Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

(20 April 1826 - 12 October 1887 / Stoke-on-Trent / England)

A Question


I.

SOUL, spirit, genius--which thou art--that whence
I know not, rose upon this mortal frame
Like the sun o'er the mountains, all aflame,
Seen large through mists of childish innocence,
And year by year with me uptravelling thence,
As hour by hour the day-star, madest aspire
My nature, interpenetrate with fire
It felt but understood not--strong, intense,
Wisdom with folly mixed, and gold with clay;--
Soul, thou hast journeyed with me all this way.
Oft hidden and o'erclouded, oft arrayed
In scorching splendors that my earth-life burned,
Yet ever unto thee my true life turned,
For, dim, or clear, 't was thou my daylight made.

II.

SOUL, dwelling oft in God's infinitude,
And sometimes seeming no more part of me--
This me, worms' heritage--than that sun can be
Part of the earth he has with warmth imbued,--
Whence camest thou? whither goest thou? I, subdued
With awe of mine own being--thus sit still,
Dumb, on the summit of this lonely hill,
Whose dry November-grasses dew-bestrewed
Mirror a million suns--That sun, so bright,
Passes, as thou must pass, Soul, into night:
Art thou afraid, who solitary hast trod
A path I know not, from a source to a bourne,
Both which I know not? fear'st thou to return
Alone, even as thou camest, alone, to God?

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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