by Archibald Lampman





What are these bustlers at the gate
    Of now or yesterday,
These playthings in the hand of Fate,
    That pass, and point no way;

These clinging bubbles whose mock fires                                 5
    For ever dance and gleam,
Vain foam that gathers and expires
    Upon the world’s dark stream;

These gropers betwixt right and wrong,
    That seek an unknown goal,                                                 10
Most ignorant, when they seem most strong;
    What are they, then, O Soul,

That thou shouldst covet overmuch
    A tenderer range of heart,
And yet at every dreamed-of touch                                          15
    So tremulously start?

Thou with that hatred ever new
    Of the world’s base control,
That vision of the large and true,
    That quickness of the soul;                                                   20

Nay, for they are not of thy kind,
    But in a rarer clay
God dowered thee with an alien mind;
    Thou canst not be as they.

Be strong therefore; resume thy load,                                    25
    And forward stone by stone
Go singing, though the glorious road
    Thou travellest alone.