Scene—A level space in the evening clouds of heaven, above the Golden Gate, surrounded by, and having above them—mass back of mass—the purple and gold clouds of heaven; and within them, on the cloud-plain, and composed of their substances, tents. A throne, wrought of the hues of the rainbow, upon which rests a spirit named ELMO. Below, the uplifted heads of the Gate that opens upon the ocean Pacific.
ETHERIA—Beloved commanding spirit, I have obeyed,
In all respects, your dear commands.
Seizing my silvery staff, and placing therein
Sweet thoughts to be attracted westward
Around the world, back to those other thoughts
Held by you here, I sped upon my mission.
ELEDAH—While that abomination we have seen
On Earth, that's desolation, also have we viewed
Fire once more brought; the star once more ablaze;
Forth from the act that, through the ages ages
Each man, when he will know the doctrine, may do;
By which each man, who loves, more than the ropes
Of wealth, or goods, or place, or men's esteem,
Wisdom and understanding and more life,
May break those bonds that hold him to the rock
Till he be son of man. So, now come we here
To note what, by the law, must follow after.
Of the revolving light from sun to earth.
I passed the point those rays opposed do cross:
And sitting alone upon
The foremost promontory of the sun
Watched I the silver earth as it revolved,
Yet learned but little. But I learned thus much:
That earth, whereon they dwell, by their own acts
Right faith being of intelligence the highest;
This builds the frame: things come according to it.
And only faith in all brave ones gone from them.
As never dead, will turn to naught the mist,
And have it gone, that's been the wall between us.
That world, below, is built as is right faith, and grows
According to that faith. Men's disbelief
In us, it is, that still builds up the wall
That hides us from them.
Then (as a heart is curved) their acts from it
Are prompted: That their thoughts descend from them
Into their earth, to from it crying come—
There from, new living. The form of it proclaimed—
Spoken by dazzling voices; glittered; outspoken,
Down from high heaven and up. And this saw I:
The motive power that moves the leaves apart,
From bud of rose to bloom—
The meditation in a woman's heart.
And looking to see their cause, within the forests
The lotus flowers that bloom, that, unseen, fade,
Saw I moved from the meditations prime
Of those saint's hearts whereof the world knows not;
The cobra's life move from a man's heart, long
On murder bent; the shylock nature feeding
Into the boa-constrictor's form its force
That gives it life to crush. The skylark's song
Is rapture; borne from a new thought, caught
To period put to search that did seem endless.
ELMO—Since this is, then, a real race indeed,
And not—what once we thought—but plants that move,
'Twere well for us to better their condition.
Has any other of this company
Brought knowledge of this odd, discovered race?
ARNO—I have, for fifteen circlings of the sun,
Dwelt opposite to him in midnight darkness;
And not being able to go close to earth,
Have caused life-informed force to obey my orders
And fetch me information of these creatures.
It told me that these beings, through the night,
Seem in a state of death; but come to light
Out-wakened by the wave of harmony
The sun plays on his rolling lyre of earth.
I then learned that they're often much tormented
By growths of contest, whose poor lives are measured,
And other devilish sprites
That, like the skates and mudfish of the ocean,
Dwell at the bottom of the seas of air.
Although 'twas hard to learn, have I discovered—
Through pictures shown to me of these same mortals—
In every one is there the central good;
Which good will, as a rose, burst into bloom
Beneath the glowing light that looks to find it.
I saw, with all, that love outlasted death;
The strength of mother's love, that's not of earth.
This many knew not: That when, from their bodies
Themselves would be withdrawn, in death or sleep,
Their thoughts will (in those states) for them become
(To all whose lives those same thoughts form)
One visible and solid habitation; one, though, unseen,
Invisible to others having thoughts
Less rare than are their own. Those having thoughts unlike:
The kind the brutal see; but they, to them, live blind.
Methinks 'twould be a pleasant thing indeed,
To help them lift such clouds as hide their light
And hold them blind and dead.
ELMO—It shall be done. Now, for the present time,
We'll have our workmen, in their shops of air,
So to combine and forge the elements
That the bright song of twilight shall be formed
Ere sinks the sun to his cloud-curtained bed.
And, to that end,
Let them combine the light that's shot from Venus;
The color of the ocean's wave by moonlight,
Above the violet and below the red;
The light reflected from the ocean's teeth
When angrily she gnaws the edge of earth;
The dancing atmosphere of summer evenings;
The dizzy-moving borealis light;
Weird shadows of the ancient gloomy forests;
The lulling sound of dripping unseen waters—
Above their treble or below their bass;
Then touch all with the breath of summer air—
More delicate than the sense of man can reach—
When every flower is decked in glittering dew—
Its gaudy dress worn on that grand occasion
When's heard the bow of promise, the storm being o'er.
These sights and sounds our spread, our feast this night.
More from James Allen
James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.