A humbler, tenderer spirit! Yes, I long for it. But how to gain it? I see no way but prayerfully to bend myself to meet the hour. Let friends be patient with me, and pardon some faint-heartedness. The buds will shiver in the cold air when the sheaths drop. It will not be so long. The word ‘Patience’ has been :spoken; it shall be my talisman. A nobler courage will be given, with gentleness and humility. My conviction is clear that all my troubles are needed, and that one who has had so much light thrown upon the path, has no excuse for faltering steps.
Could we command enthusiasm; had we an interest with the gods which would light up those sacred fires at will, we should be even seraphic in our influences. But life, if not a complete waste of wearisome hours, must be checkered with them; and I find that just those very times, when I feel all glowing and radiant in the happiness of receiving and giving out again the divine fluid, are preludes to hours of languor, weariness, and paltry doubt, born of—The secret soul's mistrustTo this, all who have chosen or been chosen to a life of thought must submit. Yet I rejoice in my heritage. Should I venture to complain?. Perhaps, if I were to reckon up the hours of bodily pain, those passed in society with which I could not coalesce, those of ineffectual endeavor to penetrate the secrets of nature and of art, or, worse still, to reproduce the beautiful in some way for myself, I should find they far outnumbered
To find her fair ethereal wings
Weighed down by vile, degraded dust.