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We find within these souls of ours
Some wild germs of a higher birth, Which in the poet's tropic heart bear flowers
Whose fragrance fills the earth.
Within the hearts of all men lie
These promises of wider bliss,
hours like this.
All that hath been majestical
In life or death, since time began, Is native in the simple heart of all,
The angel heart of man.
And thus, among the untaught poor,
Great deeds and feelings find a home, That cast in shadow all the golden lore
Of classic Greece and Rome.
O, mighty brother-soul of man,
Thy skyey arches with exulting span
All thoughts that mould the age begin
Deep down within the primitive soul, And from the many slowly upward win
To one who grasps the whole :
In his broad breast the feeling deep
That struggled on the many's tongue, Swells to a tide of thought, whose surges leap
O'er the weak thrones of wrong.
All thought begins in feeling, — wide
In the great mass its base is hid, And, narrowing up to thought, stands glorified,
A moveless pyramid.
Nor is he far astray who deems
That every hope, which rises and grows broad In the world's heart, by ordered impulse streams
From the great heart of God.
God wills, man hopes : in common souls
Hope is but vague and undefined,
A blessing to his kind.
Never did Poesy appear
So full of heaven to me, as when I saw how it would pierce through pride and fear
To the lives of coarsest men.
It may be glorious to write
Thoughts that shall glad the two or three High souls, like those far stars that come in sight
Once in a century ;
But better far it is to speak
One simple word, which now and then Shall waken their free nature in the weak
And friendless sons of men ;
To write some earnest verse or line,
Which, seeking not the praise of art,
Shall make a clearer faith and manhood shine
In the untutored heart.
He who doth this, in verse or prose,
May be forgotten in his day, But surely shall be crowned at last with those
Who live and speak for aye.
God sends his teachers unto every age,
every race of men, With revelations fitted to their growth And shape of mind, nor gives the realm of Truth Into the selfish rule of one sole race : Therefore each form of worship that hath swayed The life of man, and given it to grasp The master-key of knowledge, reverence, Enfolds some germs of goodness and of right; Else never had the eager soul, which loathes The slothful down of pampered ignorance, Found in it even a moment's fitful rest.