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To The Prophetic Soul
(17 November 1861 - 10 February 1899 / Morpeth, Ontario)

To The Prophetic Soul

What are these bustlers at the gate
Of now or yesterday,
These playthings in the hand of Fate,
That pass, and point no way;

These clinging bubbles whose mock fires
For ever dance and gleam,
Vain foam that gathers and expires
Upon the world's dark stream;

These gropers betwixt right and wrong,
That seek an unknown goal,
Most ignorant, when they seem most strong;
What are they, then, O Soul,

That thou shouldst covet overmuch
A tenderer range of heart,
And yet at every dreamed-of touch
So tremulously start?

Thou with that hatred ever new
Of the world's base control,
That vision of the large and true,
That quickness of the soul;

Nay, for they are not of thy kind,
But in a rarer clay
God dowered thee with an alien mind;
Thou canst not be as they.

Be strong therefore; resume thy load,
And forward stone by stone
Go singing, though the glorious road
Thou travellest alone.

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