Sagas of Vaster Britain: Poems of the Race, the Empire and the Divinity of Man

by William Wilfred Campbell




AND Thou, who art of all things Lord,
    By whom all perish or dream,
Who wakest the flower, the star, the love,
    The mighty world or the gleam;

Who after sad winter wakest the rose,

    After midnight the dawn,
By whose dread word the children of earth
    Up thy mountains have gone;

Teach me the lesson that Mother Earth
    Teacheth her children each hour,

When she keeps in her deeps the basic root,
    And wears on her breast the flower.

And as the brute of the basic root
    In the infinite cosmic plan,
So in the plan of the infinite mind

    The flower of the brute is man;—

Man, who blossoms in beauty and love
    And wisdom’s wondrous bloom,
And climbs by spiral stairways dread,
    To the dawn of the world’s great doom.


And when doth come that marvellous change,
    Thou master of being and death,
O let me die as the great dead died,
    Not passing of instinct’s breath;—

Let me lie down with a loftier thought

    Than passing of beast and leaf;
That the cry of human soul for soul
    Is greater than nature’s grief;

That man is nearer the mountains of God
    Than in those ages when

He slept the sleep of the tiger and fox,
    And woke to the strife of the den.

And when from the winter of Thy wild death
    Thine angels of sunlight call,
Waken me unto my highest, my best,

    Or waken me not at all.