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Fearless and unperplexed,
When I wage battle next,
My gain or loss thereby;
And I shall weigh the same,
Give life its praise or blame:
A certain moment cuts
A whisper from the west
Shoots-Add this to the rest, Take it and try its worth: here dies another day.'
Though lifted o'er its strife,
'This rage was right i' the main,
That acquiescence vain : The Future I may face now I have proved the Past.'
To man, with soul just nerved
Here, work enough to watch
The Master work, and catch Hints of the proper craft, tricks of the tool's true play.
19 As it was better, youth
Should strive, through acts unçouth, Toward making, than repose on aught found made;
So, better, age, exempt
From strife, should know, than tempt Further. Thou waitedst age; wait death nor be
if the Right And Good and Infinite Be named here, as thou callest thy hand thine own,
With knowledge absolute,
Subject to no dispute From fools that crowded youth, nor let thee feel
Be there, for once and all,
Severed great minds from small, Announced to each his station in the Past!
Was I, the world arraigned,
Were they, my soul disdained, Right? Let age speak the truth and give us peace
Now, who shall arbitrate?
Ten men love what I hate,
Ten, who in ears and eyes
Match me: we all surmise, They, this thing, and I, that: whom shall my soul believe?
23 Not on the vulgar mass
Called 'work,' must sentence pass, Things done, that took the eye and had the price;
O’er which, from level stand,
The low world laid its hand, Found straightway to its mind, could value in a
And finger failed to plumb,
All instincts immature,
All purposes unsure, That weighed not as his work, yet swelled the man's amount:
25 Thoughts hardly to be packed
Into a narrow act, Fancies that broke through language and escaped;
All I could never be,
All, men ignored in me. This, I was worth to God, whose wheel the pitcher shaped.
That metaphor! and feel
Thou, to whom fools propound,
When the wine makes its round, "Since life fleets, all is change; the Past gone, seize to-day!'
27 Fool! All that is, at all,
Lasts ever, past recall; Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure:
What entered into thee,
That was, is, and shall be: Time's wheel runs back or stops; Potter and clay endure.
Of plastic circumstance,
Machinery just meant
To give thy soul its bent, Try thee and turn thee forth, sufficiently impressed.
Which ran the laughing loves
What though, about thy rim,
Skull-things in order grim
To uses of a cup,
The new wine's foaming flow,
The Master's lips aglow! Thou, heaven's consummate cup, what needst thou with earth's wheel?
Thee, God, who mouldest men;
Did I,—to the wheel of life
With shapes and colours rife, Bound dizzily,-mistake my end, to slake Thy thirst:
Amend what flaws may lurk,
Perfect the cup as planned ! Let age approve of youth, and death complete the same!
TUBAL CAIN Old Tubal Cain was a man of might
In the days when Earth was young;
By the fierce red light of his furnace bright
The strokes of his hammer rung; And he lifted high his brawny hand
On the iron glowing clear, Till the sparks rushed out in scarlet showers,
As he fashioned the sword and spear. And he sang— Hurra for my handiwork !
Hurra for the spear and sword ! Hurra for the hand that shall wield them well,
For he shall be king and lord !'
To Tubal Cain came many a one,
As he wrought by his roaring fire, And each one prayed for a strong steel blade
As the crown of his desire: And he made them weapons sharp and strong,
Till they shouted loud for glee, And gave him gifts of pearl and gold, And spoils
of the forest free. And they sang-Hurra for Tubal Cain,
Who hath given us strength anew! Hurra for the smith, hurra for the fire,
And hurra for the metal true!'
But a sudden change came o'er his heart,
Ere the setting of the sun,
For the evil he had done;
Made war upon their kind,
In their lust for carnage, blind.
Or that skill of mine should plan,
Is to slay their fellow-man.'
And for many a day old Tubal Cain
Sat brooding o'er his woe;