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ROW old along with me!

The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand

Who saith, “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God; see all, nor be

afraid !”

Rejoice we are allied

To That which doth provide
And not partake, effect and not receive!

A spark disturbs our clod ;

Nearer we hold of God Who gives, than of His tribes that take, I must

believe.

RABBI BEN EZRA.

97

Then, welcome each rebuff

That turns earth's smoothness rough, Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand, but go!

Be our joys three-parts pain!

Strive, and hold oheap the strain ; Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge

the throe !

For thence,-a paradox

Which comforts while it mocks ---Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail ;

What I aspired to be

And was not, comforts me : A brute I might have been, but would not sink

i' the scale.

Not once beat “ Praise be Thine !

I see the whole design,
I, who saw Power, see now Love perfect too;

Perfect I call my plan :

Thanks that I was a man ! Maker, remake, complete.--I trust what Thou

shalt do!”

H

98

RABBI BEN EZRA.

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

trice :

But all the world's coarse thumb

And finger failed to plumb,
So passed in making up the main account;

All instincts immature,

All purposes unsure, That weighed not as his work, yet swelled the

man's amount:

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.

RABBI BEN EZRA.

99

Ay, note that Potter's wheel,

That metaphor! and feel
Why time spins fast, why passive lies our clay,-

Thou to whom fools propound,

When the wine makes its round, “Since life fleets, all is change; the past gone, seize

to-day!”

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.

He fixed thee midst this dance

Of plastic circumstance,
This present, thou, forsooth, wouldst fain arrest;

Machinery just meant

To give thy soul its bent,
Try then and turn thee forth, sufficiently im-

pressed.

100

RABBI BEN EZRA.

What though the earlier grooves

Which ran the laughing loves
Around thy base, no longer pause and press ?

What though, about thy rim,

Scull-things in order grim Grow out, in graver mood, obey the sterner

stress ?

Look not thou down but up !

To uses of a cup, The festal board, lamp's flash and trumpet's peal,

The new wine's foaming flow,

The Master's lips aglow! Chou, heaven's consummate cup, what need’st thou

with earth's wheel ?

But I need now as then,

Thee, God, who mouldest men ;
And since, not even while the whirl was worst,

Did 1,—to the wheel of life

With shapes and colours rife, Bound dizzily,-mistake my end, to slake Thy

thirst:

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