IN Youth, when through our veins runs fast
The bright red stream of life,
The Soul’s Voice is a trumpet-blast
That calls us to the strife.
The Spirit spurns its prison-bars,
And feels with force endued
To scale the ramparts of the stars
And storm Infinitude.
Youth passes; like a dungeon grows
The Spirit’s house of clay:
The voice that once in music rose
In murmurs dies away.
But in the day when sickness sore
Smites on the body’s walls,
The Soul’s Voice through the breach once more
Like to a trumpet calls.
Well shall it be with him who heeds
The mystic summons then!
His after-life with loving deeds
Shall blossom amongst men.
He shall have gifts—the gift that feels
The germ within the clod,
And hears the whirring of the wheels
That turn the mills of God!
The gift that sees with glance profound
The secret soul of things,
And in the silence hears the sound
Of vast and viewless wings!
The veil of Isis sevenfold
To him as gauze shall be,
Wherethrough, clear-eyed, he shall behold
The Ancient Mystery.
He shall do battle for the True,
Defend till death the Right,
With Shoes of Swiftness Wrong pursue,
With Sword of Sharpness smite.
And, dying, he shall haply hear,
Like golden trumpets blown
For joy, far voices sweet and clear—
Soul-voices like his own.
So welcomed may he join the Throng
Upon the Shining Shore,
As one who, after wandering long,
Returneth home once more!