Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
420. Inspiration
 
By Samuel Johnson
 
 
LIFE of Ages, richly poured,
Love of God, unspent and free,
Flowing in the Prophet’s word
And the People’s liberty!
 
Never was to chosen race        5
That unstinted tide confined;
Thine is every time and place,
Fountain sweet of heart and mind!
 
Secret of the morning stars,
Motion of the oldest hours,        10
Pledge through elemental wars
Of the coming spirit’s powers!
 
Rolling planet, flaming sun,
Stand in nobler man complete;
Prescient laws Thine errands run,        15
Frame the shrine for Godhead meet.
 
Homeward led, the wondering eye
Upward yearned in joy or awe,
Found the love that waited nigh,
Guidance of Thy guardian Law.        20
 
In the touch of earth it thrilled;
Down from mystic skies it burned:
Right obeyed and passion stilled
Its eternal gladness earned.
 
Breathing in the thinker’s creed,        25
Pulsing in the hero’s blood,
Nerving simplest thought and deed,
Freshening time with truth and good,
 
Consecrating art and song,
Holy book and pilgrim track,        30
Hurling floods of tyrant wrong
From the sacred limits back,—
 
Life of Ages, richly poured,
Love of God, unspent and free,
Flow still in the Prophet’s word        35
And the People’s liberty!
 

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