OUT of these dreams of good and evil, dense
With hopes grown half despairs, despairs that trace
Furrows for hope, I wake sometimes and face
The darkness of our final nescience:
Then all earth’s dancing pageants fall away —
Her flowers and forests and assuaging streams;
All man’s philosophies and golden dreams —
The veils he wraps about the face of clay —
Dissolve. And there remains eternal lack
Of any comfort: for those questionings,
Whose stubborn challenge still unchallenged rings, —
Nor man nor god gives ever answer back, —
Set like stark monoliths as terminals
To Life’s long alley, close Death’s windy halls.



When cold dejection comes and joy of Life
Fades in eclipse; when the rich powers of thought
Are tarnished o’er, and as an empty strife
Is all that once seemed worthiest to be sought;
Under that blinding doom I should forget
The victories and conquests of the day,
And burning faiths and white ideals set
For fiery pillars on my nightly way:
But that in blanching ashes still, I know,
My inner spirit tends a glowing core,
Deep-hid, unfelt, but burning evermore,
Which soon the keen salt winds of Life shall blow
Into a shimmering fervor, till it shed
Spark-showers exultant down the ways ahead.