Verse > Anthologies > Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. > The Little Book of Modern Verse
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Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. (1869–1948).  The Little Book of Modern Verse.  1917.
 
139. The Mystic
 
By Cale Young Rice
 
 
THERE is a quest that calls me,
  In nights when I am lone,
The need to ride where the ways divide
  The Known from the Unknown.
I mount what thought is near me        5
  And soon I reach the place,
The tenuous rim where the Seen grows dim
  And the Sightless hides its face.
 
  I have ridden the wind,
  I have ridden the sea,        10
  I have ridden the moon and stars.
  I have set my feet in the stirrup seat
  Of a comet coursing Mars.
  And everywhere
  Thro’ the earth and air        15
  My thought speeds, lightning-shod,
  It comes to a place where checking pace
  It cries, “Beyond lies God!”
 
It calls me out of the darkness,
  It calls me out of sleep,        20
“Ride! ride! for you must, to the end of Dust!”
  It bids—and on I sweep
To the wide outposts of Being,
  Where there is Gulf alone—
And thro’ a Vast that was never passed        25
  I listen for Life’s tone.
 
  I have ridden the wind,
  I have ridden the night,
  I have ridden the ghosts that flee
  From the vaults of death like a chilling breath        30
  Over eternity.
  And everywhere
  Is the world laid bare—
  Ether and star and clod—
  Until I wind to its brink and find        35
  But the cry, “Beyond lies God!”
 
It calls me and ever calls me!
  And vainly I reply,
“Fools only ride where the ways divide
  What Is from the Whence and Why”!        40
I’m lifted into the saddle
  Of thoughts too strong to tame
And down the deeps and over the steeps
  I find—ever the same.
 
  I have ridden the wind,        45
  I have ridden the stars,
  I have ridden the force that flies
  With far intent thro’ the firmament
  And each to each allies.
  And everywhere        50
  That a thought may dare
  To gallop, mine has trod—
  Only to stand at last on the strand
  Where just beyond lies God.
 

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