Verse > Anthologies > George Willis Cooke, ed. > The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology
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George Willis Cooke, comp.  The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology.  1903.
 
Ideals
By David Atwood Wasson (1823–1887)
 
ANGELS of growth, of old in that surprise
Of your first vision, wild and sweet,
  I poured in passionate sighs
  My wish unwise
That ye descend my heart to meet,—        5
  My heart so slow to rise!
 
Now thus I pray: Angelic be to hold
In heaven your shining poise afar,
  And to my wishes bold
  Reply with cold        10
Sweet invitation, like a star
  Fixed in the heavens old.
 
Did ye descend, what were ye more than I?
Is ’t not by this ye are divine,—
  That, native to the sky,        15
  Ye cannot hie
Downward, and give low hearts the wine
  That should reward the high?
 
Weak, yet in weakness I no more complain
Of your abiding in your places;        20
  Oh, still, howe’er my pain
    Wild prayers may rain,
  Keep pure on high the perfect graces,
    That, stooping, could but stain!
 
Not to content our lowness, but to lure        25
And lift us to your angelhood,
  Do your surprises pure
    Dawn far and sure
  Above the tumult of young blood,
    And starlike there endure.        30
 
Wait there,—wait, and invite me while I climb;
For see, I come!—but slow, but slow!
  Yet ever as your chime,
  Soft and sublime,
Lifts at my feet, they move, they go        35
    Up the great stair of time.
 
 
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