Behold my soul? She sits so far above you
Your wildest dream has never glanced so high;
Yet in the old-time when you said, "I love you,"
How fairly we were mated, eye to eye
How long we dallied on in flowery meadows,
By languid lakes of purely sensuous dreams,
Steeped in enchanted mists, beguiled by shadows,
Casting sweet flowers upon loitering streams,
My memory owns, and yours; mine with deep shame,
Yours with a sigh that life is not the same.
What parted us, to leave you in the valley
And send me struggling to the mountain-top?
Too weak for duty, even love failed to rally
The manhood that should float your pinions up.
On my spent feet are many half-healed bruises,
My limbs are wasted with their heavy toil,
But I have learned adversity's "sweet uses,"
And brought my soul up pure through every soil;
no right to scorn the man's dead power
That leaves you far below me at this hour?
Scorn you I do, while pitying even more
The ignoble weakness of a strength debased.
Do I yet mourn the faith that died of yore—
The trust by timorous treachery effaced?
Through all, and over all, my soul mounts free
To heights of peace you cannot hope to gain,
Sings to the stars its mountain minstrelsy,
And smiles down proudly on your murky plain;
'Tis vain to invite you—yet come up, come up,
Conquer your way toward the mountain-top!