Why art thou weary, oh my soul! cast down,
Sighing and longing so to end the strife?
Where now the joys transcendent thou hast known,
Those wondrous beauties of the Higher Life?
Why dwells the cast of sorrow on thy face?
Why hast thou lost the light of thy Ideal?
Wearied of pressing upward to the place
Of Insight, where the Spirit doth reveal
Beauty and Wisdom more than flesh can bear,
Hope thou in God; He will not fail to send
The light once more, and lead thee on to where
In highest union, all thy strivings end.
Thou knew'st, ere borne on Aspiration's wings,
He, who has called thee, would not deign to share
His Kingdom with the Lord of lower things.
Mammon and God may not be worshiped there.
Ere from the Casket of the Hidden Life
Thou may'st receive the Pearl of Greatest Price,
Well knewest thou that Patience, born of strife,
Must lead thee up on steps of sacrifice.
But such the light that beamed upon the way.
The things thou severedst with were scarcely loss.
The glory of the Ideal seemed to lay
A flowery garland round the bitter cross;
And yet how soon the rosy petals fell,
And lo! the garland was a thorny crown
The King of heaven lowered; so the spell
Of thine enchantment vanished. Then, cast down,
The soul that flourished under sunlit skies,
Not knowing this the appointed way that she
Must often pass, in bitter anguish cries—
"My Ideal, why hast thou forsaken me?
"Why bring to nothingness the things I loved?
"Why shine within me with such wondrous light?
“Caught up and whirled away and greatly moved,
“Why am I left alone in depths of night?
"How many friends beloved I have known
"Who started with me toward the Great Ideal,
"Now have they left me all, and I alone
"Am left to weave the Dream into the Real;
"Why longer struggle? Why not seek for rest?
“Strive thou in ease and comfort to forget—
"Forget the lofty flights, and build thy nest
“On branches growing near the ground, and set
"And hold thy pinions folded to thy side.
“Yes, the fair dream is shattered; it would seem
"T'were better now to float down with the tide,
”For nought avails to fight against the stream.”
But cease, my saddened thoughts, and upward turn
To where the cloud is breaking even now.
This is thy Discipline. Thou need'st to learn,
Ideals are not Attainment. Thou must bow
To earth again, for thou hast yet to find
That all these passing hours of gloom or light
Are needful to thy training, but behind
Them all, untouched, stands the Great Law of Right,
And only those who in the darkest hour
Can hold the memory of the former light,
Cherish the faded vision, though its power
Be gone, and faintly trust in dead of night.
These, only these, shall find the better part,
Shall blossom once again in light of day,
Feeling the warm blood flow back to the heart,
Shall step with strength renewed upon the way.
Tis in the darkness, spirits who are weak
Turn back to Earth again to find their peace,
Scaling no more the heights so lone and bleak,
But seek in sheltered valleys rest and ease.
But thou art strong. Take courage; by the stress
And discipline of life thou'lt learn at last
That the Great Sovereign Law of Righteousness
Is all in All, and thou wilt hold it fast.