Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
III. Faith: Hope: Love: Service
Hope
Thomas Campbell (1777–1844)
 
From “The Pleasures of Hope” 1

  UNFADING Hope! when life’s last embers burn,
When soul to soul, and dust to dust return!
Heaven to thy charge resigns the awful hour!
O, then thy kingdom comes! Immortal Power!
What though each spark of earth-born rapture fly        5
The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye!
Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey
The morning dream of life’s eternal day,—
Then, then, the triumph and the trance begin,
And all the phœnix spirit burns within!
*        *        *        *        *
        10
  Daughter of Faith, awake, arise, illume
The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb;
Melt, and dispel, ye spectre-doubts, that roll
Cimmerian darkness o’er the parting soul!
Fly, like the moon-eyed herald of Dismay,        15
Chased on his night-steed by the star of day!
The strife is o’er,—the pangs of Nature close,
And life’s last rapture triumphs o’er her woes.
Hark! as the spirit eyes, with eagle gaze,
The noon of Heaven undazzled by the blaze,        20
On heavenly winds that waft her to the sky,
Float the sweet tones of star-born melody;
Wild as that hallowed anthem sent to hail
Bethlehem’s shepherds in the lonely vale,
When Jordan hushed his waves, and midnight still        25
Watched on the holy towers of Zion hill!
*        *        *        *        *
  Eternal Hope! when yonder spheres sublime
Pealed their first notes to sound the march of Time,
Thy joyous youth began,—but not to fade.
When all the sister planets have decayed;        30
When wrapt in fire the realms of ether glow,
And Heaven’s last thunder shakes the world below;
Thou, undismayed, shalt o’er the ruins smile,
And light thy torch at Nature’s funeral pile.
 
Note 1. This poem was written when the author was but twenty-one years of age. [back]
 
 
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