O heart, how long 'neath this inconstant sphere
Wilt thou with dust play, as do children here?
Thou 'rt that audacious bird brought up with care,
Beyond this sphere who dost thy nest prepare.
Why to this nest art thou becoming strange?
Like base owl why dost in this desert range?
Shake from thy feathers off this earthly leav'n,
And soar up to the battlement of heav'n.
See, the blue fringes* in the dance are whirled,
The mantles shedding light throughout the world,
Revolving all by night as well as day,
Intent to seize of victory the way,
With its own motion each advancing still,
Dancing as ball struck by the mace of will,
One* from the West turns tow'rds the Eastern mark;—
One in the West will overwhelm his bark;
To-day's assembly one gives heat and light,
Whilst one illuminates the throng of night.
One* to his word the form of fortune lends,
Whilst* of good luck the rope another rends.
All on the road press forward with such zest,
That from their movement they will never rest.
Not wearied out by labour of their way,
For foot no rest, in loins no pains have they.
Who knows to what affair such energy they lend,
Or towards whom their faces all they bend?
Each* moment though some new form they assume,
Painters* to be would none of them presume.
In doubt's hand how long wilt thou place the rein?
“This is my God”* to each repeat again.
Like God's friend,* strike of certainty the door:
“I love not those that set,”* cry more and more.
Toward one face above thy face inclined,
Doubt and suspicion banish from thy mind.
Behold and name One only; but One own:
Desire, and read, and seek for One alone.
Tow'rds Him a road from ev'ry atom lies
His being's evidence each multiplies.
The hearts of all wise men a writing bear:
“Pictures to paint a Painter must be there.”
On tablets though a thousand forms they write,
Without a scribe is not one Aleph right,
And no brick in this desert can one find
Without a model of a perfect kind.
Upon each brick the finger's pen has writ,
That hand of some wise man has fashioned it.
This word inscribed upon each bricklet's face,
Of the Brick-maker's self thou hast the trace.*
Creation manifest to all mankind,
To the Creator how turns not thy mind?
Turn to the Worker, seen His work, thy face,
And in the work itself the Worker trace.
In that last moment whence no man can fly,
Thy case may only with that Worker lie.
Bend upon Him the look of thy desire;
For blest end of thy case to Him aspire.