Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 179. A Cosmic Outlook
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
179. A Cosmic Outlook
By Frederick William Henry Myers  (1843–1901)
  
BACKWARD!—beyond this momentary woe!—
  Thine was the world’s dim dawn, the prime emprize;
  Eternal aeons gaze thro’ these sad eyes,
And all the empyreal sphere hath shaped thee so.
Nay! all is living, all is plain to know!        5
    This rock has drunk the ray from ancient skies;
    Strike! and the sheen of that remote sunrise
Gleams in the marble’s unforgetful glow.
  Thus hath the cosmic light endured the same
    Ere first that ray from Sun to Sirius flew;       10
  Aye, and in heaven I heard the mystic Name
    Sound, and a breathing of the Spirit blew;
  Lit the long Past, bade shine the slumbering flame
    And all the Cosmorama blaze anew.
 
Onward! thro’ baffled hope, thro’ bootless prayer,       15
    With strength that sinks, with high task half begun,
    Things great desired, things lamentable done,
Vows writ in water, blows that beat the air.
On! I have guessed the end; the end is fair.
    Not with these weak limbs is thy last race run;       20
    Not all thy vision sets with this low sun;
Not all thy spirit swoons in this despair.
  Look how thine own soul, throned where all is well,
    Smiles to regard thy days disconsolate;
  Yea; since herself she wove the worldly spell,       25
    Doomed thee for lofty gain to low estate;—
  Sown with thy fall a seed of glory fell;
    Thy heaven is in thee, and thy will thy fate.
 
Inward! aye, deeper far than love or scorn,
    Deeper than bloom of virtue, stain of sin,       30
    Rend thou the veil and pass alone within,
Stand naked there and feel thyself forlorn!
Nay! in what world, then, Spirit, wast thou born ?
    Or to what World-Soul art thou entered in ?
    Feel the Self fade, feel the great life begin,       35
With Love re-rising in the cosmic morn.
  The inward ardour yearns to the inmost goal;
    The endless goal is one with the endless way;
  From every gulf the tides of Being roll,
    From every zenith burns the indwelling day;       40
  And life in Life has drowned thee and soul in Soul;
    And these are God, and thou thyself art they.

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