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Whereof we seek the clue to find,
With groping fingers of the blind!
Forever sought, and never found,
We trace that serpent-symbol round
Our resting-place, our starting bound!
Oh, thriftlessness of dream and guess!
Oh, wisdom which is foolishness!
Why idly seek from outward things
The answer inward silence brings?
Why stretch beyond our proper sphere
And age, for that which lies so near?
Why climb the far-off hills with pain,
A nearer view of heaven to gain?
In lowliest depths of bosky dells
The hermit Contemplation dwells.
A fountain's pine-hung slope his seat,
And lotus-twined his silent feet,
Whence, piercing heaven, with screened sight,
He sees at noon the stars, whose light
Shall glorify the coming night.
Here let me pause, my quest forego;
Enough for me to feel and know
That He in whom the cause and end,
The past and future, meet and blend,—
Who, girt with his Immensities,
Our vast and star-hung system sees,
Small as the clustered Pleiades,—
Moves not alone the heavenly quires,
But waves the spring-time's grassy spires,
Guards not archangel feet alone,
But deigns to guide and keep my own;
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