Sympathies With The Universal

The Angel of the Universe, for ever stands he there
Within the planet circle, the grand Hierophant of prayer;
His altar is the eternal sun, his light its flames of gold,
And the stars are his rosary, through the hands of angels rolled.
Down, down, throughout the Infinite, they’re falling, world on world;
Like coral beads from praying hands, the planet beads are hurled.
Thus, for unnumbered ages on their diamond string they run,
The circling planet rosary from Uranus to the Sun.
A rythmic music rises from that stately choral band,
Like a vibrant‐chorded lyre when struck by angel hand;
Pealing down the deep abysses, soaring up the infinite,
The grand hymn of the Universe is sounding day and night.
The grand cathedral chanting from the choir of the spheres,
Within the star‐roofed temple, tho’ unheard by mortal ears.
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Never prayer from lip ascendeth, or from spirit never groan,
But the flooding planet music bears it up before God’s throne.
Thus, ages after ages, will the cherub, earnest eyed,
Within the starry temple of the Universe abide,
Till hymns of spheral litanies, till solemn chants are done,
Then he’ll rise up from the altar within the glowing sun.
By his mighty pinions shaken, star falleth after star,
And he flings the planet rosary down from him afar;
As by an earthquake riven, temple, altar, falleth crush’d,
And the wailing planet music of the choral band is hush’d.
But he leads the praying spirits up from each burning world,
Till before the Throne in Heaven his radiant wings are furled.
There he resteth calm in glory, his holy mission done,
For within the Golden City, Altar, Temple, needeth none.

The Ideal.From Schiller

So wilt thou, Faithless! from me sever,
With all thy brilliant phantasy?
With all thy joys and sorrows never
For prayers or tears come back to me?
Oh, golden time of youthful life!
Can nothing, Swift One, stay thy motion?
In vain! thy waves, with ruthless strife,
Flow on to the eternal ocean.

Quenched are the glorious suns that glowing
Bright o’er my youthful pathway shone,
And thoughts the prescient heart o’erflowing
With burning inspirations, gone.
For ever fled the trusting faith
In visions of my youthful dreaming,
Reality has risen to scathe
Their all too fair and godlike gleaming.

As once with wild desire entreating,
Pygmalion the stone enclasped,
’Till o’er the marble pale lips fleeting
Life, hope, and passion glowed at last;

So, around Nature’s cold form weaving
My youthful arms, her lips I pressed,
Until her lifeless bosom heaving,
Throbbed life‐like on my poet‐breast.

An answering chord to passion’s lyre
Within her silent frame I woke;
She gave me back my kiss of fire,
And in my heart’s deep language spoke.
Then lived for me the tree, the flower,
The silver streams in music sang;
All soulless things in that bright hour,
With echoes of my spirit rang.

The while it sought with eager strife,
To clasp Creation with its arm,
And spring incarnated to life
In deed, or word, or sound, or form.
How glorious then the world upfolded,
Within its shrouding calyx seen!
How little when Time’s hand unroll’d it!
That little, oh! how poor and mean!

But, as the wayward, rippling motion
Of some bright rock‐stream gathers strength,
Until, in kingly waves of ocean,
It dashes down the height at length:
With storm, and sound, and power, crushing
The granite rock, or giant tree;
Proud in its chainless fury rushing,
To mingle with the rolling sea.

So, filled with an immortal daring,
No chains of care around his form,
Hope’s impress on his forehead bearing,
The youth sprang forth amid Life’s storm.

Ev’n to dim ether’s palest star
Wing’d fancy bore him on untiring;
Nought was too high, and nought too far,
For those strong pinions’ wild aspiring!

How swiftly did they bear him, dashing
Through all youth’s fiery heart could dare!
How danced before life’s chariot flashing
Bright aërial visions there!
Love in her sweetest beauty gleaming,
Fortune with golden diadem crown’d,
Truth like the glittering sunlight streaming,
Fame with her starry circlet bound!

Alas! those bright companions guided
Through only half of life’s dark way;
All false and fleeting, none abided
With the lone wanderer to stray.
First light, capricious Fortune vanished
Still love of lore consumed his youth;
But doubt’s dark tempest rose and banished
The sun‐bright form of radiant Truth.

I saw the sacred crown degraded,
Of Fame, upon a common brow
And, ah! ’ere yet life’s summer faded,
I saw Love’s sweetest spring‐flowers bow.
And ever silenter, and ever
Lonelier grew the dreary way
Scarce even could hope, with frail endeavour
Shed o’er the gloom a ghastly ray.

But who, amid the train false‐hearted,
Stayed lovingly with me to roam
Still from my side remains unparted,
And follows to my last dark home?

Thou, who with joys and sorrows blending,
Thy gentle hand to soothe each wound,
And bear life’s burdens, ever lending,
Thou, Friendship, early sought and found.

And thou, with Friendship wedded ever,
To calm the tempest of the soul
Exhaustless study! wearying never,
Creating while the ages roll.
Still the world‐temple calm uprearing,
Tho’ grain on grain thou can’st but lay,
And striking, with a ceaseless ceasless daring,
Time’s minutes, days, and years away.

Oh! for pinions to bear me sunward,
Ever and ever higher and onward;
With a glance of pride, and a wing of might,
Cleaving a path through the starry skies,
As the soul of a poet that heavenward flies,
Daring the depths of the Infinite.
Soaring and singing, still upward aspire,
Trailing a path through the crimson fire,
Bathing in oceans of purple and gold,
Treading the glory that men behold,
Like far‐off fields of Elysian light,
Where angels walk in radiance bright;
And never to rest till the goal is won,
And I furl my wings at the blazing sun
I alone, the Conquering One!
Then, said Love, I will lend thee mine;
And with strange enchantments, and many a sign,
He bound on me the wings divine.
Onward, onward—higher, higher,
Seemed to bear me those wings of fire;
Over the earth, the clouds, the moon,
Till the portals of Heaven glittered soon.
But, ah! too near the Sun of Truth
I passed, in the vain, proud spirit of youth;
And Love’s cement could not, tho’ strong,
Retain the glowing pinions on;
And they fell from my heart, and left it bare;
And so I sank down weeping there,
Into the fathomless sea of despair.

Long I lay in depth of dole,
Till a Voice like a trumpet stirred my soul:
My wings, it said, will bear thee far,
Over yon highest glittering star.
Glorious thoughts of high emprize,
These will lift thee to the skies,
Where the goal of glory lies.
Trust thy own undaunted will,
Let ambition’s spirit fill
All thy being, till no height
Seems too distant or too bright,
Through the stars of upper air,
For a soul like thine to dare.
Then upon my spirit came
Flooding glory, like a flame;
And I soared away from the mountain height,
Filled with a strange and mad delight:
Away, away, over march and fen,
Over the heads of my fellow‐men;
Hearing their choral praises rise,
As I soared away through the pathless skies,
In ever‐echoing symphonies.
But never a rest till I reached the star
Ambition had pointed out afar;
Alas! I knew not the dazzling ray
Of its glory was made for no mortal sight
And I sank back dazed with excess of light.
Still the proud wings bore me on,
I knew not whether, my sight was gone;
But I heard the tempest raging round,
And the rolling thunder’s terrible sound,
As if all fierce passions were unbound.
And the wings Ambition had tied so fast,
Were rent from my soul by the tempest blast;
And down I sank to earth again,
Like the dead eagle on the plain,
By the blasting lightning slain.

Then I heard a low Voice near,
Murmuring softly in my ear:
Shall I give thee wings of power,
Wings that will thy spirit dower,
With a strength that, angel‐wise,
Up will waft thee to the skies?
Passing, unscathed, the Sun of Truth,
Fatal to wings of Love in sooth;
Past the false but glittering light,
Whose glory dimm’d thy mortal sight;
On, through the trackless firmament,
Where the wings Ambition lent,
By the stormy winds were rent.
Onward still, and ever higher,
Past the solar central fire,
Past the hymning angel choir;
Till thou standest at the Throne
Of the great Eternal One.
Ever more to dwell on high,
Breathing like a harmony,
Through the unnumber’d worlds that lie
Far in yon blue Infinity
Wilt thou have these wings of mine?
Murmured that low Voice divine.
Yet my touch is cold and chill,
Horror through thy heart would thrill,
Pale dismay thy bosom fill,
Could’st thou see me face to face.
Never one of human race
Could that dreadful sight behold;
Mortal lips have never told,
All the terrors that abide,
All the gloom, yet kingly pride,
In the pale form at thy side.
Ha! the cold sweat on thy brow,
As I bind them on thee now:

Canst thou bear the touch of pain,
For the glory thou shalt gain?
Then I asked, with faltering breath
Thy name, dread Spirit? and he saith
I who give these wings am Death!

Shadows From Life

Vain the love that looketh upward; we may worship, may adore;
From the heart's o'erflowing chalice all the tide of feeling pour;
Dash our souls against the barriers that divide us from the shrine;
Fling the incense; pour libations—aye, of life's own ruddy wine;
But, the angel we gaze up to, calm as form of pictured saint,
From its golden mist of glory bendeth never to our plaint plant;
Heedeth not if crushed the temple where the altar fires burned,
For the doom runs through the ages—Love was never yet returned.
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Thus it was he loved a lady: never priest in Ispahàn
So adored when mount and ocean morning's flashing glories span.
Never sun‐god in its glory, marching stately from the east,
Crimson‐robed and cloud‐attended, heeded less the praying priest,
Than the lady that pale lover, while her lonely path she took
O'er the spirit's glittering summits, with her proud and queenly look;
Like that Roman Sybil bearing in her hands the mystic scroll,
And her large eyes looking onward where the future ages roll.

So, in lone and lofty beauty, she stood high above the world,
Never heeding, dashing neathward, how life's stormy billows curled;
As a pine upon the mountain, warring tempests raging round,
As an island peak of ocean, with the starry midnight crowned.
How could she who trod the pathway of the spirit's starry zones
Stoop to listen, bending earthward, to a lover's murmuring tones? —
While her ear was gathering music from Creation's golden chords,
List the human tears low falling, with the pleading human words?

And could he, who tracked the eagle borne on through cloud and light,
With her glorious regnant beauty filling soul and sense and sight,

Stoop to gaze on me, half‐blasted by fierce Passion's fiery skies,
Only Love, the love of woman, burning strangely in my eyes?
Oh! I've watched his glance dilating, as it rested where afar
Rose her lofty brow, as riseth the pale glory of a star;
Heard the world's praise hymning round her, saw his cheek of flushing pride,
Whilst I, writhing in heart‐agony, all calmly sat beside.

No rays of genius crowning, such as brows like hers enrol,
With no flashing thoughts, like North‐lights, rushing up my darkened darkned soul;
Waking but his earnest feelings with, perchance, my graver words,
While her spirit, like a tempest, swept the range of Passion's chords.
Oh, Woman! calmest sufferer! what deep agony oft lies
In thy low, false‐hearted laughter, glancing bright through tearless eyes!
And how little deemed he truly that the calmest eyes he met
Were but Joy's funereal torches, on Life's ruined altar set.

How could I light up his nature, with no glory in my own?
Soul like his, that throbbed and glittered in the radiance of her throne.
Bitter came the words of plaining:—Why should fate to me deny
All the beauty of the mortal, all the soul to deify?
What had she done, then, for Heaven, so that Heaven should confer
Every gift, to make man prostrate at her feet as worshipper?

Raised her high enough to scorn him—aye, to trample in disdain
On the heart flung down before her—heart that I had died to gain!

Trod his love down calmly, queenly, like a mantle 'neath her feet,
While with lordly spirit‐monarchs she moved proudly to her seat,
Grand as eagle in the zenith, with the noonday radiance crowned
Lone and icy as an Alp‐peak, with the circling glaciers round.
But an echo of all beauty through her fine‐toned spirit rang,
As a golden harp re‐echoes to each passing music clang,
Till in thrilling, clear vibrations rang her poet‐words in air,
Summoning souls to lofty duties, as an Angelus to prayer.

Oh! she flung abroad her fancies, free as waves dash off the foam
As the palm‐tree flings its branches on the blue of Heaven's dome,
With a genius‐shadow dark'ning in the stillness of her eyes
With her rainbow‐spirit arching half the circle of the skies,
Like a dark‐browed Miriam chanting songs of triumph on the foe,
As the rushing waters bore them to the Hades halls below,
Till up through the startled ether, down the far horizon's rim,
Clashed the swords of men in music to her lofty prophet‐hymn.

But no beauty thrill'd my nature, noon, or night or sunset skies;
For the only heaven I gazed on was the heaven of his eyes—

I'd have bartered Freedom, Justice, People's rights, or native Land,
All the island homes of Ocean, for one pressure of his hand;
Trembling, weak, a coward spirit, only wishing low to lie,
As a flower beneath his footstep, breathe my life out, and so die.
Yet he liked me—aye, he liked me—'twas the phrase—O saints above!
Cold and cruel sounds this liking from the lips of one we love.

They said that he was dying; could I longer silence keeping,
Only pour forth my deep passion in my chamber lonely weeping?
I reck'd not if 'twere womanly, cold convention little heeding,
But in mine his hand enfolding, said, with tearful raised eyes pleading
"She hath left you, left you lonely—sorrow's harvest death may reap;
I say not—love me; let me only watch here by you and weep! "
Then he said, his pale brow raising, with a faint, unquiet smile,
And with saddest eyes upgazing upon mine for all the while

"Sweetest friend, this sorrow‐blighted, faded form, and searéd heart,
To pale death, I fear, are plighted, yet 'twere bitter now to part;
For the chords of life are shaken by a sympathy so true,
And they tremble, in vibration, with a pleasure strange and new.

Still, no love‐dream may be cherished—ah! the time of love is o'er
Youthful heart, by passion blighted, can be kindled never more;
But if sympathy thou darest with a heart so wrecked as mine,
I will give thee back the rarest kindred souls can inter twine."

And so bending coldly, gently, on my brow he placed his lips;
While, I trembling in the shadow of that faint and brief eclipse,
Murmur'd:—"Tell me, tell me truly, do you love her then so well? "
And the hot tears, all unruly, through my twinèd fingers fell,
And I sank down there unheeding so of maidenhood or wrong,
While I told him, weeping, pleading, how I'd loved him, loved him long;
Seen my hopes all faded, perished, spread around in pale dismay,
Wept their pallid corses over—I alone, like Niobe!

Thank God, that no cruel scorning dimm'd his starry eyes divine,
Softly, tender, earnest gazing down the tearful depths of mine—
But with warmest splendours resting on the paleness of his cheek,
As the roseate tinted sunset on a snowy Alpine peak,
Bent he down upon my shoulder, murmuring loverlike and low,
While his breathing softly trembled on my pale lips lying so:

"Ah! such deep and tender loving hath recall'd me from the grave
And this heart with soft approving bids you keep the life you gave;

"Woman's soothing grief to lighten hath a mystic healing power,
And their sympathy can brighten man's most dark and destined hour.
Let the holy words be spoken that bind soul to soul for life;
Let me place the symbol token on this hand—my wedded wife! "
Oh! never yet did an angel breathe diviner words of bliss,
Never mortal heard evangel of a joy like unto this;
In my gladness, smiling, weeping, knelt I down before him there,
Blessing God with wild words leaping from my full heart's inward prayer;

And a glory, ruddy, golden‐hued, streamed down on me from high,
As with lifted hands enfolden gazed I up into the sky
Ever brighter, flashing downward, till my pained eyes ached with light,
And I turned from gazing sunward back to earth's more calm delight.
But—was it spell, or was it charm? —when I turned me to the room,
Fading seem'd the loved one's form, half in light and half in gloom
Throbb'd my brain in wild confusion, slowly died his words in air,
All around me seemed illusion, save that streaming golden glare.

On my fevered eyelids aching, madly press'd my hands I keep
Then arose like one awaking from a strange and magic sleep;
Round I gazed in wild amazement for the glorious light that shone,
Was morn streaming through my casement, but it shone on me alone!
The last cold words he had written still lay there beside my bed;
The last flowers he had given lay beside them, faded, dead;
Life's lonely bitter desolation was true, for aye, I deem,
But, joy's blessed revelations, that—oh, that—was but a dream!