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Toppling in fragments meaningless. What is-
Life's a vast sea That does its mighty errand without fail, Panting in unchanged strength though waves are
Truth, to us, is like a living child Born of two parents : if the parents part And will divide the child, how shall it live? Or, I will rather say : Two angels guide The path of man, both aged and yet young, As angels are, ripening through endless years. On one he leans : some call her Memory, And some, Tradition ; and her voice is sweet, With deep mysterious accords : the other, Floating above, holds down a lamp which streams A light divine and searching on the earth, Compelling eyes and footsteps. Memory yields, Yet clings with loving check, and shines anew
Reflecting all the rays of that bright lamp
l To higher paths, by brightening Reason's lamp.
Storms will lay The fairest trees and leave the withered stumps.
Prediction is contingent, of effects
Wise books For half the truths they hold are honoured tombs.
Man thinks Brutes have no wisdom, since they know not his : Can we divine their world ?—the hidden life That mirrors us as hideous shapeless power, Cruel supremacy of sharp-edged death, Or fate that leaves a bleeding mother robbed ? Oh, they have long tradition and swift speech, Can tell with touches and sharp darting cries Whole histories of timid races taught To breathe in terror by red-handed man.
My lord, I will be frank; there's no such thing
Nay, they are virtues for you warriors-
But, for the point of wisdom, I would choose
If conscience has two courts With differing verdicts, where shall lie the appeal ? Our law must be without us or within. The Highest speaks through all our people's voice, Custom, tradition, and old sanctities; Or he reveals himself by new decrees Of inward certitude.
Though Death were king, And Cruelty his right-hand minister, Pity insurgent in some human breasts Makes spiritual empire, reigns supreme As persecuted faith in faithful hearts. Your small physician, weighing ninety pounds, A petty morsel for a healthy shark, Will worship mercy throned within his soul Though all the luminous angels of the stars Burst into cruel chorus on his ear,
Singing, 'We know no mercy.' He would cry-
I read a record deeper than the skin.
The fence of rules is for the purblind crowd ;