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The undivided will to seek the good :
'Tis that compels the elements, and wrings
A human music from the indifferent air.
The greatest gift the hero leaves his race
Is to have been a hero. Say.we fail !-
We feed the high tradition of the world,
And leave our spirit in our children's breasts.
Is there a choice for strong souls to be weak ?
For men erect to crawl like hissing snakes?
I choose not-I am Zarca. Let him choose
Who halts and wavers, having peti
To feed on garbage.
To my inward vision Things are achieved when they are well begun. The perfect archer calls the deer his own While yet the shaft is whistling. His keen eye Never sees failure, sees the mark alone.
Fighting for dear life men choose their swords For cutting only, not for ornament. What nought but Nature gives, man takes perforce Where she bestows it, though in vilest place. Can he compress invention out of pride,
Make heirship do the work of muscle, sail
Towards great discoveries with a pedigree?
Sick men ask cures, and Nature serves not hers
Daintily as a feast. A blacksmith once
Founded a dynasty, and raised on high
The leathern apron over armies spread
Between the mountains like a lake of steel.
He who rules
Must humour full as much as he commands ;
Must let men vow impossibilities ;
Grant folly's prayers that hinder folly's wish
And serve the ends of wisdom.
High device is still the highest force,
And he who holds the secret of the wheel
May make the rivers do what work he would.
With thoughts impalpable we clutch men's souls,
Weaken the joints of armies, make them fly
Like dust and leaves before the viewless wind.
Tell me what's mirrored in the tiger's heart,
I'll rule that too.
What man is he who brandishes a sword
In darkness, kills his friends, and rages then
Against the night that kept him ignorant ?
A woman's dream—who thinks by smiling well
To ripen figs in frost.
Vengeance is just :
Justly we rid the earth of human fiends
Who carry hell for pattern in their souls.
But in high vengeance there is noble scorn :
It tortures not the torturer, nor gives
Iniquitous payment for iniquity.
The great avenging angel does not crawl
To kill the serpent with a mimic fang;
He stands erect, with sword of keenest edge
That slays like lightning.
Men might well seek
For purifying rites ; even pious deeds
(To Fedalma.) Ah, yes ! all preciousness To mortal hearts is guarded by a fear. All love fears loss, and most that loss supreme, Its own perfection-seeing, feeling change From high to lower, dearer to less dear. Can love be careless? If we lost our love What should we find ?—with this sweet Past torn off,
Our lives deep scarred just where their beauty lay?
The best we found thenceforth were still a worse :
The only better is a Past that lives
On through an added Present, stretching still
In hope unchecked by shaming memories
To life's last breath. And so I tremble too.
Sephardo.— Resolve will melt no rocks.
There's no blameless life Save for the passionless, no sanctities But have the selfsame roof and props with crime, Or have their roots close interlaced with vileness.
I am no friend of fines and banishment,
Or flames that, fed on heretics, still gape,
And must have heretics made to feed them still.
Prudence is but conceit Hoodwinked by ignorance. There's nought exists That is not dangerous and holds not death For souls or bodies. Prudence turns its helm To flee the storm and lands ’mid pestilence. Wisdom would end by throwing dice with folly But for dire passion which alone makes choice.
That nourish us to magnanimity
Grow perfect with more perfect utterance,
Gathering full-shapen strength.
Conscience is harder than our enemies,
Knows more, accuses with more nicety,
Nor needs to question Rumour if we fall
Below the perfect model of our thought.
Defies all sophistry-risks avenging fires.
'Tis what I love determines how I love.
The goddess with pure rites reveals herself
And makes pure worship.
Rivers blent take in a broader heaven,
And we shall blend our souls.
What is our certainty? Why, knowing all
That is not secret. Mighty confidence !
One pulse of Time makes the base hollow-sends
The towering certainty we built so high