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When life gives light to read its secrets by,
And deed explains renown.
On service grand and free,
And each interprets thee.
I see thee, first, on hills our Aryan sires
In time's lost morning knew,
That from earth's darkness grew.
Then wise with secrets of Chaldæan lore,
In high Akkadian fane;
In Thothmes' glorious reign.
That Judah's kings betray'd,
Or Mamre's terebinth shade.
And, ah! most piteous vision of the past,
Drawn by thy being's law,
Beneath the lion's paw.
Yet, afterwards, how rang thy sword upon
The Paynim helm and shield !
Thy white plume o'er the field.
Strange contradiction ! where the sand waves spread
The boundless desert sea,
Their dark-eyed chief — in thee !
And Skald by Norway's foam,
In this New England home.
And here thy quiet years
Or clash of swords or spears.
These thou wert sent to teach :
Hot blood of battle, beating in thy veins,
Is turn'd to gentle speech.
Thy victories remain :
Have lost their power to pain.
Thou had'st thy one reward :
The coming of the Lord !
Slumbers the blade of truth;
The eager hope of youth.
All destinies above :
Ah, sad are they who know not love,
But, far from passion's tears and smiles, Drift down a moonless sea beyond
The silvery coasts of fairy isles. And sadder they whose longing lips
Kiss empty air, and never touch The dear warm mouth of those they love,
Waiting, wasting, suffering much. But clear as amber, fine as musk,
Is life to those who, pilgrim-wise, Move hand in hand from down to dusk,
Each morning nearer Paradise. Oh, not for them shall angels pray!
They stand in everlasting light ; They walk in Allah's smile by day,
And slumber in his heart by night.