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Fest. But do not cut yourself from human weal? You cannot thrive-a man that dares affect

To spend his life in service to his kind,
For no reward of theirs, nor bound to them
By any tie; nor do so, Aureole! No-

There are strange punishments for such. Give up (Although no visible good flow thence) some part Of the glory to another; hiding thus,

Even from yourself, that all is for yourself. Say, say almost to God-"I have done all "For her not for myself!"

Par.

And who, but lately

Was to rejoice in my success like you?
Whom should I love but both of you?

Fest.

I know not

But know this, you, that 'tis no wish of mine
You should abjure the lofty claims you make;
Although I can no longer seek, indeed,
To overlook the truth, that there will be
A monstrous spectacle upon the earth,
Beneath the pleasant sun, among the trees:
-A being knowing not what love is. Hear me !
You are endowed with faculties which bear
Annexed to them as 'twere a dispensation
To summon meaner spirits to do their will,
And gather round them at their need; inspiring
Such with a love themselves can never feel-
Passionless 'mid their passionate votaries.
I know not if you joy in this or no,

Or ever dream that common men can live
On objects you prize lightly, but which make.
Their heart's sole treasure: the affections seem
Beauteous at most to you, which we must taste
Or die and this strange quality accords,
I know not how, with you; sits well upon
That luminous brow, though in another it scowls
An eating brand- -a shame. I dare not judge you:
The rules of right and wrong thus set aside,
There's no alternative-I own you one

Of higher order, under other laws

Than bind us, therefore, curb not one bold glance! 'Tis best aspire. Once mingled with us all..

....

Mich. Stay with us, Aureole! cast those hopes away,

And stay with us! An angel warns me, too,
Man should be humble; you are very proud:
And God, dethroned, has doleful plagues for such!
He warns me not to dread a quick repulse,
Nor slow defeat, but a complete success!

You will find all you seek, and perish so!

Par. (After a pause.) Are these the barren first fruits

of my life?

Is love like this the natural lot of all?

How many years of pain might one such hour
O'erbalance? Dearest Michal, dearest Festus,
What shall I say, if not that I desire

To merit this your love; and will, dear friends,
In swerving nothing from my first resolves.
See, the great moon! and ere the mottled owls

Were wide awake, I was to go. It seems
You acquiesce at last in all save this—
If I am like to compass what I seek
By the untried career I choose: and then,
If that career, making but small account
Of much of life's delight, will yet retain.
Sufficient to sustain my soul—for thus
I understand these fond fears just expressed.
And first; the lore you praise and I neglect,
The labours and the precepts of old time,
I have not slightly disesteemed. But, friends,
Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate'er you may believe:
There is an inmost centre in us all,

Where truth abides in fulness; and around
Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in,
This perfect, clear perception-which is truth;
A baffling and perverting carnal mesh

Blinds it, and makes all error: and, “to know”
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,
Than in effecting entry for a light

Supposed to be without. Watch narrowly
The demonstration of a truth, its birth,

And you trace back the effluence to its spring
And source within us, where broods radiance vast,

To be elicited ray by ray, as chance

Shall favour: chance-for hitherto, your sage

Even as he knows not how those beams are born,

As little knows he what unlocks their fount;

And men have oft grown old among their books
To die, case-hardened in their ignorance,

Whose careless youth had promised what long years

Of unremitted labour ne'er performed :

While, contrary, it has chanced some idle day,
That autumn loiterers just as fancy-free

As the midges in the sun, have oft given vent
To truth-produced mysteriously as cape
Of cloud grown out of the invisible air.
Hence, may not truth be lodged alike in all,
The lowest as the highest? some slight film
The interposing bar which binds it up,
And makes the idiot, just as makes the sage
Some film removed, the happy outlet whence
Truth issues proudly? See this soul of ours!
How it strives weakly in the child, is loosed
In manhood, clogged by sickness, back compelled
By age and waste, set free at last by death:
Why is it, flesh enthralls it or enthrones?
What is this flesh we have to penetrate?

Oh, not alone when life flows still do truth
And power emerge, but also when strange chance
Ruffles its current; in unused conjuncture,
When sickness breaks the body-hunger, watching,
Excess, or languor-oftenest death's approach—
Peril, deep joy, or woe. One man shall crawl
Through life, surrounded with all stirring things,
Unmoved--and he goes mad; and from the wreck

Of what he was, by his wild talk alore,
You first collect how great a spirit he hid.
Therefore, set free the soul alike in all,
Discovering the true laws by which the flesh.
Bars in the spirit! We may not be doomed
Το cope with seraphs, but at least the rest
Shall cope with us. Make no more giants, God!
But elevate the race at once! We ask

To put forth just our strength, our human strength,
All starting fairly, all equipped alike,
Gifted alike, all eagle-eyed, true-hearted-
See if we cannot beat thy angels yet!
Such is my task. I I go to gather this

The sacred knowledge, here and there dispersed
About the world, long lost or never found.
And why should I be sad, or lorn of hope?
Why ever make man's good distinct from God's?
Or, finding they are one, why dare mistrust?
Who shall succeed if not one pledged like me?
Mine is no mad attempt to build a world
Apart from His, like those who set themselves
To find the nature of the spirit they bore,
And, taught betimes that all their gorgeous dreams
Were only born to vanish in this life,
Refused to fit them to this narrow sphere,

But chose to figure forth another world

And other frames meet for their vast desires,-
Still, all a dream! Thus was life scorned; but life
Shall yet be crowned: twine amaranth! I am priest!

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