Филип Джеймс Бэйли (Philip James Bailey)
Текст оригинала на английском языке
Festus - 37
Not on one plane indeviable, the soul Makes way, but moonlike waveringly as though Not to advance for a time content; the while Urged by interior fate to compass heaven Pauseless; the spirit's instruction still proceeds; And God's original end itself fulfil. Soul commune solitary with God; faith, prayer Strengthen the spirit meekly sustained by sense Of travail, for the world's weal fate to endure And rule. God, through his angel, tidings blessed To man sends of acceptance sealed; his choice Pacific ratified. Yet welcome though, The heaven imputed charge, now imminent, weights The aspiring soul with prescient grief, if heaven's Free testimony make glad, and man's assent General, but unproclaimed to power God--vouched With calm fill now inalienable for aye. A lonely Lodge among the Snowy Mountains. Festus alone; afterwards Guardian Angel. Festus. I feel as if I could devour the days Till the time came when I shall gain mine end; God shall have made me ruler, and all worlds Signed the sublime recognizance. Till then, Even as a boat lies rocking on the beach, Waiting the one white wave to float it free, Wait I the great event;--too great it seems. Yet, Lord! thou knowest the power I seek for sought For man's good and thy glory, and its desire By thee inspired. As I use it use thou me. Thou hast said that such I shall enjoy, and then, My mission and thine ends accomplished, here, I seek a world where souls begin again, Or life take up from where death broke it at. Like disproportion there 'tween will and power As here, may not be. If not, I shall be happy. I feel no bounds. I cannot think but thought On thought springs up, illimitably, around, As a great forest sows itself; but here There is nor ground nor light enough to live. Sealike, I would be everywhere at once; And, sensible of the natural competence To outspread my spirit o'er all the endless world, Would act at all points. Bound to one, I feel, So poor mere place is, with ubiquity weighed, As well nigh nowhere. Sense, flesh, feeling, fail Before the imperious mind's feet as the dust She treads, windlike lifts up and leaves behind. How mind will act with body glorified And spiritualized, and senses fined, And pointed brilliantwise, we know not. Here, Even, it may be wrong in us to deem The senses degradations, otherwise Than as fine steps, whereby the queenly soul Comes down from her bright throne to view the mass She hath dominion over, and the things Of her inheritance; and reascends, With an indignant fiery purity, Not to be touched, her seat. The visible world, Whereby God maketh nature known to us, Is not derogatory unto himself, As the pure Spirit Infinite. A world Is but, perhaps, a sense of God's whereby He may explain his nature, and receive Fit pleasure. But the hour is hard at hand, When time's gray wing shall winnow all away, Heavens, stars, earth's atoms: when Creator mind And mind create shall know each other; worlds, Bodies put off, and man his Maker meet Where all, who through the universe do well, Embrace their hearts' desire; what things they will And whom remember; live, too, where they list; And with the beings they love best, and God, Inherit and inhabit boundless bliss. Hear me, all--favouring God! my latest prayer; Thou unto whom all nations of the world Lift up their hearts, like grass--blades to the sun; Who all things hast, save need of aught; who hast given me Earth and her all; give from thy garner stored With good, some sign Lord now in proof to earth My prayers are with thee; that they rend the clouds, And, rising through the sightless dark of space, Reach to thy central throne. Oh! let me feel, What was my constant dream in my young years, And is in all my better moments now,-- My hope, my faith, my nature's sum and end, Oneness with thee and heaven. Lord! make me sure My soul already is in unison With the triumphant. Ah! I surely hear The voices of the spirits of the saints, And witnesses to the redeeming truth; Not, as of old, in scanty scattered strains, Breathed from the caves of earth and cells of cities,-- Nor as the voice of martyr choked with fire,-- But in one solemn hymn of joy as when From the bright walls of the heavenly city they Looked on the war of hell, host upon host, Foiled by God's single sword before their gates Of perfect pearl;--nearer and nearer now! This is the sign, O God! which thou hast given, And I will praise thee through eternity. Saints from Heaven. Call all who love thee, Lord! to thee, Thou knowest how they long To leave these broken lays, and aid In heaven's unceasing song; How they long, Lord! to go to thee, And hail thee with their eyes,-- Thee in thy blessedness, and all The nations of the skies; All who have loved thee and done well, Of every age, creed, clime; The host of saved ones from the ends And all the worlds of time: The wise in matter and in mind, The soldier, sage, and priest, King, prophet, hero, saint, and bard, The greatest soul and least; The old and young and very babe, The maiden and the youth, All re--born angels of one age-- The age of heaven and truth; The rich, the poor, the good, the bad, Redeemed alike from sin; Lord! close the book of time, and let Eternity begin. Festus. Will ye away, ye blessed? To God I then Commend ye, and my soul with yours; and midst The light ye live, in, oh! mind ye of the days Sunless, and starless nights, myriads on earth Pass without faith's one ray, and pray for those Who in the world's dark womb bound, know not yet, Through indifference, ignorance, or disbelief, Their sire, God. Lord of all earth, all worlds, all heavens, Lift up to thine my spirit; let me so share The comfort of thy love, that while ordained To my great task, no more misgivings, fears, Nor mortal doubts, the soul chill, thou by thy love Hast hallowed, and so made like molten gold The mould that holds it precious; or for thine Own ends, if such thou suffer, may they pass Quickly and traceless, perish; all thoughts of earth All deathpangs too o'ercome, may I with thy chosen, Seraphs and saints, and all--possessing souls, Which minister through the universe, to thee, Enthroned in spirit's intensest bliss, succeed To heaven for ever. Guardian Angel. Hear, mortal, and believe. The soul once saved shall never cease from bliss. She doth not sin. The deeds which look like sin, The flesh and the false world, are all to her Hallowed and glorified. The world is changed. She hath a resurrection unto God, While in the flesh, before the final one, And is with God. Her state shall never fail. Even the molten granite which hath split Mountains, and lieth now like curdled blood In marble veins, shall flow again when comes The heat which is to end all; when the air Is as a ravening fire, and what at first Produced, at last consumeth; but the soul Redeemed is dear to God as his own throne, And shall no sooner perish. Hearken, man! Will thou distrust God? Festus. God I ne'er distrust. Guardian Angel. Perchance his dooms perplex thee; thou wouldst know Why this, why that, were ta'en. If that, by charm Of world--lore and all mysteries abstruse, Art's secular sanctities and accomplishments, Would have divert thy heart, thy life absorbed As fain she would, to her own ends: if this, Of sway ambitious, had foreurged the arm Of empire, ere among men's minds the need And good of universal peace became Compeer, in thine, of conscience purified And life sublimed and hallowed; had life's friend, Though cordial and sincere, infected thine With his soul's selfish purports, love of power, Wealth, knowledge, state and rule for any good Narrower than all thy kind's; the stars had stopped Their sacred march. All fates are in God's hand; And whether by their own presumption, pride, Passion or ignorance, this or that one cease, Perish, man knows not, angel knows not. All Know it is just. Doubt thou on doubt no more. Prepare then for the power and lot most high Whereto the Lord hath called thee. He hath heard The prayers thou hast now besought him with, heart--strained, And bids me tell thee, shrink not, doubt not. He Will comfort and uphold thee at the end. Festus. Thou art mine angel guard! I recognize, In every holy feature of thy face, The instigated thoughts of heaven which oft In my world wanderings blessed me; in thy touch, The virtuous resolution; in thy voice, The warning and foreknowledge unexplained, Not unesteemed, prompting to do or shun; And in thy smile joy total and supreme. Guardian Angel. But death's eternal secret all must hear. Festus. I fear, I fear this miracle of death Is something terrible. Guardian Angel. Where faith were not In God's all--moulding hand, such fear were well. As when aërial voyager--in car Strung pensile 'neath some huge and gaseous globe, That but by loftier levity attains Life's limit, upwards eyes the Infinite, Formless and vast as deity; then, while through His mind, himself a wind--steered atom--pass Inexplicable thoughts and doubts sublime, And troublous forecast of his travel's end, Pores, wistful, downwards on the sea of clouds, Peaked far below his feet in billowy hills, Sea over sea, whose vaporous baptism he Must plunge through, ere he sets where fortune lists, Or tyrant gusts decree; so 'twixt all truth And death, the uncertain soul, sustained alone By its own insubstantive powers, less free Than mutable, sees no safety in its course, Nor fixèd goal afar. But, soul--assured, Rests on the rock--foundations of God's word; Nor brooks the awful liberty to doubt. Festus. My soul feels firmer; fitter for the end, Too soon, come when it will. But while life lasts This holy mystery of incertitude, Lawed of God, doubtless, to some good, rules all. As when from some broad bluff where rival winds, Hold haughty revelry, by night we see The lurid lights of a huge city lie Below, like an abyss of fallen stars, Marked dully from those heavenly ones, and feel The storm and stress of transit, though subdued, And as with deadened thunder, still the ear, More than day's roar and the tempestuous tides Of social strife; so, calling back our years, We note where youth's bright aspirations soar O'er life's dim actions; how, too, as we age, Life's recollections more than present deeds Or hopes, mind's courts judicial crowd; while there, Still, by her balance, sits everlasting doubt Poising and pondering all things. But to God, Go angel, and declare that I repent Of all misdeeds; that but for his own grace I should repent of my whole life; that on That grace, which now hath sanctified the whole, I trust for all the rest of it, and then For ever; that I am prepared to act And suffer as he bids, and in all things To do his will rejoicing. Guardian Angel. It is done. Festus. Oh! I repent me of a thousand sins, In number as the breaths which I have breathed. Am I forgiven? Guardian Angel. Child of God, thou art. It is God prompts, inspires, and answers prayer; Not sin, nor yet repentance, which avails: And none can truly worship but who have The earnest of their glory from on high, God's nature in them. It is the love of God The extatic sense of oneness with all things, And special worship towards himself that thrills Through life's self--conscious chord, vibrant in him, Harmonious with the universe, which makes Our sole fit claim to being immortal; that Wanting nor willing, the world cannot worship. And whether the lip speak, or in inspired Silence, we clasp our hearts as a shut book Of song unsung, the silence and the speech Is each his; and as coming from and going To him, is worthy of him and his love. Prayer is the spirit speaking truth to truth; The expiration of the thing inspired. Above the battling rock--storm of this world Lies heaven's great calm, through which as through a bell, Tolleth the tongue of God eternally, Calling to worship. Whoso hears that tongue Worships. The spirit enters with the sound, Preaching the one and universal word, The God word, which is spirit, life, and light; The written word to one race, the unwrit Revealment to the thousand peopled world. The ear which hears is preattuned in heaven, The eye which sees prevision hath ere birth. But the just future shall to many give, Gifts which the partial present doles to few; To all the glory of obeying God. Festus. The knowledge of God is the wisdom of man-- This is the end of being, wisdom; this Of wisdom, action; and of action, rest; And of rest, bliss; that by experience sage Of good and ill, the diametric powers Which thwart the world, the thrice--born might discern, With the undeflected spirit pure from heaven, That he who makes, unbuilding, saves the whole; In wisdom's holy spirit all renewed. To know this, is to read the runes of old, Wrought in the time--outlasting rock; to see Unblinded in the heart of light; to feel Keen through the soul, the same essential strain, Which vivifies the clear and fire--eyed stars, Still harping their serene and silvery spell In the perpetual presence of the skies, And of the world--cored calm, where silence sits In secret light all hidden; this to know-- Brings down the fiery unction from on high, Chrism spiritual of heaven's eternal sun, Which hallows and ordains the regnant soul; Transmutes the splendid fluid of the frame Into a fountain of divine delight, And renovative nature;--shows us earth, One with the great galactic line of life Which parts the hemispheral palm of heaven; This with all spheres of being makes concord As at the first creation, in that peace, Earth's hope, heaven's joy, the choice of the elect, Life's grace, God's blessing. And as time's vesper hymn The starry matins of eternity Precedes, and dawn of being in the new heavens, To know this, is to know we shall depart Into the storm--surrounding calm on high, The sacred cirque, the all--central infinite, Of that self--blessedness wherein abides Our God, all kind, all loving, all beloved;-- To feel life one great ritual, and its laws, Writ in the vital rubric of the blood, Flow in obedience, and flow out command, In sealike circulation; and be here Accepted as a gift by him who gives An empire as an alms, nor counts it aught, So long as all his creatures joy in him, The great Rejoicer of the universe, Whom all the boundless spheres of being bless. Angel. I go. Thy God is with thee. We shall meet Ere long, no more to part. Festus. Hear, angel--guard! Hie thee to heaven, and say in man's behalf, Perfect as creatural limits will let be, All aptnesses of heaven and earth complete, All being's best aims accomplished, God's and man's, Truth, union, peace, society's triple crown Secured, 'twere well, ere fall befal, earth cease. I have chosen; and all the ambitious hopes of life, Proud schemes of power prolonged; huge length of days; And all that secret wisdom toiled to achieve One hour shall wreck. Guardian Angel. It is best for all. Farewell! Festus. It is sweet to feel we are encircled here By breath of angels as the stars by heaven; And the soul's own relations, all divine, As kind as even those of blood;--and thus, While friends and kin, like Saturn's double rings, Cheer us along our orbit, we may feel We are not lone in life, but that earth's part Of heaven and all things. Left now lonely here, Like a gray gaunt menhir by the all--wasting sea, The solitude impersonate, nature's ebb Surviewing, let me my life o'erlook. I see, Not inconspicuous, hence:--an islet fair Fertile; with waste spots; washed by death's wide main, All streams of life emotional gulphing; skyed By boundless thought; and, albeit sunned by faith, And heavenly love, sin--clouded; passion swept As though the nest of storms; ribbed through by chains Of mountain acts; immoveable shackles these; No subtlest sophist can dislink; no priest Pretentious loose; no angel bid fall off. Acts are for ever. Thoughts, like dreamclouds, come Unbidden, and go: nay, oft 'neath reason's ray Evaporate, cease, unknown to the heart or God. But deeds die not; though trodden below the ground They seed for ever. Yet the coming clears; The chaos of uncertainties, the storm--fires Of thought--search, feeling, I have passed through, henceforth By force of fate foregone, though scarcely now, Shadows to me, of truth, life sure--no more Vex; nor, dragged captive, groan I, where'er doubt Skims in his fugitive tents, pitched here, pitched there; But the well--built walls of castled certainty Me, voluntary, detain, faith's guest, faith's friend Undauntable--dreadless of all siege; nor awed Of the twinned strife, waged ere the birth of things, Of freedom against fate, mere liberty, The inferior marking; spirit more high, the stress Of virtue's laws, and reason's despotry; Until through every range is reached the soul In whose great essence fate with freedom ones. Called by his sovereign mandate thus to reign In earth and death beyond, my spirit, as air No arrow wounds, passive to every hest The All--sire sends forth, abides. Are God's ways now Less marvellous than of old, with men? Lacks one Due witness in his own considerate heart, Of impulse, guidance, warning, sway divine? All things controlling to concerted ends Material or of mind? Through what dim paths, Unconscious seemingly of all approach Truthwards, I have trode; how secret wisdom's ways; And through what mazy discipline at last, In thought's free centre summed and ended, I Soul perfected am come. How things despised Once ignorantly, have since in life's complete, But graduated evolvement, gained just power, True trust and dignity. How the spirit, cleared From every doubt,--the black o'erbelted clouds Of mystery rounding the orbed world, is now To faith, pure simple life, and conscious joy Of being with deity concentrate, returned. See love and knowledge, superficial tests, Though once deemed satisfying, now proved but means Soul perfective for heavenlier ends. Command, Life's crowning proof I feel, if or towards self, Or man's good bent. And this now nerves me, I Obedient though reluctant, armed for fight, By faithful love, wisdom divine, and meek Philosophy, whose broad and rational fan, All doctrine winnowing, windlike leaves truth sole, The vital seed of science; with such food Celestial, the sense quickening that nought bars Man's conscience from commune divine, and heaven's Own inspiration; she, life's guard and guide, From creeds opposed like verities draws; annuls All rancour; mediatizes the proud points Of old and worldwide worships, and declares, As every faith begins and ends in God, The virtual spirit of all, love; earth--life, rite Initiative to life divine. Man's heart, So bettered in its aims shall yet with all In heaven beat tunably. Pursuits, desires, Affections, passions which once specious made Existence and experience seeming sage, Paled 'fore death's breathless stride shall cease, and leave Rapt union only with the eternal mind And concourse with its ends. For, once approved The illusoriness of things, the barrenness Of knowledge, and occupation; the unworth Life's solid--seeming bubble infilms, the cares, The needs which here disfigure time, the wrongs Society most in virtue's name enacts, Maugre the prime decrees staunch conscience owns Heaven sown, innate; man spiritually framed Upon the scale of gods, with broods of stars Coaeval, vast in years, perfectible even To the mid point where mixed humanity blends With pure divinity and parental, views, In God's unbounded and immediate being, All secondary existence reunite; By beauty of purity drawn; by holiness Of thought and godliest love of love supreme; All hopes amassed, all ends concentrate there. To know the truth of God, by none without His special love known; in accord to act With sanctified intelligences that rule, Each, as the finger of God, a world; to feel Heart and mind one, with all we rule or serve; Mind, everywhere like--motived, passioned; ours Toned all to endure, but hopeful of things best, As ultimately and only bound to be; To know each new conception gained of God's All blessing nature, proof of commune pure With deity, and of his divine embrace; Makes the round good I have longed for, and by grace God, now, such capabilities perfected, grants. Come then, the end at once. Nay, wherefore not? Content with recognition just from spirits Of orders highest, selectest round me,--even As when Jove's prosperous star, upclimbing slow Behind some hill--based city, obscured at first By urban exhalations, and confused With earthlier luminaries, draws soon, serene Towards the upper rooms of space, and the bays bridging, And flat wide wastes of wet and weedy sand; With beamy path, shows plainly planetwise, Through grandeur of patience, and the ascent to heights More and more pure continually, by hosts Fraternal, in bright conclave welcomed, there With them heaven's arch to tread, and the rare blue air Respire, of immortality, let my soul, By fate and faith empowered all eminence here To o'erpass; misjudgment's fog cleared, and rank mists Of slander: passion's cloud--scud, and all fires Fatuous or vaporous, ignorant praise ill rates As lights perennial, henceforth of this high end Assured, and state celestial, life's last aim And holiest duty, God to obey, fulfil. The world's precipitate opposition changed To tolerant acquiescence, man's whole strength May still need marshalling 'gainst destruction's ranks Should these contest the world--realm yet, or those Their Lord's disposal of time's ultimate gifts Defy, and power's supreme arrangements. Hence I live but in the future; earth in me Breathes only, and in my choice; choice, heaven--approved. Too long perhaps withdrawn, too glad to escape Once the o'ermastering world, my solitude, Myself, it is now for me to quit, and life's Opposing interests, influences, contemned, Work out for all a freer, worthier fate. As one on coast half cave, half crag, but caught By tempest, savage breast--room finds, and peace, In the sudden silence of a rocky rift, Nought visible thence but storm of foam--flakes floating Before its mouth like wild words, from white lips Wrung reckless, desperate tossed; save roar of sea Nought heard, and his own, his hurried breathing;--awed By the sensible stillness round him of all else, And vague unreasoning fears lest thunders thrice Reverberant smote, should casually unloose The natural vault--work o'er his head, and make Safer to face, without, the hurricane drift Rock shivering, than abide in that grim cell Its calm, so deathful possibly; tides the while Mounting, night falling, his now dread retreat By lightning searched, he at last from his niche burst forth, Braves resolute, all; so I, long periods passed, Of dolorous exile and seclusion, seek Through the tempestuous clash of human wills, And general hate, save of the good and wise, Mightier than others, or themselves deem, earth's, Mine own, and man's convergent destinies.
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