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[298]
     And Thou, our Life's Interpreter, dost still
At once make clear these visions and fulfil;
     Each dim sweet Orphic rhyme,
Each mythic tale sublime
     Of strength to save, of sweetness to subdue,
Each morning dream the few,
     Wisdom's first lovers told, if read in Thee comes true.

Thou, O Friend
     From heaven, that madest this our heart Thine own,
Dost pierce the broken language of its moan—
     Thou dost not scorn our needs, but satisfy
Each yearning deep and wide,
     Each claim, is justified;
Our young illusions fail not, though they die
     Within the brightness of Thy Rising, kissed
To happy death, like early clouds that lie
     About the gates of Dawn,—a golden mist
Paling to blissful white, through rose and amethyst.

The World that puts Thee by,
     That opens not to greet Thee with Thy train,
That sendeth after Thee the sullen cry,
     “We will not have Thee over us to reign,”
Itself doth testify through searchings vain
     Of Thee and of its need, and for the good
It will not, of some base similitude
     Takes up a taunting witness, till its mood,
Grown fierce o'er failing hopes, doth rend and tear
     Its own illusions grown too thin and bare
To wrap it longer; for within the gate
     Where all must pass, a veiled and hooded Fate,
A dark Chimera, coiled and tangled lies,
     And he who answers not its questions dies,—
Still changing form and speech, but with the same
     Vexed riddles, Gordian-twisted, bringing shame
Upon the nations that with eager cry
     Hail each new solver of the mystery;
Yet he, of these the best,
     Bold guesser, hath but prest
Most nigh to Thee, our noisy plaudits wrong;
     True Champion, that hast wrought
Our help of old, and brought
     Meat from this eater, sweetness from this strong.

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