Verse > Anthologies > George Willis Cooke, ed. > The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology
George Willis Cooke, comp.  The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology.  1903.
The Ideal Wins
By George Shepard Burleigh (1821–1903)
THOUGH hunger sharpens in the dream of food,
And thirst burns fiercer for the visioned brook,
Our souls are drawn the way our longings look,
And our ideal good is actual good.
The heavens we win are more than we pursued;        5
For the great Dream has cheapened the small nook
That once for all the rounded world we took,
And our sect sinks in boundless Brotherhood.
By noble climbing, though the heavens recede,
Broader expands the horizon’s girdling wall;        10
Through misty doubts we reach the sunnier creed,
And, nearer heaven, see earth a fairer ball;
And souls that soar beyond their simple need,
To grasp the highest, are made free of all!

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