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Poem by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Address to the Soul in Despondency

  No, Soul! not in vain thou hast striven,
    Unless thou abandon the strife;
  Forsworn to the banners of Heaven,
    If false in the battle of life.

  Why--counting the gain or the loss--
    The badge of the temple assume?
  March on! if thy sign be the Cross,
    Thy triumph must be at the Tomb.

  Say, doth not the soldier rejoice
    If placed by his chief at the van?
  As spirit, submit to the choice
    The noble would welcome as man.

  "Farewell to the splendour of light!"
    The Greek could exulting exclaim,
  Resign'd to the Hades of Night,
    To live in the air as A NAME.

  Could he, for a future so vain,
    Every pang in the present control,
  Yet thou of a moment complain
    In thine infinite life as a soul?

  Like thee, do not millions receive
    Their chalice embitter'd with gall?
  If good be creation--believe
    _That_ good which is common to all!

  In evil itself, to the glance
    Of the wise, half the riddles are clear
  Were wisdom but perfect, perchance,
    The rest might in love disappear.

  The thunder that scatters the pest
    May be but a type of the whole;
  And storms which have darken'd the breast
    May bring but its health to the soul.

  Can earth, where the harrow is driven,
    The sheaf in the furrow foresee,--
  Or thou guess the harvest of heaven
    Where iron has enter'd in thee?

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Edward Bulwer-Lytton's other poems:
  1. The Love of Maturer Years
  2. The Everlasting Grave-Digge
  3. The Sabbath
  4. Love and Fame
  5. Love at First Sight

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