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Yet Ah, that Spring should vanish with the Rose! That Youth's sweet-scented manuscript should close!
The Nightingale that in the branches sang, Ah whence, and whither flown again, who knows!
Would but the Desert of the Fountain yield
To which the fainting Traveler might spring,
Would but some winged Angel ere too late
And make the stern Recorder otherwise
Ah Love! could you and I with Him conspire
Would not we shatter it to bits—and then
Yon rising Moon that looks for us again-
How oft hereafter rising look for us
And when like her, oh Sákí,1
pass Among the Guests Star-scattered on the Grass,
And in your joyous errand reach the spot Where I made One—turn down an empty Glass!
RABBI BEN EZRA 2
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!”
Not that, amassing flowers,
Not for such hopes and fears
1 Cupbearer. 2 Although represented as the words of an eleventh-century rabbi, the oem is an accepted expression of the philosophy of its author.
3 The remonstrance referred to is presumably the disparagement of youth hich is implied in the first stanza.
Poor vaunt of life indeed,
Rejoice we are allied
Then, welcome each rebuff
For thence,-a paradox
What is he but a brute
1 Perhaps: whose spirit works only in the interest of bodily satisfactions.
hy body at its best,
ow far can that project thy soul on its lone way?
et gifts should prove their use:
own the Past profuse
f power each side, perfection every turn:
yes, ears took in their dole,
rain treasured up the whole;
hould not the heart beat once, "How good to live and learn?”
ot once beat, "Praise be thine!
see the whole design,
who saw power, see now Love perfect too;
erfect I call thy plan:
'hanks that I was a man!
laker, remake, complete,-I trust what thou shalt do!"
or pleasant is this flesh;
Jur soul, in its rose-mesh
ulled ever to the earth, still yearns for rest:
Jould we some prize might hold
'o match those manifold
ossessions of the brute,-gain most, as we did best!
et us not always say,
Spite of this flesh to-day
strove, made head, gained ground upon the whole!"
s the bird wings and sings,
et us cry, "All good things
re ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, than flesh helps soul!"
'herefore I summon age
o grant youth's heritage,
ife's struggle having so far reached its term:
Thence shall I pass, approved
for removed From the developed brute; a God though in the germ.
And I shall thereupon
Youth ended, I shall try
For note, when evening shuts,
So, still within this life,
For more is not reserved