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IN these drear wastes of sea-born land,

these wilds where none may dwell but He,

What visionary Pasts revive,

what process of the Years we see:

Gazing beyond the thin blue line

that rims the far horizon-ring,

Our sadden'd sight why haunt these ghosts,

whence do these spectral shadows spring?

What endless questions vex the thought,

of Whence and Whither, When and How?

What fond and foolish strife to read

the Scripture writ on human brow

As stand we percht on point of Time,

betwixt the two Eternities,

Whose awful secrets gathering round

with black profound oppress our eyes.

{p. 14}

\"This gloomy night, these grisly waves,

these winds and whirlpools loud and dread:

What reck they of our wretched plight

who Safety's shore so lightly tread?

Thus quoth the Bard of Love and Wine,

whose dream of Heaven ne'er could rise

Beyond the brimming Kausar-cup

and Houris with the white-black eyes;

Ah me! my race of threescore years is short,

but long enough to pall

My sense with joyless joys as these,

with Love and Houris, Wine and all.

Another boasts he would divorce

old barren Reason from his bed,

And wed the Vine-maid in her stead;

fools who believe a word he said!

And "'Dust thou art to dust returning,'

ne'er was spoke of human soul"

The Soofi cries, 'tis well for him

that hath such gift to ask its goal.

Hfiz of Shirz.

2. Omar-i-Kayym, the tent-maker poet of Persia.]

"And this is all, for this we're born

to weep a little and to die!"

So sings the shallow bard whose life

still labours at the letter "I."

Ear never heard, Eye never saw

the bliss of those who enter in

My heavenly kingdom, "Is said,

who wailed our sorrows and our sin:

Too much of words or yet too few!

What to thy Godhead easier than

One little glimpse of Paradise

to ope the eyes and ears of man?

I am the Truth! I am the Truth!

we hear the God-drunk gnostic cry

The microcosm abides in ME;

Eternal Allah's nought but I!

Mansr was wise, but wiser they

who smote him with the hurld stones;

And, though his blood a witness bore,

no wisdom-might could mend his bones.

[1. A
famous Mystic stoned for blasphemy.]

{p. 16}

\"Eat, drink, and sport; the rest of life's

not worth a fillip," quoth the King;

Methinks the saying saith too much:

the swine would say the selfsame thing!

Two-footed beasts that browse through life,

by death to serve as soil design'd,

Bow prone to Earth wher they be,

and there the proper pleasures find:

But you of finer, nobler, stuff,

ye, whom to Higher leads the High,

What binds your hearts in common bond

with creatures of the stall and sty?

In certain hope of Life-to-come

I journey through this shifting scene

The Zhid snarls and saunters down

his Vale of Tears with confi'dent mien.

Wiser than Amrn's Son art thou,

who ken'st so well the world-to-be,

The Future when the Past is not,

the Present merest dreamery;

The "Philister" of "respectable" belief.

2. Moses in the Koran.]

{p. 17}

What know'st thou, man, of Life?

and yet, forever twixt the womb, the grave,

Thou pratest of the Coming Life,

of Heav'n and Hell thou fain must rave.

The world is old and thou art young;

the world is large and thou art small;

Cease, atom of a moment's span,

To hold thyself an All-in-All!

{p. 18}

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