th' immeasurable infinite.
Are these vain speculations? all unsought,
When pondering upon man's destiny,
They steal like awful ghosts upon the thought
With whisper'd questionings which ask reply,
Unsatisfied that faith in formal creeds
The duty and the rights of reason supersedes.
And when I think of those who never more
Shall brighten our home-circle with their love,
Whom Death's cruel mandate has sent on before
The dark hereafter's mystery to prove;
Think what they were, portray'd by memory,
I ask what now they are, from earthly garments free.
Those gone forever like the passing year,
Or like a sunbeam fading from the sight,
Or like sweet music dying on the ear,
Or like a fleeting vision of the night;
The love, the pride, the hope that round them grew
Fonder with each year's promise, gone like summer's dew.
Gone all but memory, whose feeble ray,
Which dimly lights the chambers of the past,
Still bids the lov'd idea of each to stay
Close to my side as long as life shall last,
Continuing in fancy's fond endeavor
That sweet commune which not e'en death shall wholly sever.
Their various forms upon the mem'ry press,
Sometimes as infants on their mother's knee,
Sometimes array'd in childhood's loveliness,
Sometimes in radient boyhood's bravery;
And some best loved as when they left the earth,
By manhood crown'd with all of truest manhood's worth.
We are not one, bat many: every stage
Of our short life presents some new aspect;
Our forms and features change from youth to age;
Feeling and thought like fickleness reflect;
The inner consciousness within our breasts
Alone the continuity of self attests.
Not lost, but gone before! Is the dream true?
Shall I see them again in some hereafter?
Again our old fond intercourse renew,
And listen to the music of their laughter,
And see their forms once more as fresh and bright
And beautiful as when death stole them from our sight?
Can it be true that the still dead shall see
Visions of glory in the Spirit-land—
Shall hear the awful voice of Deity,
As round the *rainbowed throne white-robed they stand,
And from "the crystal sea" their voices raise,
"Like voice of many waters," in rolling hymns of praise?
Or, ghastly dream! that sinful souls shall dwell
For ever scorch'd, but unconsumed by fire,
Writhing and welt'ring in some crucible
Companion'd with fierce fiends and demons dire;
Eternity of woe for sins of time,
Like mead for faults of faith and deeds of foulest crime?
Let it be true—not their's such awful doom,
For their short lives throughout were good and pure;
I ten times rather would believe the tomb
Ended all being, than think they would endure
Such pains hereafter, which not one who knew
And lov'd them here on earth would ever deem their due.
But be it true—then their's the glorious lot
Of souls whose life is one perennial joy;
Their failings pardon'd, as by us forgot,
Their virtues purified from all alloy,
No fitter peers than they for that bright band,
The faithful, tender, true, who throng the Spirit-land.
* Rev. IV. 3.
We say that we shall see the Deity:
What is't to see? The palpitating light
Throbs with soft undulations on the eye,
Painting its fleeting pictures on the sight;
Whence to the brain the tremulous nerves convey
The cypher'd message sent by every eloquent ray.
When then we say that we shall see in heaven,
What mean we by the phrase? When human sight
Is but a name to earthly organs given,
Whose functions act but in material light.
If lights' vibrations cease, or dull decay
Impair the brain or eye, sight vanishes away.
But is sense aught than the mechanic mean
By which the mind is brought in harmony
With its material home—a bridge between
The soul and earthly forms which round it lie?
If so, may not the soul see, feel, and hear,
Responsive to appeals beyond the senses' sphere?
Unconscious as th' optician's lens, the eye
By changeless law its changing pictures makes:
The ear knows nothing of the melody
Some like-unconscious instrument awakes:
These are but links in the material chain
Of forces, which evoke vibrations in the brain.
The consciousness of what we hear or see
In our material organs cannot lie;
These might fulfil their functions, and yet we
Remain unconscious of their agency:
Some immaterial power must have wrought
To change material motion to perceptive thought.
Or shall we with some scientists believe
These brain-vibrations the sole motive cause
Of thought and action, which unaided weave
The infinitely vast and complex, course
Of human life—man an automaton,—
His consciousness a casual phenomenon?
If by a reas'ning process we arrive
At this result—that mind is impotent,
Can but perceive, and helplessly connive
At ends it can nor further nor prevent—
Why trust the reason, when itself has taught
That it disowns the power of independent thought?
Why, as to true or false, should men dispute
If thought is but to brain-vibration due;
And natural forces in one mind dispute
What in another they assert as true;
Eight, wrong, true, false, phrases which but express
Diverse arrangements of material substances?
On truths inherent in our minds, we rest
As the firm base from which all reas'ning springs,
Coincidence with which affords the test
Of truth or error in our reasonings,
Does not the act of reasoning imply
The conscious pow'r to choose 'twixt truth and fallacy?
That mind is free—allied to, not enslav'd
By the material form in which it dwells,
Now lording it as master, now deprav'd
By influence 'gainst which it still rebels—
Of these two motive powers the ceaseless strife
Is the deep mystery of every human life.
By some mysterious law these forces twain
In all resultant action arc combined,
As tho' the palpitations of the brain
Were merged in action in a stream of mind;
As natural substances new forms acquire
When subject to th' electric current's hidden fire,
Reason or intellect, or mind, or soul,
Are but the names we give each several phase
Or function of the spiritual whole
Which manifests itself in various ways,
According to the various subjects brought
Within the range and cognizance of conscious thought.
We ponder over nature's mysteries,
Seeking a cause for each observed effect;
But the first cause of life and motion lies
Beyond the reach of keenest intellect:
Is this mind-element the hidden cause
Of that which moves all nature, vaguely known as force?
The finite mind, compell'd by nature's laws
Within the narrow sphere to operate
In which it dwells, feels it can change the course
Of circumstance; as fancy bids create
New forms of matter; and with cunning skill
Make nature's hidden powers subservient to its will.
But infinite mind, from all conditions free
Which curb man's action, needs must exercise
Similar power in infinite degree
To that which in ourselves we recognise;—
Infinite mind the omnipresent mean
By which all matter lives, and moves, and has its being:—
Moves ever with the state and majesty
Of constant law. For mind, if infinite,
Consistent with itself must ever be;
And law is but a name t' express aright
The modes of nature 'neath the influence
Of perfect and omnipotent intelligence.
Our own minds range throughout the infinite;
We speak of a beginning and an end;
But o'er such boundaries thought takes its flight
To where th' ideas of time and space extend
Throughout the measureless eternity,
Before beginning was and after end shall be.
Imagination in its daring flight
Attempts, where reason fails, to realise
Nature's beginning; sees primeval night
And silence reign o'er earth and seas and skies;
How force as yet was not; as by some spell
Entranc'd, all matter lay, inert, immoveable.
See how God's spirit moving o'er the scene
Th' etherial element of force instill'd
The dead material particles between,
Till nature's universal atoms thrill'd
With that mysterious energy from whence
Atom o'er atom wields its mystic influence.
Then like some mighty engine driv'n by force
Unknown, inscrutable, nature began
Her magic revolutions, change nor pause
To know whilst time thro' countless ages ran.
Then ether blaz'd with light; the voice of sound
Rang thro' the quiv'ring air its melody around.
The atoms, joyful in their new born power,
Combine in infinite variety
Of ever-changing forms; tree, herb, and flower,
And moving habitants of land and sea,
Appear and fade; whilst ever re-appear
New forms, organic life's phantasmagoria.
Life! but one phase of th' all-pervading law
Which rules the universe: the tend'rest blade
Which sunbeams from its earthy cradle draw
Springs upward by the same impulse which made
The Earth and all her planetary peers
Keep measure in the choral dances of the spheres.
Is this a poet's dream? Shall we deny
That chaos ever was? or say that force
Was one with matter from eternity—
Both coexistent—each effect and cause?
If 'twere, still in the dream we seem to see
How matter mov'd by mind is Nature's myetery.
The sequence of events is measur'd by
Tenses and terms of time: no language can
Construct a dial for eternity,
Or measure out th' infinite with a span;
All's simultaneous in the infinite past:
Eternity, to man, has neither first nor last.
From the small eyelet hole of Self, we view
The past and future, and the world around;
By what within ourselves we know is true
We measure all within our reason's bound;
Our own weak powers we infinitize
To comprehend the infinite which round us lies.
God in man's nostrils breath'd the breath of life,—
The living soul. This was man's earliest creed;—
That men their spiritual life derive
From that supernal fountain whence proceed,
As scintillations from celestial fire,
The God-like powers which the souls of men inspire.
It may be in that old world faith conceal'd,
The key to nature's mystery we find,
To scientific teaching unreveal'd;
That in the working of the infinite mind
There lies the secret of the first great cause,
In man, of mind, in nature of material force.
In varying measure has this gift divine
Been shar'd by men; with dim and flick'ring light
'Tis seen in those of lower type to shine;
In nobler burns ever with time more bright;
Quench'd by its lustre baser instincts die
And social order grows from social anarchy.
And some have lived—the high-priests of mankind—
Prophet and Sage, whose souls have seem'd to dwell
In closer union with the infinite mind,
Whose thoughts have spread beyond the narrow cell
Of their own lives, illumining the page
Of the world's history through each succeeding age.
And if in sounds of nature, men have dream'd
They heard th' Almighty speaking—in the storm
Or voices of the thunder-cloud—or deem'd
They saw the Deity in material form;
Or thought in Nature's portents they could read
The issues of the future by the fates decreed;
Was superstitious fear alone the cause
Of these imaginings? or may we think
Such vague emotions had a deeper source—
Th' unconscious recognition of the link
'Twixt man and nature—that divine impress
Without which mind were void and matter motionless?
It may be, then, the whole economy
Of this wide universe, reveal'd by sense,
Some inner universe may overlie,
Of which 'tis but the outward evidence:
That all things seen are but the husk or skin
Of things unknown to sense, a world concealed within.
As now, in this thought-teeming age of ours,
All-searching science to our wond'ring gaze
Reveals fresh secrets of the subtle powers
Which darkly work in Nature's mystic maze,
Sustaining by their hidden agency
Life's infinitely intricate machinery—
May it not be that keener observation,
A wider range of thought, and deeper seeing
May open to mankind a revelation
Of infinitely subtler laws of being
Than those within our known philosophy—
Entwined with life, and yet not dying when we die?
As when we close our eyelids, and exclude
The light-borne missives of the world around,
The mind still peoples its own solitude
With beings real as those of sight or sound;
And, the wide bounds of time and space o'er sped,
Holds mystic commune with the absent or the dead.
Is this strange power of seeing the unseen,
Feeling the unfelt, and hearing the unheard,—
Calling up spectres of what long has been
In the still caverns of the past inter'd;—
Striving with prescient skill to penetrate
The destinies concealed within the womb of fate;—
Or that creative power, at whose command
All matter becomes plastic to the will,
Which rules the waving of the artist's wand,
Or moulds the marble with the sculptor's skill,
Or from the sound-producing air's vibrations
Evolves the mystery of music's rich creations;—
The thought which guides the student's speculations,
Unfolding Nature's secrets to his ken;—
The statesman's wisdom wisely ruling nations,—
The genius which inspires the poet's pen—
Flashing thro' space and time the waves of mind
Upon whose stream are borne the destinies of mankind;—
Or, chief of all the attributes of man,
The sense of right and wrong, the homage paid
To that high court where Conscience sits to scan
His inmost motives, and, tho' sometimes sway'd
By rule of lower law, yet by that light,
However dim, still owns some rule of wrong and right;—
Are these inherent powers of the soul,
Calm reason, moral sense, and fancy's play,
But parts of the dull matter they control,
Some finer essence of our native clay,
Ruled by the same inexorable laws
Which nerve the insect's wing, or guide the planet's course?
All matter is immortal; the wide range
Of our inspection of Earth's mysteries
Proclaims that death is but a name for change
In forms of being, whose being never dies;
A shifting of the scenes,—a transmutation
Of Earth's dissolving views—decay, and renovation.
Is then the soul more mortal than the home
In which it liv'd on Earth? Or shall we say
That as the silent alchemy of the tomb
Resolves the body into primal clay,
The spirit too is merg'd into the whole
Pervading ocean of th' universal soul?
"Dust unto dust returns, th' immortal spirit
Returns to God who gave it "*—so of old
The sacred oracle which we inherit
Did some dim vision of the truth unfold;
As in the deep its coarser atoms lie,
The purer are exhal'd, sun-wafted to the sky.
We vaguely speak of immortality,
And yet our thoughts can hardly realise
A soul's existence, free from every tie
Of human semblance: we can but devise
Phrases which material sense express,
But, in a state where sense is not, are meaningless.
We speak of voice and sound, of fire and light,
Agents of joy in heav'n, in hell of pain,
As if these such emotions could excite
Where sensuous attributes have ceas'd to reign:
Angels in feather'd pinions we portray,
And demons in grotesque and hideous forms array.
But if 'tis by the mind that we conceive
Th' impressions through material sense convey'd,
And if, when sense has vanish'd, we believe
The soul still lives, its powers undecayed,
Some objects in the Spirit-land must lie
Th' emotions of the soul t' excite and satisfy.
The physical phenomena of life,
To which th' emotions of the soul respond,
Some immaterial representative
Must have, the sphere of earth and sense beyond;
Something whose spiritual influence
May wake the pain or pleasure once evoked by sense,
Man thirsts for immortality: the same
Self-consciousness of his identity
Lives through all changes of his outward frame,
And whispers to his anxious reason—Why,
When comes the last great change which we call death,
Should the self-conscious spirit end with the mortal breath?
Since first the God-like powers of mind had birth,
Stirr'd in the creature and proclaim'd him man,
And crown'd him with the lordship of the earth,
The yearning for an after life began—
Scal'd Titan-like the ramparts of the sky,
And claim'd the heritage of immortality,
Is this instinctive craving of the soul
In men of many an age and race and clime,
Revolting 'gainst the tyrant death's control,
And bursting thro' the prison bars of time,
No more than cheating fancy's vain desire,
Pursu'd as men benighted pursue the pale marsh-fire?
Oh Lord of Life and Death! may we not crave
Some further light to dissipate the gloom;—
Some voice from those who have outlived the grave
To solve the awful problem of the tomb?
In vain we cry; no heav'nly light appears,
From the dark silent land no voices reach our ears.
Oh for a faith by which to satisfy
The calm truth-seeking reason's stern behest,
Whilst the soul's intuitions might descry
The true fulfilment of their anxious quest,
And kindred faith and reason might unite
In the divine fruition of unclouded light.
* Eccles, XII 8.
Where are all the old-world faiths? Great Pan is dead:
vanish'd for ever that voluptuous dream
Which o'er the classic lands its genius shed,
And peopl'd hill and vale and grove and stream
With spiritual life; and loved to see
In Nature's every haunt some kindred deity.
Where the Pantheon of the mighty gods
Who erst in high Olympus held their state,
And from their inaccessible abodes
Imposed on mortals the decrees of fate,
Wielding the terrors of ocean, earth, and sky
To force on stubborn wills of men their destiny?
Ye visionary gods! had ye no claim
Upon the faith of men? Had ye not grown
From out his brain, reflecting back the same
Affections, passionst motives as his own?
Men in your forms the image could but see
Of deified, immortalised humanity.
In his own image man his gods created,
And in them mirror'd his own mind and features;
Cloth'd them with human attributes, dilated
To fit the stature of immortal creatures:
Then strove in perfect types of man t' express
Th' idea of God reflecting his own consciousness.
Th' idea of the invisible Divine
In visible form he strove to realise,
Till the dull stone, inspired by his design,
Stole into life—the gods in human guise—
Shapes of immortal beauty, which remain
Types of the form which men, if perfect, might attain.
Ye marble priests! whose silent eloquence,
In the calm majesty of your repose,
Once preach'd and symbolised the faith from whence
The visions of your God-like forms arose;
We in your time marr'd relics dimly trace,
Witnesses to a faith which once inspired our race,
Inspires it now no more; the broken fane,
The shatter'd column and the mould'ring wall,
In ruin still sublime, alone remain
A dead religion's mem'ry to recall;
No trembling votaries round your shrines now wait
To hear the oracle's voice reveal decrees of fate.
Far other faith inspir'd the Hebrew horde
To claim the agency of wrath divine,
When in a fierce resistless flood they pour'd
Through all the vine-clad vales of Palestine,
And to their conquering sword whole nations gave,
Man, woman, child, and infant swept into the grave,
A race whose infancy in slavery groan'd
Till trained to freedom in the wilderness,
Rebellious even to the God they own'd,
To fellow men stern, proud, and pitiless;
In the traditions of this race we find
The germs of that belief which now rules half mankind.
In such a race the Hebrew God arose,
A "God of Battles" and a "Lord of Hosts,"
Hurling red handed vengeance on their foes,
Sweeping their enemies from all their coasts,
Aiding with Nature's powers, earth, air, and water,
A fragment of mankind in its career of slaughter.
A God of mercy, but whose mercies shone
With jealous beams upon a single clan,
His majesty revealing to but one
Of all the countless families of man;
Leaving in darkness all the world beside,
Without a voice to teach or heavenly light to guide.
And yet, unlike the gods who typified
Alike the vice and virtue of mankind,
The Jew in his Jehovah deified
Alone the nobler instincts of the mind;
Wisdom and justice, truth and mercy shone
In Israel's God, but shone for Israel's sons alone.
From age to age the prophets' awful cry
Throughout the land like mutt'ring thunder roll'd,
Denouncing dooms on lust and tyranny,
The thirst for power, and the greed for gold—
Impending dooms self-wrought, which ever light
On all who violate th' eternal laws of right.
Destroying time swept on; the old faith wan'd,
Though faithless priests still throng'd the temple gate;
And gorgeous ceremonial yet remain'd,
Like robes of some dead monarch lying in state—
Street-corner prayers, and broad phylacteries,
Alms to be seen of men, and foul hypocricies.
Still'd were the thunders round Sinai's head,
The luminous column's guiding light had pal'd,
No angel's food th' untoiling people fed,
The stream from Horeb's stricken rock had fail'd;
The wondrous myths, which once had been their guide
To glory, now but fed a fierce fanatic pride.
Amid this wreck of faith a voice was heard,
Beside the whispr'ng waves of Gallilee
And Jordan's rushing stream: a voice which stirr'd,
Down to its inmost depths, humanity,
Teaching in tones which list'ning nations thrill'd
How mankind's highest destiny might be fulfill'd.
In a lone village "mid the Syrian hills
The poor mechanic pli'd his humble trade,
Whilst pond'ring on the cure for human ills,
Wrapt in prophetic visions, he survey'd
The world-wide issues destined to arise
From his life's work and his last awful sacrifice.
Sad cries from every haunt of misery,
The groans of captives and the mourner's prayer,
The tears of widows and the orphan's sigh,
The wails of want and curses of despair,
Sank deep in that divinely pitying mind,
Whose great love made its own the sorrows of mankind.
O'er Judah's land the prophet-threaten'd doom
Had quench'd the glory of the chosen race;
Around, the iron Empire of Rome
Was strangling half the world in its embrace;
All faith was dead in over-ruling right,
One God alone remain'd the monster demon Might.
Against this blind force-worship, he who saw
All the deep powers in the soul conceal'd,
Call'd into life the spiritual law
To which the mightiest brute power must yield,
That peace could conquer war, love vanquish hate,
And passion own the "gentleness that maketh great,"
Then in the far off ages might arise
A world endued with renovated life,
When men should rank and wealth and power despise,
How each might best help each the only strife;
Th' ignoble selfishness of all subdued
By the transoendant sense of human brotherhood.
Then, while the consummation of mankind
Should triumph in a reign of peace and love,
Each faithful spirit for itself should find
Its consummation in a heav'n above;
The ills of earth by joys of heav'n reversed,
Tho' earth, itself a heav'n, no more for heav'n need thirst.
"What wonder if, upon the mystic strife
Of good and ill, hope like a sun-burst beam'd,
Illumining the out-come of man's life,
In good triumphant, and his race redeem'd?
What wonder if, inspired by such a faith,
Martyrs could smile at torture—gladly welcome death?
What were the phantoms of the world around
To men who lived in wrapt expectancy
To hear th' archangel's joyful trumpet sound
Their summons to a heritage on high?
How could they care to live, or fear to die,
To whom life was a dream—death brought reality?
The light diffused from their own burning faith
Shone through the dark aisles of the catacomb;
The lions, whose eyeballs glared upon their death,
Were but God's messengers to call them home;
The stakes' cruel fires were fiery chariots, given,
As to the prophet once, to waft their souls to heav'n.
Where now that faith? Where that strong living law
Which gave the new-born faith vitality—
That martyrdom of self, in which men saw
The vision of a new humanity?—
The law, down-trampled in the strife for pelf,
That each should love his neighbour better than himself?
"Be not ye called Rabbi"—From the tomb
Of him who spake the voice still seems to rise;
Yet Christian rabbis throughout Christendom
Flaunt as of old their broad phylacteries;
And Jewish pomp and pride, denounc'd in vain,
In Christian pride and pomp prolong their baleful reign.
"Lay not up treasures on the earth, the need
The morrow brings the morrow shall supply."
Spurning the Christian mandate, Christian greed
With covetous hands its gains hoards eagerly;
Of that first twelve who formed the Christian fold
Our best exampler he who sold his Lord for gold.
Where is the "Peace on Earth" which angels sang
In pæons to the new-born reign of right?—
Whilst throughout Christendom the ceaseless clang
Of arms proclaims the savage rule of might;
And art and seience and mechanic skill
Still prostitute their powers to teach men men to kill.
Is Christ, like great Pan, dead? Does naught remain
But speculative dogmas, formal creeds,
Poor parodies on faith—content with vain
And vapid words, instead of valid deeds?—
Each wrangling sect deeming its shiboleth
A passport into heaven beyond the gates of death.
Is Christ for ever dead? or shall he come
Again, as once believ'd the saints of old;
And we still say that we believe—the sum
And end of human life and death t' unfold?
While countless millions, rising from the tomb,
The dead of all the ages, wait their final doom.
Yes! Christ shall come again; is coming ever
In ceaseless resurrection in man's soul
Of that divine philosophy which never
Time shall obliterate or death control;
But like some gracious herb shall ever spread
Enriching still the soil on which its seeds are shed.
Faintly the voice of earth's vast multitude
Back-echoing from a distant age is heard,
Rejoicing in humanity renewed
In that fair type which once on earth appear'd;
If not in human form Christ ris'n again,
Yet in the life of all the human race to reign,
Oh! golden age of innocence and peace,
The poet's dream, millenium of the blest,
When envy, with its first-born strife, shall cease,
And care no longer gnaw the human breast;
The human race resting in calm old age
The out-come of its long mysterious pilgrimage.
This humble tributo to their memories
I dedicate, whose loss inspired the train
Of thought, which in these feeble accents tries
To find expression; but which, not in vain
Perchance, has sought t' express itself, or find
Some echo in the thought raised in a kindred mind.
But you—the loved and lost—you know, unless
(From which my mind's deep intuitions shrink)
Your souls have melted into nothingness—
You know the truth of all on which we think
With doubtful longing; in your loftier sphere
Th' eternal truth of all God's great design is clear.