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Such music while I lived, even though it brought
Of ignorant hands - all which I might have known
To climb upon the icy ledge, and fall
Where other footsteps dare not. So I knew
For to a pine
They bound me willing, and with cruel stripes
But from my blood
Which smite the singer still. Not only those
they are blest, indeed,
Whate'er the world has held but those who hear
Some fair faint echoes, though the crowd be deaf,
Nor over boldness fail they who have striven
To have seen white Presences upon the hills,
So spake he, and I seemed to look on him,
FROM THE ODE OF LIFE.'6
THE ODE OF EVIL.
OH, who shall sing of Life and not of Ill?
The essence of our will
Is fullest liberty to stray,
From out the green and blessed way,
Amid the desert wastes of drought and death.
This is the power that makes us free,
This of our Being is the penalty;
And maybe the Eternal Will,
Clothing itself with form to bid Creation be,
And subjected to Law the Majesty
Which all the universe of space did fill.
The conflict of great laws pervading space;
Which keeps the creature in its ordered place.
any hand divine should e'er withdraw
The fixed coercive potency of Law,
Surely the universe of things would fade
Where Law is, there is Good,
And freedom to obey or to transgress;
Else 't were no Law, but, weaker far and less,
If one created being might not the thing it would.
Young lives spring up and fade,
Wither and are opprest,
Toil takes the world, and pain,
And all the things that God has made
Travail and groan and fain would be at rest,
And Wrong prevails again.
And we we lift a hopeless eye
Up to the infinite sky,
Mourning the Ill that is, and shall be yet,
Weak creatures who forget
The very law and root of Life,
That it is sown in pain and nursed in woe and strife.
The evil blight of war
Torments the race from age to age,
And man slays man through all the years that are,
And savage lust and brutal rage
Deform this glorious heritage of earth.
We shudder and grow faint,
Knowing the far fair dreams of seer and saint
Show thin and little worth.
The young life, rising, sinks in sloughs of sense,
And wanders and is lost.
Alas! for days of young-eyed innocence.
Alas! for the calm hours ere, passion-tost,
The young soul grew, a white flower sweet and pure.
Yet this is sure,
That not in tranquil zones of endless calm
Springs up the victor's palm,
But blown by circling storms which blot the sky,
Nor fitting were it to the eye
Always to look upon a cloudless sun,
Grown blind with too much light before the journey done.
The victories of Right
Are born of strife.
There were no Day were there no Night,
Nor, without dying, Life.
There only doth Right triumph, where the Wrong
Is mightiest and most strong;
There were no Good, indeed, were there no Ill.
And when the final victory shall come,
Burst forth, oh Awful Sun, and draw Creation home!
Not within Time or Space
Lines drawn in opposite ways grow one,
But in some Infinite place
Before the Eternal throne;
There, ways to-day divergent, Right and Wrong,
Fused, joined, and grown complete,
The circle rounds itself, the enclosing wall
Of the Universe sinks down, and God is all in all !
FROM THE LIGHT OF ASIA.'7
FROM BOOK IV.
THE purdah hung,
Crimson and blue, with broidered threads of gold,
Where the foot fell as though it trod on piles
Wrought in skilled work of lazulite and jade,
Through which there breathed, with moonlight and cool airs,
Sweeter than shed from those fair presences
Within the place the beauteous Sâkya Prince,
And hers, the stately, bright Yasodhara.
Half risen from her soft nest at his side,
The chuddah fallen to her waist, her brow