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Yet gifts should prove their use:

I own the Past profuse

Of power each side, perfection every turn:

Eyes, ears took in their dole,

Brain treasured up the whole;

Should not the heart beat once "How good to live and

learn ?"


Not once beat "Praise be Thine!

I see the whole design,

I, who saw Power, see now Love perfect too:

Perfect I call Thy plan :

Thanks that I was a man!

Maker, remake, complete,-I trust what Thou shalt do!"

For pleasant is this flesh;

Our soul, in its rose-mesh


Pulled ever to the earth, still yearns for rest:

Would we some prize might hold

To match those manifold

Possessions of the brute,-gain most, as we did best!

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I strove, made head, gained ground upon the whole !”

As the bird wings and sings,

Let us cry "All good things

Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, than flesh helps soul !"

Therefore I summon age

To grant youth's heritage,


Life's struggle having so far reached its term:

Thence shall I pass, approved

A man, for aye removed

From the developed brute; a God though in the germ.

And I shall thereupon

Take rest, ere I be gone


Once more on my adventure brave and new:

Fearless and unperplexed,

When I wage battle next,

What weapons to select, what armour to indue.


Youth ended, I shall try

My gain or loss thereby ;


Be the fire ashes, what survives is gold :
And I shall weigh the same,

Give life its praise or blame :

Young, all lay in dispute; I shall know, being old.


For note, when evening shuts,

A certain moment cuts

The deed off, calls the glory from the grey :

A whisper from the west

Shoots "Add this to the rest,

Take it and try its worth: here dies another day."

So, still within this life,


Though lifted o'er its strife,

Let me discern, compare, pronounce at last,

"This rage was right i' the main,

That acquiescence vain :

The Future I may face now I have proved the Past."

For more is not reserved


To man, with soul just nerved

To act to-morrow what he learns to-day:

Here, work enough to watch

The Master work, and catch

Hints of the proper craft, tricks of the tool's true play.

As it was better, youth


Should strive, through acts uncouth,

Toward making, than repose on aught found made;

So, better, age, exempt

From strife, should know, than tempt

Further. Thou waitedst age; wait death nor be afraid !

Enough now, if the Right

And Good and Infinite


Be named here, as thou callest thy hand thine own,
With knowledge absolute,

Subject to no dispute

From fools that crowded youth, nor let thee feel alone.

Be there, for once and all,


Severed great minds from small,

Announced to each his station in the Past!

Was I, the world arraigned,

Were they, my soul disdained,

Right? Let age speak the truth and give us peace at



Now, who shall arbitrate ?

Ten men love what I hate,

Shun what I follow, slight what I receive;

Ten, who in ears and eyes

Match me: we all surmise,

They, this thing, and I, that: whom shall my soul

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Called "work," must sentence pass,

Things done, that took the eye and had the price ;

O'er which, from level stand,

The low world laid its hand,

Found straightway to its mind, could value in a trice:

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