An Old Idea—Newly Clad.

Stream of my life, dim-banked, pale river, flow !1
I have no fear to meet the engulphing seas ;2
Neither I look before, nor look behind,3
But lying mute, with wave-dipped hand, float on.4
It was not always thus. My brethren, see5
This oar-marked, quivering palm, the bitter sign6
Of youth’s mad struggle with the wave that drifts 7
Immutably, eternally along.8
I would have had it glide through fields and flowers,9
Giving and taking freshness, perfume, joy ;10
It winds through a blank desert. Peace, my soul !11
—The finger of God’s angel drew its line.12
So I lean back, and look up to the stars,13
And count the ripples circling to the shore,14
And watch the silent river rolling on,15
Until it widen to the open seas.16