Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VII. Descriptive: Narrative
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VII. Descriptive: Narrative.  1904.
 
Descriptive Poems: I. Personal: Great Writers
Emerson
Sarah Chauncey Woolsey (Susan Coolidge) (1835–1905)
 
Concord

“FARTHER horizons every year.”
O tossing pines, which surge and wave
Above the poet’s just made grave,
And waken for his sleeping ear
The music that he loved to hear,        5
Through summer’s sun and winter’s chill,
With purpose staunch and dauntless will,
Sped by a noble discontent
You climb toward the blue firmament:
Climb as the winds climb, mounting high        10
The viewless ladders of the sky;
Spurning our lower atmosphere,
Heavy with sighs and dense with night,
And urging upward, year by year,
To ampler air, diviner light.        15
 
“Farther horizons every year.”
Beneath you pass the tribes of men;
Your gracious boughs o’ershadow them.
You hear but do not seem to heed
Their jarring speech, their faulty creed.        20
Your roots are firmly set in soil
Won from their humming paths of toil;
Content their lives to watch and share,
To serve them, shelter, and upbear,
Yet but to win an upward way        25
And larger gift of heaven than they,
Benignant view and attitude,
Close knowledge of celestial sign;
Still working for all earthly good,
While pressing on to the Divine.        30
 
“Farther horizons every year.”
So he, by reverent hands just laid
Beneath your layers of waving shade,
Climbed as you climb the upward way,
Knowing not boundary nor stay.        35
His eyes surcharged with heavenly lights,
His senses steeped in heavenly sights,
His soul attuned to heavenly keys,
How should he pause for rest or ease,
Or turn his wingèd feet again        40
To share the common feasts of men?
He blessed them with his word and smile
But, still above their fickle moods,
Wooing, constraining him, the while
Beckoned the shining altitudes.        45
 
“Farther horizons every year.”
To what immeasurable height,
What clear irradiance of light,
What far and all-transcendent goal,
Hast thou now risen, O steadfast soul!        50
We may not follow with our eyes
To where the further pathway lies;
Nor guess what vision, vast and free,
God keeps in store for souls like thee.
But still the sentry pines, which wave        55
Their boughs above thy honored grave,
Shall be thy emblems brave and fit,
Firm rooted in the stalwart sod;
Blessing the earth, while spurning it,
Content with nothing short of God.        60
 
 
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