Now the last hookah has gone out, and the most restless of our servants has turned in. The roof of the cabin is strewed with bodies anything but fragrant, indeed, we cannot help pitying the melancholy fate of poor , who is traditionally supposed to encircle such sleepers with his soft arms. Could you believe it possible that through such a night as this they choose to sleep under those wadded cotton coverlets, and dread not instantaneous asphixiation? .
How melancholy a thing is success. Whilst failure inspirits a man, attainment reads the sad prosy lesson that all our glories "Are shadows, not substantial things." Truly said the sayer, "disappointment is the salt of life" a salutary bitter which strengthens the mind for fresh exertion, and gives a double value to the prize. .
Of the gladest moments in human life, methinks is the departure upon a distant journey to unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares and the Slavery of Home, man feels once more happy. The blood flows with the fast circulation of childhood....afresh dawns the morn of life... .
The Translator has ventured to entitle a "Lay of the Higher Law" the following composition, which aims at being in advance of its time; and he has not feared the danger of collision with such unpleasant forms as the "Higher Culture." The principles which justify the name are as follows: — The Author asserts that Happiness and Misery are equally divided and distributed in the world. He makes Self-cultivation, with due regard to others, the sole and sufficient object of human life. He suggests that the affections, the sympathies, and the "divine gift of Pity" are man's highest enjoyments. He advocates suspension of judgment, with a proper suspicion of "Facts, the idlest of superstitions." Finally, although destructive to appearance, he is essentially reconstructive. For other details concerning the Poem and the Poet, the curious reader is referred to the end of the volume. .
How Thought is imp'otent to divine the secret which the gods defend, The Why of birth and life and death, that Isis-veil no hand may rend. Eternal Morrows make our day; our is is aye to be till when Night closes in; 'tis all a dream, and yet we die, — and then and then?And still the Weaver plies his loom, whose warp and woof is wretched Man Weaving th' unpattern'd dark design, so dark we doubt it owns a plan. .
How shall the Shown pretend to ken aught of the Showman or the Show? Why meanly bargain to believe, which only means thou ne'er canst know? How may the passing Now contain the standing Now — ? — An endless is without a was , the be and never the to-be? .
"Faith mountains move" I hear: I see the practice of the world unheed The foolish vaunt, the blatant boast that serves our vanity to feed. "Faith stands unmoved"; and why? Because man's silly fancies still remain, And will remain till wiser man the day-dreams of his youth disdain. .
Yes Truth may be, but 'tis not Here; mankind must seek and find it There, But Where nor I nor you can tell, nor aught earth-mother ever bare. Enough to think that Truth can be: come sit we where the roses glow, Indeed he knows not how to know who knows not also how to 'unknow.' .
Words, words that gender things! The soul is a new-comer on the scene; Sufficeth not the breath of Life to work the matter-born machine? The race of Be'ing from dawn of Life in an unbroken course was run; What men are pleased to call their Souls was in the hog and dog begun: Life is a ladder infinite-stepped, that hides its rungs from human eyes; Planted its foot in chaos-gloom, its head soars high above the skies: No break the chain of Being bears; all things began in unity; And lie the links in regular line though haply none the sequence see. .
"Th' immortal mind of mortal man!" we hear yon loud-lunged Zealot cry; Whose mind but means his sum of thought, an essence of atomic "I." Thought is the work of brain and nerve, in small-skulled idiot poor and mean; In sickness sick, in sleep asleep, and dead when Death lets drop the scene. .
"Tush!" quoth the Zahid, "well we ken the teaching of the school abhorr'd "That maketh man automaton, mind a secretion, soul a word." "Of molecules and protoplasm you matter-mongers prompt to prate; "Of jelly-speck development and apes that grew to man's estate." Vain cavil! all that is hath come either by Mir'acle or by Law; — Why waste on this your hate and fear, why waste on that your love and awe? .
Is not the highest honour his who from the worst hath drawn the best; May not your Maker make the world from matter, an it suit His hest? Nay more, the sordider the stuff the cunninger the workman's hand:Cease, then, your own Almighty Power to bind, to bound, to understand. .
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