by Archibald Lampman





Before me grew the human soul,
    And after I am dead and gone,
Through grades of effort and control
    The marvellous work shall still go on.

Each mortal in his little span                                                      5
    Hath only lived, if he have shown
What greatness there can be in man
    Above the measured and the known;

How through the ancient layers of night,
    In gradual victory secure,                                                     10
Grows ever with increasing light
    The Energy serene and pure:

The Soul, that from a monstrous past,
    From age to age, from hour to hour,
Feels upward to some height at last.                                     15
    Of unimagined grace and power.

Though yet the sacred fire be dull,
    In folds of thwarting matter furled,
Ere death be nigh, while life is full,
    O Master Spirit of the world,                                               20

Grant me to know, to seek, to find,
    In some small measure though it be,
Emerging from the waste and blind,
    The clearer self, the grander me!