MN to winter, winter into spring,
Spring into summer, summer into fall,-- So rolls the changing year, and so we change;
Motion so swift, we know not that we move.
Till at the gate of some memorial hour We pause--look in its sepulchre to find The cast-off shape that years since we called "I"-- And start, amazed.
We may not stay To weep or laugh.
All which is past, is past Even while we gaze the simulated form Drops into dust, like many-centuried corpse At opening of a tomb.
Alack, this world Is full of change, change, change,--nothing but change!
Is there not one straw in life's whirling flood To hold by, as the torrent sweeps us down,
Us, scattered leaves; eddied and broken; torn Roughly asunder; or in smooth mid-stream Divided each from other without pain;
Collected in what looks like union,
Yet is but stagnant chance,--stopping to rot By the same pebble till the tide shall turn;
Then on, to find no shelter and no rest,
Forever rootless and forever lone.
O God, we are but leaves upon Thy stream,
Clouds on Thy sky.
We do but move across The silent breast of Thy infinitude Which bears us all.
We pour out day by day Our long, brief moan of mutability To Thine immutable--and cease.
Yet still Our change yearns after Thine unchangedness;
Our mortal craves Thine immortality;
Our manifold and multiform and weak Imperfectness, requires the perfect
For Thou art
NE, and we are all of Thee;
Dropped from Thy bosom, as Thy sky drops down Its morning dews, which glitter for a space,
Uncertain whence they fell, or whither tend,
Till the great Sun arising on his fields Upcalls them all, and they rejoicing go.
So, with like joy,
O Light Eterne, we spring Thee-ward, and leave the pleasant fields of earth,
Forgetting equally its blossomed green And its dry dusty paths which drank us up Remorseless,--we, poor humble drops of dew,
That only wish to freshen a flower's breast,
And be exhaled to heaven.
O Thou supreme All-satisfying and immutable One,
It is enough to be absorbed in Thee And vanish,--though 't were only to a voice That through all ages with perpetual joy Goes evermore loud crying, "God!