Through the world which the Spirit creative and kind
First formed out of chaos, I fly like the wind,
Until on the strand
Of its billows I land,
My anchor cast forth where the breeze blows no more,
And Creation’s last boundary stands on the shore.
I saw infant stars into being arise,
For thousands of years to roll on through the skies;
I saw them in play
Seek their goal far away,–
For a moment my fugitive gaze wandered on,–
I looked round me, and lo!–all those bright stars had flown!
Madly yearning to reach the dark kingdom of night.
I boldly steer on with the speed of the light;
All misty and drear
The dim heavens appear,
While embryo systems and seas at their source
Are whirling around the sun-wanderer’s course.
When sudden a pilgrim I see drawing near
Along the lone path,–“Stay! What seekest thou here?”
“My bark, tempest-tossed,
I sail toward the land where the breeze blows no more,
And Creation’s last boundary stands on the shore.”
“Stay, thou sailest in vain! ‘Tis INFINITY yonder!”–
“‘Tis INFINITY, too, where thou, pilgrim, wouldst wander!
Eagle-thoughts that aspire,
Let your proud pinions tire!
For ’tis here that sweet phantasy, bold to the last,
Her anchor in hopeless dejection must cast!”