by Robert Laurence Binyon
Out of these throes that search and sear
What is it so deep arises in us
Above the shaken thoughts of fear,--
Whatever thread the Fates may spin us,--
Above the horror that would drown
And tempest that would strike us down?
It is to stand in cleansing light,
The cloud of dullard habit lifted,
To use a certainty of sight
And breathe an air by peril sifted,
The things that once we deemed of price
Consumed in smoke of sacrifice.
It is to feel the world we knew
Changed to a wonder past our knowing;
The grass, the trees, the skiey blue,
The very stones are inly glowing
With something infinite behind
These shadows, ardently divined.
We went our ways; each bosom bore
Its spark of separate desire;
But each now kindles to the core
With faith from this transfusing fire,
Whereto our inmost longings run
To be made infinitely one
With that which nothing can destroy,
Which lives when all is crushed and taken,
The home of dearer than our joy,
By all save by the soul forsaken,--
The soul that strips her clean of care
Because she breathes her native air,
Yet not in scorn of lovely earth
And human sweetness born of living,
For these are grown of dearer worth,
A gift more precious in the giving,
Since through this raiment's hues and lines
The glory of the spirit shines.
Faces of radiant youth, that go
Like rivers singing to the sea!
You count no careful cost; you know;
Of that far secret you are free;
And life in you its splendour spending
Sings the stars' song that has no ending.
Last updated January 14, 2019