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And when man was not, and how man became
I honour thee, and would be what thou art
Thou art as God, whom thou contemplatest.
Disdain thee?-not the worm beneath my
The Fathomless has care for meaner things Than thou canst dream, and has made pride
Who would be what they may not, or would
That which they are not.
Sultan! talk no
Of thee and me, the future and the past;
But look on that which cannot change — the One,
The unborn and the undying. Earth and
Space, and the isles of life or light that gem
As Calpe the Atlantic clouds — this Whole
With all the silent or tempestuous workings
Of thought's eternal flight-they have no
Nought is but that which feels itself to be.
What meanest thou? Thy words stream like a tempest
Of dazzling mist within my brain-they shake The earth on which I stand, and hang like night On Heaven above me. What can they avail? They cast on all things surest, brightest, best, Doubt, insecurity, astonishment.
Mistake me not! All is contained in each.
Is that which has been, or will be, to that
Alone, and its quick elements, Will, Passion,
Reason, Imagination, cannot die;
They are, what that which they regard appears, The stuff whence mutability can weave
All that it hath dominion o'er, worlds, worms, Empires, and superstitions. What has thought To do with time, or place, or circumstance? Wouldst thou behold the future?-ask and have!
Knock and it shall be opened-look and, lo! The coming age is shadowed on the past
As on a glass.
Wild, wilder thoughts convulse My spirit - Did not Mahomet the Second Win Stamboul?
Thou wouldst ask that giant spirit
The written fortunes of thy house and faith. Thou wouldst cite one out of the grave to tell How what was born in blood must die.
Have power on me! I see
What hearest thou?
A far whisper
As of the assault of an imperial city,
The roar of giant cannon; the earthquaking
The clash of wheels, and clang of armèd hoofs,
And crash of brazen mail as of the wreck
And one sweet laugh, most horrible to hear,