Think’st thou, friend, that legends lying1
Full of flowers, and gems, and gold,2
These to man are satisfying3
These that were his bliss of old ?4
Think’st thou tales of fairy gardens,5
Now can feed our sharpen’d eyes,6
We whose hearts the present hardens,7
And whose science metes the skies ?8
Once were halls of clouds erected,9
Homes where only ghosts could dwell,10
And their builders sank dejected,11
When those thin pavilions fell.12
We must raise our habitations13
On the deep and solid soil,14
And must teach the moonstruck nations15
How to build their heaven by toil.16
True, O sage ! and great the meaning,17
But ’twere well to understand18
That complacent overweening19
Works with no victorious hand.20
Heaven is here around, within us ;21
This our earth is Paradise,22
Or the fancies ne’er could win us23
Which thou think’st a fool’s device.24
High the hope that lures our longing,25
Man for heaven and heaven for man !26
Though our dreams this credence wronging27
Oft obscure our Maker’s plan.28
Thou who scoff’st each ancient vision,29
Type and shade of better things,30
Think’st thou Reason’s dim precision31
Shapes a Heaven by wheels and springs ?32
Feed thy brain’s and belly’s hunger33
With some big mechanic scheme ;34
God is not an engine-monger,35
Nor are souls impelled by steam.36