The Country Unexplored

OCEANS are drained and earth’s dark heart is riven,
Man’s daring spirit knows nor bound nor bar;
He wrests its secrets from the very heaven,
Weighing and measuring farthest sun and star!
Only one land is left, — not far away,
And yet more strange than where, in spectral skies,
Hangs the weird midnight sun, or burning day
Over mysterious deserts sinks and dies :
The Country Unexplored of Sleep and Dreams,
Whose shores vve reach with mind and senses chained,
And where no compass guides, no beacon gleams,
To show how some safe harbor might be gained.
But this of that dim, phantom land we know,
This through all maze and blindness clearly see, —
That in those dells where Sleep’s dark poppies grow
We seek and find and touch unconsciously
Those secret springs of life whence first we drew
Being and nurture at God’s primal call,
And in their mystic deeps refresh, renew,
Each force, each power, whereby we live at all.
So. fearless and alone, night after night.
Through that strange country still we come and go,
What though its paths may skirt the fields where white
Death’s lilies glimmer like eternal snow :
Fields that we enter still more darkly blind
Than Sleep’s dim, unknown land, yet it may be
He who gives life even there will let us find
The hidden springs of Immortality!
Stuart Sterne.