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The Spike or Victoria College Review, June 1907



Look how serene the mountains that outwatch
Our stormy sea of agony unheard
From the far south; a welter from the cold,
Shattering its load of icy reticence
Over our tumbled shore; a sound resolved
Into Eternity, that never joy
Nor sorrow linked with words. The thunder rolls
Beneath the cumulative spires that hear
Immoveable: far, far below, the sea,
The forest, and the cataract are gloom
With cloud and tempest; light is on the peak
Shut from the world, an alter unsustained
By anything but sacrament of heaven.
Upon the very summit of the peak,
Where the breath hardly hath a sustenance,
How incorruptible the fading air
Thinning to vacancy away from the world,
Scarce feeling the curved aerolite that glows
One moment for the marveling eyes beneath.
Mark the felicity that does not want
The appanage of cloud or wandering rain
For its supremacy—the best is best
Aloof in its Olympian majesty.
The peak the sunrise captures when the earth
Lies in a drug below, hath silences
page 69 More soul-unburdening than eloquence.
The hour the pool of the heart an angel stirs
We are as music, or the beat of wing,
Or evanescent cloud, or as the shade,
Too imperceptible moving to the eye
A far upon the hills; aye, anything
So be it not the soil; for God is found
Dearer and holier in us when the foam
Of daily struggle is forgotten, sunk
Below the horizon, when we stand like scars
Uncanopied by any film of earth.

Would God the silent Spirit of the hills
Were the forerunner in the mind of men
Of the Messiah, Truth, who cannot bear
One blade of grass denied, who can but look
And in her eyes are all the splendours told,
And all the miseries; nothing glozed or hid
Beneath a lying lace. What sacrifice
Is too exorbitant for rich design
To build a temple for the mind wherein
All snare an trickery are maladroit,
And withered where the glance of Truth compels
The soul to be a music sung by her.
She hath her precinct where he foot must fall
Still to the rapture of the holy place;
Light clouded by the mullioned shaft of aisle
Makes softer prayer that wells within the heart
Softer than moonlit seas or taper flame
The abbess burns before her crucifix.
Art thou her votary? Dost thou contend
In struggle of the world to overcome
Reef perilous of many seas, and pierce
The vast, bare, main, unbroken, yet behind
Thy boat that with the setting of thy Sun
Hath visionary light upon its sail?
Oh, fortunate if thou hast her domain
Alone thy covenanted walk and shade;
One chosen from the multitude art thou,
That know not thy impending glory, a light
Making the dim path clear. It is for thee
The sun hath matins and the moon desires
The waters with her vespers; they respond
To her meek prayer, and follow her; the earth
Rolls round for thee, and all her joy is thine.

Hubert Church.