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Ernest: The Rule Of Right - Book I - Poem by Capel Lofft

BOOK I.
The storm is in the sky-drear is the night-
Distinction lost in darkness-starless all
Heaven and earth all gloom-dismal the air-
The wild winds wolf-like howling:-Ruin is rife
Havock and blinding uproar-Woe to thee,
Thou lonely wayfarer, in such a time-
A dreary time-forward-bestir thee-else doubt
Cowers darkling, and then sinks in deepest slough
Despondent-for not only is outward sense
Lost 'neath the dark night-pall-but e'en the heart
Steeped in the like sad shadows, is subdued
To the gloom surrounding it. Then shrinks the spirit,
Like a chill fog, back to its fen. On slumps
The tramper, with storm-blinded downcast eye,
Cumbered, not clad, with heavy rain-soaked clothes;
And as he turns his dripping head askance,
Looking for comfort where no comfort is,
E'en in the void and waste of wretchedness-
And feels himself alone, where save himself
None feels beside; unkindly all! then each
Stock and each stone he envies, for they feel
Nothing-'Would I were stubborn senseless too-
Weather and rough roads, so I'd weary out
Your spite-better the clay that cleaves to the feet
Than the mired man that tramples it.' So fared
That night, a lonely wanderer thro' the waste,
Frederick Hess, weary and woe begone,
And struggling hard to overmatch the storm.
But grief and mirth are bastards of the soul
O'erweening slips of idleness-weeds-no more-
Self springing here and there from the rank mind:
The wanton overshoots of that self-same
Will, whose right offspring and determinate end,
When wedded to its true belonging faith,
Are calmness, strength, surety, and happiness.
Away then, both alike:-the master mind
But slights ye, and with forward will confounds
Your weakling fancies-that is Truth confest-
And he, the wanderer, truly felt it so-
'Henceforth do I forswear it-this child's mood.
For I've a feat to do, and that same feat
Must be done strongly, or fail utterly:
For whoso begins faintly so forebodes
His end-from that half life a whole weak death,
With blood curdled to whey. Ah-womanish!
Nay-woman is far 'bove such mannishness.
Howe'er-my heart-beat not so bashfully-
But rouse thee-why should'st not. I trust in God,
Then wherefore fear?
He spoke; and as good cheer
Is oftentimes the herald of good chance,
So was it then; for starlike, far in the gloom,
Suddenly showed itself a cottage light
Coyly, its gleam now twinkling and now lost-
Yet, tho' faint flickering, to his weary sense
Livelier than the sun when liveliest,
And welcomer: long had he looked for it:
But the long grievousness of that delay
Was lost in gladness of the sudden sight
When first he saw it-for it spoke to his heart
Of fond hearth-faces and home-happiness:
Dear always-dearest to his plight forlorn.
He peered within-there, by the fire, she sate
Plying her needle-watching her boys play-
Rocking to sleep her cradle's fretful cry,
Or listening to the Gospel, slowly spelt
By her girl, yet so sped home, no less, to the heart;
With each word weighed in due deliberate wise;
So best, for unlearned faith. Meantime the blaze
Fitfully streaming from the high-piled heap
Kist each coy nook-enriching the walls round
With golden gladness. The old oaken chest
Was softened to a smiling radiance;
Crackled the logs, and the huge chimney growled,
As some churl mastiff o'er his mumbled bones,
Its gruff complacence: the familiar cat
Purred at her ease, basking with dozy eyes,
In the homely sunshine-all is happy here,
As Happiness herself had lit the lamp
And shed her soul around-all but the wife-
Yet sure she, too, compassed with ambient bliss,
Should feel its boon, and render up her heart
To that soft influence-e'en as her mate
Takes sorrow home, and mirrors on his soul
The sad surrounding sky-reason 'twere thus-
Prompture there is and argument enough
In such suggestion. Nature wills it so:
But thought must ever play its thralling tricks
Over our sense: marring its gushy joys
With a considerate grief; looking away
From bliss before her spread, and wilfully
Forth hastening to meet each threaten'd ill.
Herein the witless soul, the very child,
Whose heart is open like a flower in the sun
To every wooing kindly influence.
Taking the milk of nature soothly, as a babe,
Is wiser than the wisdom of the sage,
Studious oft times, but to sad prejudice:
Self-crossed with care: subliming his sound food
To curious vapour, and thence distilling tears:
Curst Alchemy-e'en as that loving wife
Misdeemed the happiness that wooed her there
In wholesome certainty and shapes of sense,
And sent her moody speculation forth
To dwell in the dark with goblins; till, in words
Most woful, she gave utterance to her thoughts:-
Where art thou, my husband?
And did'st thou not say
That sure I should see thee
Ere fall of the day?
And the sun is far down,
And high up is the moon,
And thou wide asunder;
Oh, turn to me soon.
Go tell me, my Lucy,
Look forth in the air:
Is the storm yet abroad?
Is the night foul or fair?
'Alas! dearest mother,
I looked but e'en now;
And yet the night vapour
Is chill on my brow:
And I marked, when I told thee,
Thy sighs and thy pain:
And why should I make thee
Such sorrow again?'
Ah! well hast thou said, child,
And so had I thought;
But we who feel sorely
Bethink us of nought,
And thou, darling baby,
How sadly would show
My widow'd dark weeds
With thine, white as snow!
Oh! grief is not only
In coldness and hate-
Love, too, hath its anguish-
And haply as great.
But list there-ah, vainly,
Would I hearken or see;
My heart beats so wildly-
Oh, Heaven, it is he.
The latch was raised, he entered, and they met:
But who shall lay such load upon his pen
To write their meeting? Happy they who feel,
And all as irksome he who strives to tell.
And they are breathing warm, soul into soul,
Confused in melting joy; locked in embrace,
As though they held their pledge of happiness
By that dear clasp. Where is it fled, the woe
That late overwhelmed them? Nay, what heightens bliss,
Call it not woe-for our ills do but wait
Upon our blessings, as the Ethiop
Swart Eunuch on the Sultan's sunless fair,
Making Grace goodlier. Praised be Providence
For such distinction of our darksome life
With gleams of joy and light constellative.
E'en so that loving pair were then made glad
From out their gloom: there stood the man, fordone
With toil, rain-reeking: from her eager embrace
Shrinking, bedraggled as he was-while yet
His heart up-yearned to meet it. 'Stay, dear soul,
Thy welcome is too warm-befits thee not,
Nursed as thou art in household tenderness,
To catch my damp contagion. So, one kiss,
Then to thy chair-for much have I to tell-
Would 'twere a traveller's tale; but, oh, it stormed,
As it would storm the mountains from their stand,
And drive the stars ablast-but I am here,
Here and with thee-this evens all my odds;
Out of a thousand griefs making one joy.
Why not? black billets these-but yet they burn
To a blaze. He took his wonted hearth-side seat:
But she, his watchful wife, for his health's sake
Forbad him. Nay, five minutes, 'tis soon done,
To put thy damp dress off, and clothe thee afresh
In comfort; therefore, having 'scaped one ill,
To risk another, and yet worse-ah, no.
All is set forth-thy fire alight for thee.
Go then, refresh thee, and so hither again
To our warm welcome. So, as the wife said,
The husband did-he strode wearily up,
Marking with miry blotch each several step,
To his bright bed-room. His broad frame he bared,
And doffed the clinging dankness of his clothes;
Next with the freshening water washed away
His cloggy faintness and foul weathery stains:
Then like the eagle plumed to a new youth
Came forth, cleanly arrayed, lightsome of step
And mood: as gladly toward him uprose
His conjugal dear comfort, beaming forth
From her countenance the fire's reflected light,
And yet a kinder radiance of her own,
Lit from the lamp of love. Then overflowed
Husbandlike rapture, joy in disarray,
Tearful endearment true-long ere he freed
His wife from the soft bond of his embrace,
And turned away, there to distribute his love
Where 'twas next due; redoubling kiss on kiss
'Mong prattling lips: asking and answering
All in one breath. Their mother left them awhile
(For womanhood is fitful, soon upstirred)
And knelt at her bedside, by her heart gush
O'erpowered, in deep pensiveness of prayer:
So her thanksgiving doubled to her heart
The blessing that it owned: then briskly uprose
For his meal's need-since not, till now, had she spread
Her board, as loath his presence to presume,
And rue him so, being absent, all the more.
For disappointment with a writhing scourge
Scores out the account of hope: and love forebodes
Gloomily-yes, where light is liveliest,
Shadows are darkest-
But now, all being ripe;
And fearful, wishful, hope substanced in bliss,
Her nimble spirit thro' each finger ran
O'erquickening the delay; serving each need
Fairylike, with her swift and noiseless skill-
The work true to the will. What tho' the fiend
Of gluttony bestrode not their slight board
With lubbard belly? Tho' no sweltering spilth
Were there to drown the spiritual soul,
And choke the drawling utterance-no lamps
Drunk with their oily swill, flaring away
Above the guests with spendthrift revelry;
Yet had they that one need for happiness-
Home-comfort. Smoothed awhile were elder brows,
And childish faces gazed upon the fire,
E'en as its fascination held them fast,
Smiling they knew not why-as the young smile,
And the old sigh. Anon the kettle breathed
Its invitation to familiar rites:
First softly murmuring with rise and fall
And pause, as who preludes before he plays:
Then blowing a more moody and deeper blast
As summoning its strength; till, in full heat,
Brooking no more delay, it boils amain,
Impatient, bellowing from the fiery goad.
The housewife heard, and from its flow half-filled
A silver vessel, wrought with costly skill,
Her grandsire's bridal gift, memorial
Of wealthier circumstance, and happier years,
Hopeless again-for youth's fresh joyance dies,
And dead revives not; but instead of it
The silver and the gold of eldership
With heartless mockery of leaf, tendril and grape,
Must stand for flowers and fruit: the sudden steam
Dimmed the bright vase; then in each cup she poured
The purifying influence, and from its nook
A chest produced, whose odorous potency
Within, o'erpowered its cedar scent without.
Its lid disclosed, the fragrant spirit out flew
With smell betokening taste-charily next
She doled the precious herbage, spoon by spoon,
And poured thereon the penetrative stream
Once and again-then a short pause, by talk
And mirth made shorter, ere she 'gan dispense
Her gracious drink: that gracious drink transfused
Into its cognate cups of far cathay
And blended there with cream, soft temperature,
Its virgin harshness lost in a gentler kind
Soothing the taste-nor needed urgency
To strain the willing welcome; as when erst
Mad revelry, with stress that more beseems
The hangman with his rope, or poisoned cup,
Would force its swilling potion down the throat
Of the abject drunkard-
Merriment was rife
'Neath that low thatch: the minutes winged their way
Like a glad dream-sportive as fairy sprites
Dancing at eve with feet that but provoke
The springy grass to rise against their tread,
And no trace left. Their joy blazed as a star,
Needing nought else to feed it: from each brow
To each reflected, glancing eye from eye,
Well did it lustre every nook of the room,
Fairer than that fire-gleam. Howled the fierce storm,
Shaking the stanchions, beating 'gainst the door,
Like to a maniac-aye, howl away,
In baffled fury; for that din the more
Endears our warm security within;
We hug our joy the closer; so awhile
Their mirth held holiday, for childish fun
Once kindled, lacks not fuel; but elderhood
Hath cares, and cares will cloud the brow, as then
That man's; and as the fire he gazed upon
Subsided from its blaze to a darkling heap,
So did his temperature and pitch of soul
Fall from its height: nor was she not aware,
That loving thoughtful wife, of what she saw,
But heeding all, spake not her sense of it:
Why should she? for that cloud, haply chance strayed
Across his light, may fleet as quickly away
And all be clear-so she essayed awhile
By tidings late and question manifold
Graced with her liveliest cheer to stir his faint
Spirit-but vainly-for the moody cloak
Will not disclose what it conceals within
To any lamp, tho' gently asking it-
She saw and felt, and thus in winning wise:-
'What ails thee Frederic, tell me now,
And why this darkness on thy brow
Some drooping sorrow mars thy cheer-
And I-must I sit idly here?
Scarce could that merry boy beguile
His father's sadness to a smile-
Nor the hearth blaze with cheerful play
Drive sorrow from thy brow away.
Oh thou art wont in yonder bed
On this fond heart to rest thy head.
E'en so, thy soul should now repose
On my true bosom all its woes.
For wherefore hast thou chosen me
Thy own dear wedded wife to be-
But that each one should so partake
All sorrow for the other's sake?
Thy hopes and fears, thy woe and weal,
Whate'er of burden thou dost feel,
It is not all thine own to bear,
But I thy consort claim my share:
Then be my husband now indeed,
And tell me all thy utmost need,
Confess thy sorrow in mine ear,
And be absolved from further fear-
That so our grief may be our gain;
'Tis sympathy best softens pain-
Such faith is the one needful thing:
The jewel of the marriage-ring-
But wherefore should I wander thus?
Misgivings ne'er belonged to us-
No-by this loving hearty kiss-
I know thee all too well for this-
And thou wer't e'en about to say
What evil chance hath fallen this day'-
'Yes, darling, thou hast judged me well,
And I was thinking how to tell-
But thou wast happy sitting here,
And loath was I to mar thy cheer-
Then for the cause-thou guessest true-
As he good faith is like to do,
Who reckons in a world like this,
Full often bale and seldom bliss-
Yes-the storm bellowed o'er my path
Like any other devil's wrath-
The weather fiends were all abroad-
But, t'was not that made drear my road.
No-it resides not in the air-
The mind alone makes foul or fair.
Aye-for home-kindness hath a charm
That freed me from all fear of harm-
And round about me played the while
This hearth's glad blaze and thy sweet smile.
That tramp, I knew would soon be past,
And all is well that's well at last-
But now, storm 'scaped as I sit here
With nought to cross, and all to cheer,
A darker cloud o'erhangs me still,
The shadow of a coming ill-
For know it-'tis thy right to hear-
Know what my forethought knew whilere.
Our shepherd hath sent down some new
Food for his silly sheep to chew-
A scroll beyond my shallow wi -
Must yet be scanned-a lawyer's writ-
Lawyer-and father too of it-
Aye faith-'tis e'en in such disguise
This dove descends upon our eyes,
As like a rascal robber kite
As ever stoop'd from Harzberg height-
But Hermann wherefore tarries he?
'Twas ne'er his wont so late to be-
Lucy my love, look up and say-
Was not his promise for this day?'
He asked, but she who should have answer'd him.
The simple maid, confused of faculty,
As one who flings away on sudden assault
His arms, so did she miss her woman's wit
Surprised to rosy shame-with lurking love
Beneath, heightening its hues-blushes and smiles
Vying with coyness-even such a look
As she who dares not own, nor will deny
Her bosom stamp, the seal by some sly shift
Tricked from her safeguard, and in sudden show
Urged home upon her conscience, must needs wear.
Wear it, as did the queen of beauty and love
Her meshy vest; captive confusedly,
Struggling to hide her heart-for so disguise
Doth ever hamper and perplex itself
In the folds of its own cloak: to speak she essayed-
But her soul's fluctuation swayed her words,
And found no utterance-she paused-and when
Her father with kind speech would fill that pause,
Another voice than his, dearer no less
To her ears, was suddenly heard at the door,
Loud shouting, craving housal from the storm.
'Twas he-Hermann indeed-his coming shone
Like a fresh billet flung among the brands,
Rekindling the spent fire-Oh then was haste
And pressure of the hands, and loving looks
Claiming like pressure for commutual lips.
Bliss not to be-for love hath oft hard toil
With nought but hope for his hire-out lengthening
The patriarch's service, tho' that patriarch's span
Of life, wherefrom all service draws supply,
Is shrunk from centuries to scores of years.
Sad minishment-so creeping age usurps
The hope of summer, and with evening shades
Wedlock is overclouded-drear the waste!
Where it spreads growth must wither, motherhood
Become a mummy, and the spring a pool.
With our whole manhood standing on one rank:
Till that one rank be dwindled to one man,
And death over his latest meal say grace-
No more-dying himself upon that word
For lack of food, and nought else left behind,
Only a black oblivion. They loved true,
That goodly pair; but, for they had no sure
Homestead, nor any hearth might serve their love
For his altar, therefore the pure flame they brought
Availed them not; and all they offered him
Being but sighs, and hopes, and promises,
He wafted coldly on them back again,
'Must wait and wither.' Yet that youthful guest
To any coarse beholder rating him,
Had no such fascination in his form
To fix love's eager and most restless eye
In starlike constancy, with devout grace
Subduing girlhood; chastening the rash blood
To brook delay, and dream the interval,
Trance-like, all else forgetful-a prize so high
As like that same star thro' the pitchy dark,
Makes itself present to the wishful sight,
Foreshortening widest distance. There he stood
Wearing no outward stamp of sovereignty,
Beyond his deep-eyed earnestness of look:
But radiance of beauty none; to light
The soul of love thro' the eye's sympathy;
Stately nor strong, but rather weakly of frame;
Early upstarted in his spindled growth,
And now a drooping stature; at each fair
And merrymaking clownish holiday
'Mong thousands you might watch him, and each one
For outward manhood, strength and gamesomeness,
Likelier than he: who had looked hastily,
Had sure so cheapened him-but shrewder eyes
Saw that within him which shone clearer forth,
And nobler, like the true adamant light,
From nearer view: that vase was highly wrought
And purely: and its inner lamp so bright,
As shed upon it a yet paler show
To seem more virgin-like and soft than it was.
And yet it was a burning, searching spirit,
Tho' heavenly and holy, very intense,
Like lightning-where it blazes, it may blast:
Take heed of it. Oh, 'tis a fearful thing
When the proud soul rebels 'gainst the poor bounds
That would confine it, and, for it disdains
To be barred by them, rather dares all risk
To die assailing them-such was his will-
For he was come of lowly fatherhood,
A tiller's son, if that be low, but no-
For such was our first father, and God so made
Mankind to win their bread by their hand-work,
And so content; no higher earthly aim-
Lest worldly wants hinder their one true hope,
Uprising evermore from lowly life
Toward Him in heaven.
A Ploughman was his sire.
But one not so enslaved unto his toil
As to bedrudge his spirit; not clod-bound
Serflike, but duly rendering to life's need
His daily toil, and what remained to him,
His freewill time, giving to Gospel-lore:
A glad soul-gift-there, where the heart-spring wells
The grass is green, promise luxuriates,
And produce outgrows hope. Thus his mind waxed
While his years wasted: and long-time between
His work and will he fairly halved himself;
To each its share; enduring what he must;
Enjoying what he might. But will is doom:
And this our drift of energy within,
Like the earth's bias, still, but very strong,
Speeds its own orbit-So, when vacancy
Gave his hope room, and rumour quoted him,
From every tongue, as worthy of his wish,
That wish came home to him-he left his plough
To crush its clods beneath another's sway;
And for his dull ox-team, plodding deep thro'
Clay-slow tilth-stiff hard drag-he undertook
A school of clownish urchins. There he sate
Above his rueful scholars, stern to see,
But lived among his books-forging quaint forms
In his quick fancy-unhinging much safe-framed
Knowledge, and on its staple, hanging instead
Queer mystic meanings: e'en as upstarts use,
Unwont to rule, and plagued with ceaseless itch
To prove their power; turning settlement
To stir and trouble, fain to catch with change
The learned and unlearned rabble's idle gaze,
And leaving nought, save their own sovereignty,
Free from their meddling shifts; so, from timefast
Roots, to bear fruit in State conservative.
Such was the sire, a maggot maze of brain,
But such was not the son. His father's mind
Belike, when darkling he began to be,
Was far in dreamland, for his body and soul
Owned not one parentage. Those black wrangling books
Were hateful to his taste-wormwood not food,
He left the dark forbidding tangled wood,
And strayed to look for flowers-many he found
Wreathed into garlands fair by Poesy;
And many an old romantic warlike tale
Or lay of love, set all his soul aglow
With wilful fire; such fuel did he find
In the ivy-grown old Hall, which mid yon woods
Proud as the family that dwelt in it
Looked down on its domain: but that house owned
A churlish lord; for high place draws not up
The soul to its height; and wealth doth oft belie
Most foully, with its own self-shaming dross
Its stamp of worldly worth. Young Hermann went
For helpmate to his sons, in games and books
Alike: to upbuoy their heaviness, and gar
Their slowness overtake the forward way,
And their fog catch his fire,-such their sire's hope.
And the likelihood took shape-their darkness oped
Its slumberous dullard eyes, and became dawn
Harbinger haply of day-meantime that boy
Wore the unhomelike habit of squire life,
And in its high-day brightness pranked himself
As tho' 'twere his own inbred quality,
No less than to the leopard its gay skin,
So born and so to die-alas for him
And his fond dream-build not your home on sands,
Your faith on fair show-
On a time it chanced
As streams run swifter and more rashly foam
Near the springhead-and so in boyish blood
E'en as the humour stirs doth the tongue speak,
And the hand strike-a fit of moodiness
Twixt him and one or other of his mates
Blew their old friendship up: to it they went
In blind outrageous onset. That old boast
Of blood is but a braggard-the ring knows
No scutcheons-in this truth was the young squire
To raw defeature battered and bruised so,
That his own mother met and knew him not.
Such was their boyish broil: but the sire's wrath-
That was the harder meeting. 'Thankless cur,
Starveling, and beggar's brat;' this and yet more
The din of oaths, and lash of vengeful whip,
So hailed they home the victor-against that storm
He stood like a dull tortoise in its shell,
Defying wrath to its worst-but the brunt o'er,
When stubbornness had sullenly stood out,
Then rage took turn-he hied him forth like a wild
Beast from its cage outbroken, knowing not
Nor heeding whither-only its keeper's rod,
And threats, and taunts, it brooked not: rather all
Wretchedness elsewhere, than a pamperling there.
So in self-curse he wandered, branded worse
Than was Cain's brow, a deep heart-brand: so out
Faced and out-dared the blast to sweep him away-
The worse the welcomer. Oh how he longed
To fling off manhood, and be the rover hawk
Wheeling o'er head; owning no lord, no friend,
Nor fellow.-For his home he loathed, and the tale
He must tell there of that most shameful scourge.
But where need rules, man must-and hunger of bread,
Starving the proud will, else untameable,
Beggared him back again-home he returned,
If home it be, where no home-feeling is,
And the hearth itself lacks heart: no kindred love,
No kindliness. The lying dream was gone
That tricked him with a thousand vanities,
And nothing true-only its shadow left,
And darkly 'neath that dreary pall he dwelt-
For so doth grief build its most lasting stern
Monuments on the ruins of our joy.
Thence was his life one silent shame-but what
Pride will not say, shrewdness oft sees; and one
There was, his father's kinsman, who loved him more
That others scorned him; such true inkling he had
Of what the hulking clowns but taunted and jeered-
The lad's lone spirit; meet for issues high,
But seeming all ungainly to such louts.
And so he pitied the sad soul-whose stream
Dammed to stagnation, bred but vapour and fog.
That man was but a needy shopkeeper
In a starved, hopeless town, dealing out slight
Wares, almanacks, childbooks, child-dainties, toys-
Traffic but trivial. With much ado
He hired young Hermann to that sleepy shop
With hope-no golden one-when it were void-
(And when was it aught else? for its busiest
Stir was from slumber to a rippling doze,
From dark to lighter shades of vacancy)-
Then to become its owner, and so confront
That owl-eyed Mandarin, partners in death-life,
And growing each day liker-
Hither he went
Not willingly, but wilfully aloof,
Hiding him in obscurity from scorn,
And making a monk's cell of that small shop,
For lonely stillness: but deep minds love shade.
And there his spirit brooded on its thoughts;
Of essences to make existences,
And strengthen shape to substance: happy, thrice
Happy, the youthful mind, with its food fresh
To the palate, and the palate to its food,
When love doth rule the feast: then what is great
And good draws to it the ingenuous soul
E'en as the waking eye yearns toward light
From slumber: then romance of olden tales,
Wars and distressful love, and chivalry
Victorious o'er caitiff villany;
These glories, and more glorious yet, the stern
Patriot memories of Greece and Rome,
Upstarting in fresh fervour from the page
Of the old Choeronean once again;
These did he worship more than man's faith should
His fellow-men; and in that love he read
The dawn into noon-day, the noon to deep
Night-for he felt his soul must wither else
Without such food. Then again suddenly
Would he roam forth, and be the boy once more,
Fresh with his dews of dawn-for in bygone
Time, from his childhood's earliest consciousness
His mould of mind was Nature's mystic cope.
The vault-like sky, and broken uplands wild
Where first he felt his being. Man is made
From what surrounds him; all that he beholds
Consciously: sense with spirit doth conspire
To his full meaning-so the mind grows on
Unheeding how or whence: and 'twas his hap
To feel and welcome heavenly influence
That raised him above earthly. Oft would he roam
Alone upon the mountain-top with God,
Free from contagion,-and with yearning faith,
As any babe upon its mother's breast,
Return to Nature-making hills and woods
His beloved comrades; poring o'er the brook
In its untrodden haunts, listening the voice
Of the wild flashing reckless waterfall.
Then would his heart bethrill him as he looked
Down from his loftiest pitch on other hills
O'ertopped by him-and shout and clap his hands,
Glad as a bird uncaged: here I am free,
But am I worthy of freedom? Then again
Would exultation sink to deep still thought,
And all he read of late, bright images,
Heavenly aspirations, all he saw
Around him, and felt fervently within,
Kindled his heart's glow-not as heretofore,
To boy-like wishfulness, but earnest will
Reforming life's frame. So he brooded o'er
Full many fancies, and brought one to form,
First obvious, last approved-the fellowship
Of strong men, lovers of their country, each
For all, and all for each,-a wise forecast,-
For union truly is strength. But where's the bond
Wherewith to bind so frowardly a will,
So manifold a being as man is?
Made up of countless contrarieties,
A thousand passions and perversities,
Depraving Reason: seek it not on earth:
The will that oversways all selfishness
Must needs be heavenly.
So was his own.
He lit his torch from heaven, and with its blaze
Kindled all hearts.-The poor look gladly on high;
Having scant comfort here-first one of them
And then another his endeavours drew-
Until he gathered them to hear his word,
A lowly congregation and a small,
But a godly preacher: from his truthful deep
Soul pouring out the light that Heaven poured in,
A glorious warm flood, a lustrous power;
Unworldly, even as it came from God-
Shaming all artifice as the sun shames
Those earthly lights that shine only at night,
And thro' the darkness. Ah! but they were blest
The souls that waited on young Hermann then,
To drink his doctrine-nay-to bathe their life
In waters welling from that rock of faith
Whence he drew daily; and he wrought on them
As the light works abroad, with no far-fetched
Book-learning, or new fangling nicety,
By Truth and earnestness-reaching the head
Thro' the heart. No gnawing fears, no stones for bread:
Leaving deep lore in its dark holes to grub,
Scattering, like chaff, high clouds. Faith, Freedom, and Love,
These three he preached, with the Gospel for their code.
So disentangling souls; clearing God's Word
From knots and snares by priestcraft set in it.
Thence he beheld in earth one commonwealth
Level as ocean. Truly he preached with power-
And wondrously that power waxed and took wing,
An angel of good tidings: for he hoped
To win all hearts with peace and gentleness.
That even Privilege, having the hope
Of better things, graced with a godlier grace,
Would feel its excess worthless, strip its silly
Unmanly lendings off, hold fellowship
On a free level, and forgetting old dreams
Forego itself. Alas! fond Faith, thou'rt but
A saintly dove against the serpent guile
That doth infest thee-yet it harms thee not:
For 'tis not they who trick thee win at last,
But thou who art confessed from 'mid their tricks
An upright godly Truth: Such was the man
Who cheered himself by that familiar fire,
Hermann, a kingly soul-for whom a throne
Of loftier verse than this were worthier;
There to hold state, and rule immortally
Over the farthest realms of memory;
Throughout Time's shoreless tract-Oh! be his soul
The spirit of this song, e'en as this song
Is but a fainter echo of his fame.
There was security and plenteous cheer,
The blaze of the oak-fire, and loving hearts
To make its warmth yet brighter. Sure if joy
Be not found here, 'tis nowhere else on earth-
Nay then-in heaven alone go look for it-
For here they feel it not-in spite of glad
Seemings outside, the gnawworm works within-
For the sad tale their father had just told
Of the unlovely law, troubled them so,
That they must look away from their home-bliss
To scan the skyline for a far-off woe.
That dismal day, their meeting brighten'd it,
But sad its parting gloom-Oh had that night
Instead of sweeping her skirt over them,
And so disclosing them again to day
And daily care, hurried them sheer away
Enveloped in her mantle's dreamless fold,
To go with her revolving wheel along,
Nor see the sun once more-so had it been,
Happier were they-for now-e'en sleep, with dreams
Of upstart trouble, racked them-yet no less
The day-spring bright as ever, dawned abroad;
As if each thought of darkness to drive off
With darkness self-so loving Nature would-
But we will not. Alas! that wilful man
Should rather choose strangely to fret himself
Than love his Maker: and in that one love
Forget all hints of spite and hatefulness.


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Poems About Faith

  1. 1. Ernest: The Rule Of Right - Book I , Capel Lofft
  2. 2. My Faith , Aalok Sensharma
  3. 3. To Walk On Water , Little Eagle McGowan
  4. 4. Trees: Faith Awakens , Roann Mendriq
  5. 5. Jesus' Nickname Is Jimmy Mac , AaI Harvey
  6. 6. To Faith , George Egba
  7. 7. Fruit Of The Spirit , john raymond
  8. 8. Ernest: The Rule Of Right - Book Vii , Capel Lofft
  9. 9. That Little Hole , Colin Coplin
  10. 10. I Am , Jeffrey Mitchell
  11. 11. Faith , Aniruddha Pathak
  12. 12. Died In Faith , kyvin nash
  13. 13. In That Moment , Chistopher Rog
  14. 14. Faith , Grayson Givens
  15. 15. The Faith Of A Non Believer, Left By The.. , michelle al G
  16. 16. Hope, Love, Faith , Nichole Pettit
  17. 17. What If Faith Spoke? , C H Sund
  18. 18. Love Hope And Faith , Melissa Walden
  19. 19. Stance On Faith , Oyekake Satty (O. S.) Joshua
  20. 20. Stolen , Maurice Fields
  21. 21. ***medieval Philosophy: Advent Of Christ.. , RAJ NANDY
  22. 22. Battles , jolene fowler
  23. 23. The Believer's Jointure : Chapter Ii. , Ralph Erskine
  24. 24. Faith , Caroline Fry
  25. 25. Faith , Caroline Fry
  26. 26. Faith , Caroline Fry
  27. 27. Examine Yourselves, Whether Ye Be In The.. , Mo...
  28. 28. Hope And Faith , Gita Ashok
  29. 29. Man Thou Art Weak , itumeleng maepa
  30. 30. Faithful , Jessica Smith
  31. 31. Destruction , Jade Leven
  32. 32. Soul, Heart & Spirit , dwi rostia
  33. 33. [3] Engraved On The Canvas Of Time [2] , Mahendra Bhatnagar
  34. 34. Rita's Wrath , Howard Kern
  35. 35. Faith No More , Sean Toland
  36. 36. Faith , Adrianna Rorie
  37. 37. By Their Faith Driven , Carolyn Ford Witt
  38. 38. Faithless , dorian suchelle
  39. 39. Faith , XXX Vlorror
  40. 40. Faith , Under A Microscope
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