xt7jm61bkm81 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jm61bkm81/data/mets.xml Rice, Cale Young, 1872-1943. 19151908  books b92-251-31802686v1 English Doubleday, Page, : Garden City, N.Y. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Collected plays and poems (vol. 1) / by Cale Young Rice. text Collected plays and poems (vol. 1) / by Cale Young Rice. 1915 2002 true xt7jm61bkm81 section xt7jm61bkm81 



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               Copyright, i908, by
        A11 rights reserved, including that of
          translation into foreign languages,
             including the Scandinavian

Copyright, 1907, I911, 1912, I913, I914, 1915, by
              CALE YOUNG RICE


           AND LOVE

 This page in the original text is blank.



  lThe present European war, with its heartbreak for
humanity, should reveal the spirit of America, with
its sources in the ideals of manv nations, as no
'oner narrowly nationai, but definitelyvcosmopolitan.
The opening of our doors to every civilization-and
the consequent mingling of many racial classes-has
made the serious absorption of much the outside
world has to offer so easily possible, that even in our
reading we have become strongly inclined to prefer
the book from abroad to that written at home,
though the latter is not infrequently of equal or
superior quality.
  Let this enlarged horizon once be realized by those
who are confusedly looking for a point of view from
which our writers may achieve an enduring literature
that is distinctively "American," and a new era will


viii                PREFACE
begin. We shall no longer believe that to be authen-
tically "national" we must continue to hash up the
crude and inconsequential exaggerations character-
istic of us in the minds of foreign readers; but by
abandoning the impossible attempt to create supreme
art out of social materials that are shifting and local,
we shall see our way toward a national literature
that shall embrace, perhaps for the first time in the
history of the world, the universal hopes and im-
pulses of humanity.
  A confirmation of this belief lies in considerations
of a more practical nature. The output of books in
modern life is so great; translations from writers of
large outlook are so many and admirable; and so
marvellous are the communications by which the
world's best books are brought to our hands, that
only the blind can fail to see that lasting literary
achievement must concern itself henceforward, as
never before, with broadly human vision.
  Yet this vision will not come, as a few of our more
recent poets seem to fancy, from some imaginarily


                    PREFACE                     ix
new technique: for technique does not create vision,
but is created by it. The true stylistic corollary of
what has been affirmed above is merely, then, that
all literary art of the future must adopt a more ab-
solute economy of means: which signifies that the
poet, naturally spendthrift of his imaginings, must
forsake the flowery way of his fancies for a more com-
plete concentration of energy on his vision.
  To embody this vision without any loss of a feel-
ing of inspired spontaneity, whose source seems in-
finite, will be his tasK. For only by possessing or
suggesting some ineffable connection with the infinite
will he be able to make a strict art economy seem
  A preface, whose purpose is to tune the reader's
mind to what follows rather than set jangling in him
a hundred diverse theories of criticism, should doubt-
less say no more. Let the rest, then, be silence.

                            CALE YOUNG RICE.
  January, I9I5.

 This page in the original text is blank.




The Mystic.
The Wife of Judas Iscariot .
Star of Achievement.
Cloister Lays.
Highland Joy.
To the Spirit of Nature .
The Pilgrims of Thibet .
La Morgue Litteraire  .
Love by Traeth-y-daran.
A Lvdian Bacchanal..     .
Aeschvlus .
The Excommunicant     .
Andre Revine
The Crv of the Disillusioned

.  .  .   9
             3 I
  --  .   34
... .      38
       ..  47
       ..  48
   .     55
... .      63
...   .    66



The Deserter of Nirvana
What More, 0 Sea
Oriental Memories
Snowdonian Hills
To Shelley
The Apostate.
Spes Mystica .
Sea Lure .
Biddeford Bay
The Fishing of 0-Sushi
A Woman's Reply
Waters Withheld
The Song of a Neophyte
Sappho's Death Song
The Master .
Civil War.
What Part
The Unknown Shore.
Haunted Seas    .
Who Rests Not
The Unhonoured.
At Lincoln, England.
Voices at the Veil  .

....       68
. .  .      78
....       86
....       88
  . .  .   95
....       96
....       98

           I I 3
           I I 5




To Sea!.
On Iroquois Hill .
Recompense .
Vanishings .  .   .
At the End   .

 .  .  .     uSII8
           .  120
           .  122
              I 26


A Night in Avignon, a play.


Yolanda of Cyprus, a play .


At the World's Heart
Sea Rhapsody
" The Monsoon Breaks:"
In an Oriental Harbour.
The Thrall of the Dead.
The Peasant of Irimachi
The Broken Trance .
The Peasant of Gotemba
Submarine Mountains
The Pilgrim. . .

' I35


. .  . .   . 303
   . .. . . 305
   .   3I3
   . .. . . 315
   . .. . . 318
   ...  .  .  32I

   -      324
        ... 326
. .  .  .  .  329

. .


                                          PAG -.
Pageants of the Sea. .  .  .  .  .  .  . 331
The Malay to His Master .  .  .  .  .  . 335
Nights on the Indian Ocean .  .  .  .  . 338
Sighting Arabia.  .  .   .  .  .  .  .   340
My Country .   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   4z
The Snail and I.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 348
Songs to A. H. R. .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 350
Beauty and Stillness.           . .  .   36I
The Contessa to Her Judges .  .  .  .  . 365
On the Upward Road   .  .  .  .  .  .  . 368
Chartings.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 373
The Four Enchantments   .  .  .  .  .  . 376
The God of Ease.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 377
By the Ch'en Gate .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 379
A Song for Healing.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  380
The Great Wall .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 382
Waikiki Beach  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   8
O-Tsuva Forsaken  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 387
A Chant at Chion-in Temple .  .  .  .  . 389
Korean   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 39I
Theophilus  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 393
Basking.              . . . . . . 96
The Ballad of the Maid of Orleans.  .  .  399
Inlanders.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 404
India .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 40S
The New MIoon  .  .  .  .                 406
The Shah to His Dead Slave                408




                 CONTENTS                 xv
                                          PAG E
A Parable of Pain.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  410
Erostratus .   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 4I 2
Aleen .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 4I5
The Striver .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 4I7
-Mysteries. .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 4IS
The Atheist .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 423
Judgment.   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 42-
A Mariner's MIemory  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 426
Under the Sky  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 427
Losses. .   . .   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 428
The Profligate .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 429
South Seas .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   . 432
Christ or Mahomet .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 433
To Stromboli.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 434
In a Greek Tempi(. .  .  .  .  .  .  .   436
The Hidden Foe.   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 438
Telepathy.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 44o
The Explorers  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 442
To a Boy.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   .  .  . 444
Pagans   .  .  .  .  .  . .  .  .  .  .  446
Argosies .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 449
To the Younger Gencration.               450

Giorgione, a play
Arduin, a play





O-Um6's Gods, a play. .  .  .  .  .  . 509
The Immortal Lure, a play. . . . . . 53I


Porzia, a play








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There is a quest that calls me,
  In nights when I am lone,
The need to ride where the ways divide
  The Known from the Unknown.
I mount what thought is near me
  And soon I reach the place,
The tenuous rim where the Seen grown dim
  And the Sightless hides its face.

  I have ridden the wind,
  I have ridden the sea,
  I have ridden the moon and stars.
  I have set my feet in the stirrup seat
  Of a comet coursing Mars.



  A1 nd everywhere
  Thro the earth and air
  Ail' thought speeds, lightning-shod,
  It comes to a place where checking pace
  It cries, "Beyond lies God!"

It calls me out of the darkness,
  It calls me out of sleep,
"Ride! ride! for you must, to the end of Dust"'
  It bids -and on I sweep
To the wide outposts of Being,
  Where there is Gulf alone-
And thro a Vast that was never passed
  I listen for Life's tone.

  I have ridden the wind,
  I have ridden the night,
  I have ridden the ghosts that flee
  From the vaults of death like a chilling breath
  Over eternity.



                  FAR QUESTS

  A nd everywhere
  Is the world laid bare-
  Ether and star and clod -
  Until I wind to its brink and find
  But the cry, "Beyond lies Godl"

It calls me and ever calls me!
  And vainly I reply,
"Fools only ride where the ways divide
  What Is from the Whence and Why"'
I'm lifted into the saddle
  Of thoughts too strong to tame,
And down the deeps and over the steeps
  I find . . . ever the Same.

  I have ridden the wind,
  I have ridden the stars,
  I have ridden the force that flies
  With far intent thro the firmament
  And each to each allies.


8                 FAR QUESTS

  And everywhere
  That a thought may dare
  To gallop, mine has trod -
  Only to stand at last on the strand
  Where just beyond lies God.



The wife of
  Went out
She thought
  Was it to

Judas Iscariot
into the night,
she heard a voice crying:
left or right

She went forth to the Joppa Gate,
  Three crosses hung on high,
The one was a thief's, the other a thief's,
  The third she went not nigh.

For still she heard the voice cryring:
  Was it to right or left
Or was it but a wind of fear
  That blew her on bereft


             FAR QUESTS

She went down from the Joppa Gate
  Into the black ravine.
She climbed up by the rocky path
  To where a tree was seen.

And "What, sooth, do I follow here
  Is it my own mad mind
Judas' Judas Iscariot!"
  She called upon the wind.

"Judas! Judas Iscariot!"
  She crept beneath the tree.
What thing was it that swung there,
  Hung so dolorously

"Judas! Judas Iscariot!"
  She touched it with her hand.
The leaves shivered above her head,
  To make her understand.



             FAR QUESTS

"Judas! Judas ! my love! my lord!"
  Her hands wvent o'er it fast,
From foot to thigh, from thigh to throat,
  And stopped - there - at last.

"Judas! Judas! what has He done,
  The Christ you followed so!"
More than the silver left on him
  Made answer to her woe.

"Judas! Judas! what has He done!
  O has it come to this!
The Kingdom promised has but proved
  For you a soul-abyss!

"Was He the Christ and let it be"
  She cut him from the limb,
And held him in her arms there
  And wept over him,



              FAR QUESTS

"None in the world shall ever know
  Your doubts of Him but I!
'Traitor! traitor! and only traitor!'
  Will ever be their cry!

"None in the world shall ever know -
  But I who am   your wife! "
She flung the silver from his purse:
  It made a bitter strife.

It rattled on the ringing rocks
  And fell to the ravine.
"Was He the Christ and let it be"
  She moaned, still, between.

She held him in her arms there,
  And kissed his lips aright,
The lips of Judas Iscariot,
  Who hanged himself that night.




Star of Achievement!
Star that arose when man first rose on the earth
And felt within him the Upward Urge ot Being;
Star of the ultimate heaven, that of the soul;
Wondrous is thy ascension,
Wondrous thy lifting up of him, thy chosen -
Of man, above all creatures!


The earth was green when he came,
The earth with its myriad-teeming mountains and
The earth with its veiling shading clouds and breezes,


14                FAR QUESTS

The earth that brought to birth all seas and con-

The elder slime had conceived, preparing his way.
Its womb impregnate with the command of the
Strove to give birth to a form
In whose high-spacious spirit thou shocl(Ist appear.
But the travails of it were vain.

For not in its winged thing, or its saurian,
Or leviathan lashing the sea,
Or mastodom shaking the land,
Not, not in these, 0 Star, thy light awoke -
But mystically in man!


And dim, dim was thy beam, primevally!
By it man hoped no more at first than to seize
And hold a rude cave in the forest,
To shape with a stone a stone for his protection,



To clothe him with a wild skin and watch with

The magic of river and tree and melting mist,
Of springing storms that died in dens of thunder.
D)im was thy beam, a will-o'-the-wisp that flitted
On dreams and vague desires.

Yet in his need he sought to see thee clearer.
Savage he was, but, in the sky of his soul,
Wast thou, a whisperer of aspirations,
From age to age leading him,
With a little gain upward:
From the cave to the hut, his first home upon
From enmity with all beasts to toil with some.

Savage he was, yet in his vast soul-dark
He was not all forsaken,
Not left alone in the wilderness of Nature
With naught of hope to lead his look above it,
With naught to bid him master it.



i6                FAR QUESTS
For Star, 0 Star, he ever found thy light
In all, as in the hard flint imprisoned fire.
And as time sped -
Unmeasured but by thee, 0 Shiner on him,
But by thy inspiration to his soul,
Thy seeds of light quickened in him to knowledge,
And knowledge grew to dream and dream to power.
Speech did he learn from thy bright. whisperings,
And with it moulded winds
And the rhythm of wild waters into Song,
That grew too precious to trust utterly
To lips that perished,
So thou, 0 Star, put in his hand the stylus,
And lo, ravisht, he wrote!


But death was ever with him!
0  . . . ! death! . .
A little while he counted suns and moons,
A little while he slipped amid the seasons,


                  FAR QI!ESTS
A little while he gazed upon thy glow -
And then was gone!

Whither, 0 Star

I 7

Thy answer was, Into the invisible,
Into the land of spirits.
And not since thy first beam, 0 Soul-uplifter,
Had any fallen on him like to this,
For from it was born worship, from it the gods.
In the Unseen they rose,
In the place where flesh is not, nor dust that
But only the powers that make all things to be.
Yea, yea, the gods were born!
And temples towering, 0 Star, and cities,
Wherein, reigning above all war and waste,
All famine, ill and sin and pestilence,
They ever seemed to bid him
To fix his eyes upon thee,
To sail the centuries by thee -


I8               FAR QUESTS
Forgetful oft and breaking oft upon shoals,
On granite laws and tyrannies,
On many a reef of folly,
On many a seeming harbour set with ruin -
But making many a haven safe at last!


Yea, as the nations know!
The nations who send up their praise to thee,
Hymning a hundred chartings he has made!
India cries, "To AMeditation's Port,
O Star, he came by thee and found the Infinite."
And Egypt older yet upon the seas,
"I launched him first on the known tide of time."
Greece chants, "I gave him beauty for the world!"
And the Christ-land, "To Beauty I brought Love!"
While Rome whose voyage led from Port to Port
Gathered all praise of thee,
And echoed it from Albion to the Elbe,
And southward by Hispania to the Straits,


                  FAR QUESTS                  '9
Thro which at length it leapt the loth Atlantic,
The Vast, the Unsailed,
Like luring music,
Before the bows of mightiest mariners,
And lo, lo, the rounded earth was one!


And men, 0 fair Effulgence,
Men too were one!
Bound consciously at last by the deep rays,
By thy divine deep rays of brotherhood!
For with hands locked around their little planet -
Which they had learned was not alone God's care -
Locked fast by fear and awe,
Or by the gentler bonds of hope and pity,
They saw, thro thy revealings,
That earth fares in an infinitesimal round
Mid infinite sun-spaces,
And that upon their littleness and briefness
And universal fate hangs fraternity.


20                FAR QUESTS
So close they throng together, closer, 0 Star,
With every shedding of thy radiance
Thro new soul-firmaments of vaster range.
For tho thev are finite sparks
For ever and ever blown, toward infinite Dark,
By the breath of Life -
And lonely save for hope of a Rekindling,
Or for each other's light along the way,
They trust in thee, 0 Star, Star of Achievement,
Trust thy ascension,
Shining sure ascension,
Thro nebulous realms that seem unknowable -
Toward constellated Love and Truth and Freedom!
Toward zenithed Joy!
Toward life's Intent, in the central heaven of all!



                 BROTHER GIAN

     (Of the Benedictines at .11onte Cassino)

                  Circa io8o

Dear Jesus Christ, I'm Brother Gian.
  Within my cell I sit and scratch
From pagan parchments words writ on
  Such vellum as not kings can match.
Words, Greek and Latin - all profane.
  Three Homers I have quite erased
  And look to see their lies replaced
By lives of Saints without a stain.


22               FAR QUESTS

This Virgil now: I'll do it next.
  Last night it tempted me to peep
A moment at its wicked text,
  Telling of nymphs . . . I could not sleep.
Dear Jesus Christ, I dreamt I was
  A faun within a Bacchic rout,
  And one white creature chose me out:
I broke with kisses all Thy laws.

Here is the place . . . I danced as wild
  As any bacchant of them all,
With ivy-woven tresses whiled
  Mad hours that maddened at her call.
She led me far into the wood
  Where not a Pan or Satyr leapt.
  Dear Jesus Christ, 'twas Satan swept
Me on - I scarcely understood.

Here is the place. . . . For in my dream
Each letter trembled and became


                  FAR QUESTS

A nymph: the parchment was a stream
  Of shapes that glimmered without shame.
I danced and followed where she fled
  With lips wine-glad bent back to shout.
  Dear Jesus Christ, beyond a doubt
She rose where "Venus" here I read.

So first of all I raze its shame!
  And pray that in its place may stand
Some letter of the Virgin's name
  Writ by a pure and holy hand,
And set about with red and gold
  And lilies -where my eyes still see
  But glimmering limbs that tempt and flee,
But shimmering arms that would enfold.

Dear Jesus Christ, this I confess,
  And fasting will I toil until
The vellum, white as holiness,
  Shall be fit for an angel's quill!



24                FAR QUESTS
An angel like the nymph with eyes
  And body that . . . Dear Jesus Christ,
  To woman was man sacrificed!
From Eve his sins forever rise!

                  SISTER PAULA
            (Qf the Benedictine Nuns)

I will not shun to touch the poor,
  Tho loathsome be their bruises,
Nor fail to toil, 0 Virgin Pure,
  On garments for their uses.
The sacramental bell I'll tend
  Unceasing, soon or late,
But 0, upon thy image there,
That clasps the Babe unto it, fair,
  I pray, bid me not wait!

The holy water I will fetch
   From Rome, afaint and fasting;


                  FAR QUESTS                  25

On the cold chapel-stones I'll stretch
  Long nights without repasting.
Sackcloth I'll bind about my waist,
  Nor ever will I rest,
But, Virgin Mother, let it be
That I need not look up and see
  The child there on thy breast!

For seeing it I can but sin,
  I, ne'er to be a mother,
And think of love that might have been,
  And of one, now Christ's brother,
Who tosses in his convent cell
  On billows of desire,
While toiling hours strike on his dreams
Stern blows of penitence that seems
  To shatter them with fire!

I can but sin -and cast away
  All love that is not human,


26               FAR QUESTS
That has not mystic joy to sway
  True-mated man and woman!
That does not spring and fill the world
  With children and with song;
With passion, in the summer night,
Upon young lips bliss hallows quite,
  Heart-bliss that is so strong!

I can but sin - the while this veil
  I wear seems but to strangle;
The while all vows I follow fail,
  Vows made but to entangle!
The while laud, vesper and compline
  Sound to my childlessness
Like chants the hapless heathen pour
On altars of false gods - no more!
  Such is my wickedness!

Therefore, 0 Virgin, set my hands
  To tasks however lowly,


                 FAR QUESTS                 27

To penance only cloister-bands
  Of Magdalens pay slowly!
Let me be less within thy sight
Than Heaven's lowest heir,
But place me not where I must brood
On the lost bliss of motherhood-
  Before thy image there:



               (Art and the Aan)

I am savage for life and the lusts
  Of beckoning quests I have banished,
    I am glutted with Beauty's face
      And the brush that I paint her with,
I am sick of the dreams and dusts
  Of the soul of me - of the vanished
    Lone years that I spent in chase
      Of the luring lips of Myth.

I was suckled for more than to fling
  The blood of my heart on a palette.
    I was given the eye of a god
      For more than a picture's worth.


                 FAR QUESTS

I have felt the ineffable sting
  Of Life - tho I be Art's valet.
    I have painted the cloud - or the clod,
      Who should have possessed the earth.

The Caesar in me, and the Christ


  Cry out to be given power.
    The Antony in my veins
      Would waste a world's throne for his queen.
And what to Ulysses sufficed -
  The infinite far foam-flower'-
    That only would quench the quest
      Of my soul for worlds unseen.

The law of it, God, do I hate,
  That a man with the might of many
    AMust hold to the task of one -
      In the groove of an ancient awe;
Or find, if his wvill, o'er great,
  Denies to be bound by any,
    The body of him shall break, undone,
      And Fate appear in the flaw.




The blue-bells ring in the bracken,
The heather bells on the hill,
  The gorse is yellow
  The sunlight mellow
With music of wind and rill!

Afar the mountains are rising
High Snowdon and all his knights,
  For some fair tourney
  With clouds that journey
Up from the sea's blue bights!

O winds, 0 waters, 0 mountains.
0 earth with your singing sod,
  I'm glad of the weather
  That brings together
My heart and the heart of God!



A myriad years you have led us
  In adoration on
To worship of wind and water,
  Wood, star and winged dawn.
A myriad years you have held us
  In an ecstasy of trust,
But never a thing have told us
  Of the meaning of life's lust.

Your suns and your moons and seasons
  W'e have hallowed with our praise,
With a passion like a lover's
  Wse have clasped your nights and days.
In solitudes we have trysted
  And in silence, yearning long,
And singing, in sooth, it taught us,
  But not the meaning of song.


              FAR QUESTS

Your flowers we know and name them
  With breaths of beauty o'er,
Your leaves and their million lispings
  We have treasured more and more.
Your clouds we have followed farther
  Than fancy follows thought,
And many a gleam have gathered,
  But not the gleam we sought.

The sea and its soul of power
  Has had of our hearts full awe
And love; tho we know what tribute
  Has fed its mystic maw.
Brave litanies we have lipped it,
  Brave prayers have we paid,
But infinite is its answer -
  And of that we are afraid!

And yet with joy for the jungle,
  With wonder for the wild,
Your lure and delight have led us
  As the rainbow leads the child.



             FAR QUESTS

Your deserts burning and dewless
  Have given our spirits drink,
But whence it has come we know not,
  From what Elysian brink.

Nor why, on heights of the mountain,
  In chasms of earth's crust,
We feel forever the Presence
  That is not framed of dust;
That is not born of the atoms,
  Nor by the ether bound;
That seeks forever to find us,
  Yet never can be found.

So come but a little nearer -
  Or farther breathe away.
Be more to us than a Presence
  That says nor yea nor nay.
Between the seen and the shadowed
  Stand not so strangely dumb,
Yet if you must, still let us trust
The Word at last shall come.




Down the road to Llasa,
  Himalayan and strange,
I thought I saw them winding
  From range to lower range,
The seekers after Buddha,
  Across the ice and cold,
And from their lips the mystic phrase
  Of merit ever tolled:
        'Om mane padme, hum!'
        Life is but a way of lust.
        Turn the wheel and beat the drum,
        Till we to Nirvana come.

Clothed in rags and turquoise
  And necklaces of skulls,
And shoes of yak worn furless,
  And fleece the shepherd culls,


           FAR QUESTS                35

With faces like to parchments
  Whereon alone was writ
The repetition of those words
  Of wonder infinite:
        'Om mane padme, hum"
        Life is but a robe of lust.
        Turn the wheel and beat the drum
        Till we to Nirvana come.

Down the road ascetic
  And desert, bleak and drear,
I thought I saw them winding
  To Llasa walls more near;
Strong man and maid and mother,
  Shorn youth and sexless age,
That ever to the wind intoned
  Their one acquitting page:
        'Om mane padme, hum!'
        Grief is but the goal of lust.
        Turn the wheel and beat the drum,
        Till we to Nirvana come.


           FAR QUESTS

Past the hermit's cavern -
  Where he alone drew breath! -
Past nunneries where silence
  Waits, acolyte of death;
Past shrines of lesser power,
  Where smiling idols wear
The bliss upon their gilded lips
Of the all-granting prayer.
        'Om mane padme, hum!'
        Leave the life of flesh and lust.
        Turn the wheel and beat the drum,
        Till we to Nirvana come.

Down the road -and down it,
  I saw them, lama-led,
Mid holy lakes and mountains,
   And monasteries fed
W ith endless alms-and measured
  By slow prostrations round,
And by the chanted syllables
  That sprung as from the ground.




       'Om mane padme, humr!'
       Life is but the lair of lust.
       Turn the wheel and beat the drum,
       Till we to Nirvana come.

Then at last to Llasa
They reach -I see them yet' -
And touch the gods on altars
  Above all others set.
Monk, man and maid and mother,
  Upon the Wheel of Things,
From which escape shall come alone
To him who ceaseless sings:
       'Om mane padme, hum:"
       End the life of greed and lust.
       Turn the wheel and beat the drum,
       Till we to Nirvana come.

3 7



        (The First to see the One God)
                  B. C.-

I went out and lay down on the earth.
  Dawn was not, but the sea and the sky
Held an auspice, as dimly my soul
  Held a vision I strained to descry.
Held a vision,that hung below birth
  In my brain, as the sun in his stole
Of imagined and infinite light
Was yet hung in the deeps of the night.

I went out and lay down on the breast
  Of the mountain; I clasped it and cried,
Let me see what is from me withheld!
  For the gods I am fain to deride!


                FAR QUESTS

All the temples and groves that are drest
  In the dream of the Spring have enspelled
Mle to reverence, but to no trust:
Is all lifting of prayers but a lust"

For I knew that men worshipped the sun
  And the moon and the might of the stars;
That on earth were peoples who made
  Of all things, quick or dead, avatars;
Of the tree, of the rivers that run
  From a source beyond sight; seeking aid
Of the wind, or beseeching the seas
That no sacrifice e'er can appease.

O I knew, and was so at despair
  Of all altars, all incense and praise'
"There is fortune," I said, "there is fate,
  But they fall in a myriad ways.
To no god of one way will I bare
  And abase me - his rending await:




Little gods are no gods; give me one
In whose hands are all things that are done!"

Then I saw' on the soul of me burst
  Light unbreathable, for I beheld
How a thought, that to man was before
  Never sent, could all Mystery weld!
"There is One, there is One God! the First
  And the Last," did I triumph, "No more!
And his throne is the Atom, the Star,
Is all things that have been and that are!

He is god of the East and the West,
  He is God of the Night and the Known,
He is Sun, he is Storm, he is Shade,
  He is Strife, he is Dust that is strewn,
He is Star, he is Foam on the Crest
  Of the Wave, he is Wind that is stayed;
He is what shall live Ever, or Die,
He is Pity and Hope-he is I!"



                FIAR QUESTS

Like delirium thro me it ran,
  Like divinity, for in a flash
Was the universe mine, I had torn
  The last veil - 0 immortally rash!
It was mine! all the vast Caravan
  Of its Being from bourne unto bourne:
For the vision that swept me, a clod,
Was His vision, was He - the One God!

I arose: the sun stood like a priest
  In ineffable gladness of gold
To embrace me, a proselyte, who
  Had heard all that to heart can be told.
I outreached him my arms, I the least
  Yet the greatest that dawn ever knew,
Then went down, with what rapturous ken,
To tell all to the children of men.




    A house for all dead books
    Beside Oblivion's River
    I saw the lone ghosts build
    With hands Plutonian.
    Its walls were wan and chilled,
    And only Time's faint shiver
Ran thro it, not the blessed breath of Pan.

    They built it at the foot
    Of hoary Charon's ferry.
    Its gate upon the tide
    Stood like a mouth of fate.
    And often to its side,
    Mid souls death could not bury,
He brought within his boat the futile freight.


                FAR QUESTS                  43
    Yea, all the futile freight -
    Of Song that had no pinions,
    Of Histories by earth
    Long treasured -fell to him.
    And tales no Muse gave birth
    Within her fair dominions
He wafted o'er and ranged within it dim.

    And soon unto its gate
    From out the fines Lethean
    Came many a phantom form
    On foot that hung with dread-
    Came lips that once were warm
    And eyes despair made peon
When they beheld amid dead tomes their dead.

    And some their hands would wring -
    A usage of old sorrow
    They had forgotten long
    In that Tartarean vale.


44                FAR QUESTS
    And some amid the thr