Sagas of Vaster Britain: Poems of the Race, the Empire and the Divinity of Man

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

IMMORTALITY


 

HERE in this age of a grim
Material haze of the present,
This hour of a people self-willed,
Self-worshipping, self-deceived,
Of a cold and hard and denying
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Spirit of crude unrest;
When God from man seems withdrawn,
And heaven from earth estranged,
And only the things of this life
Do greatly matter; that flower
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Of the spirit of beauty and truth
All withered and banished and gone;
Here in this hour of brute Mammon,
Unheeding, uncaring, unthrilled
By the greatness of life and its meaning;—
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I voice again the immortal,
I sing anew the divine.

O you of the hungry heart,
That spirit of love's unrest,
That deep, unsatisfied longing,

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That divine discontent with all life's
Half-truths, her compromise grim,
That seething nest of despairs
Eternally writhing and gnawing
At the shuddering walls of the heart;—
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Go forth with your soul at sunrise
Or sunset; or wander alone
'Mid earth's vast lonely places—
And doubt not, but hold in your heart
A great and invincible hope,
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A lofty, indomitable courage
That you and your soul are sustained;
That despite all the evil and sorrow,
The weakness and sin and decay,
This vesture, sombre, of death,
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Which folds your morality round;
That the earth is God's, and the morning
The road you must take in the end.