BEE-FLIGHTS from bloom to bloom beguiled along
Till darkness sends the hour of honeyed rest;
Bird-flights from spray to spray about the nest
In a tumultuous ecstasy of song ;
Cloud-soarings from the bosom of the sea
To snowy peaks and moonlit vastnesses ;
Star-showers sprinkling space’s wilderness :
Are these not symbols of Humanity?
The creatures of caprice and dim desire,
We strive to soar when scarce we know to climb,
And lose not nor advance, but fruitlessly
Wing little flights, till, in an hour sublime
And unforeseen, we strike with pulse of fire
Some primal note of our life-melody.



Up from the rim of this transcendent night
Sweepeth the silent moon, full-orbed and free.
Turn not thy gaze therefrom, yet wilt thou see
Side-gleams of vapors sown with rainbow-light;
Of leaves that twinkle in a dalliance bright
With evening zephyrs ; of the silvery mere
Where ripples sparkle, speed and disappear.
The frame that Nature forms for every sight
Is portion of her picture, as, in sound,
Each note partakes of subtle sister-tones. Adjudge that virtue flawless ; circling round
See sombre shades of selfishness and pride.
Wholly condemn this sin, and through thy groans
Some angel voice rejoices at thy side.



Melodious messages our Shakespeare sang
In the old time came to me yesterday,
But not from heights Olympian ; they sprang
Out of the common mire and the play
Of sunny childhood in a sunless den, —
Less lofty, but as potent now as then.
With hearts elate we summon the high gods
By their shrill pæans to applaud our deeds;
They sound an answer suited to our needs,
Tuned deeper than the rapture that we miss, —
Not sky-born strains, but psalms that rise from sods.
The same refrain—true souls, ye know it well! —
Is hymned in altitudes of heavenly bliss,
And hurled in hate from the profounds of hell.


Fifths. I.

Great hopes that grow and languish ; great despairs
That blot out suns, yet on the verge of night
Unveil the stars; high instincts, humble prayers
That out of darkness yearn unto the light;
Lost loves that clasp their agony — to know
A solace in the glory Love has been ;
And bottomless desires all aglow
With the unconscious majesty of Sin,—
All things that lead away from common sight
Into the vast abyss above, below,
And make, beyond our ken, for weal or woe,
Sound open fifths to-day, but on the morrow
Eternity reveals the thirds within
Sublime with major joy or minor sorrow.


Fifths. II.

How wonderful the tonal mystery
That fifths, so long as they at rest abide Or move in divers ways, not side by side,
Do wake an elemental harmony
Serene and simple and profound; but bent
On the same progress, all grows discontent,
All chaos, where sweet concord was before !
Souls that I love, we are not otherwise :
Should each of us his proper path explore,
Bold to perform the best that in him lies,
True to himself in thought and word and deed,
Life were a pæan. But to choose our lot
By the blind guidance of another’s creed
Makes God’s fair world a discord and a blot.



From the far sea a haunting cadence falls
Through boom of breakers hissing into spray
And thunderous swirl around dank chasm walls,
More peaceful, yet more masterful, than they.
And in the wood a quiet note is heard, —
Not where the leaves hold breezy whisperings,
Or faintly pipes the newly-fledgëd bird
’Mid slumberous stir of hidden insect-wings ;
The spirit of the place hath accents clear
That ring through all the babel pure and true.
And so with Man. Who, silent and sublime
Moves through this din of multitudes, may hear
Under the words we say, the deeds we do,
Our life-notes swell the symphony of Time !
John Hall Ingham.