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Beyond The Gamut
by [?]

Sees not only, but instructs our seeing;
Taught by him a twelvemonth, we confess
Earth once robed in crude barbaric splendor,
Has put on a softer lovelier dress.

Feast my eyes on some old Indian fabric,
Centuries of culture went to weave,
And I grow the fine fastidious artist,
No mere shop-made textile can deceive.

Red the bass and violet the treble,
Soul may pass out where all color ends.
Ends? So we say, meaning where the eyesight
With some yet unborn perception blends.

You, Amati, never saw a sunset,–
Hear tornadoes in a spider’s loom;
I, at my wits’ end, may still develop
Unknown senses in life’s larger room.

Superhuman is not supernatural.
How shall half-way judge of journey done?
Shall this germ and protoplast of being
Rest mid-life and say his race is run?

Softly there, my Niccolo, a moment!
Shall I then discard my simpler joys?
No, for look you, every sense’s impulse
Is a means the master soul employs.

Test and use of all things, lowest, highest,
Are alone of import to the soul;
Joys of earth are journey-aids to heaven,
Garb of the new sainthood sane and whole.

Earth one habitat of spirit merely,
I must use as richly as I may,–
Touch environment with every sense-tip,
Drink the well and pass my wander way.

Ah, drink deep and let the parching morrow
Quench what thirst its newer need may bring!
Slake the senses now, that soul hereafter
Go not forth a starved defrauded thing.

Not for sense sake only, but for soul sake;
That when soul must shed the leaves of sense,
Sun and sap may solace and support her,
Stored in those green hours for her defence.

Shall the grub deny himself the rose-leaf
That he may be moth before his time?
Shall the grasshopper repress his drumbeats
For small envy of the kingbird’s chime?

Certain half-men, never touched by worship,
Soil the goodly feast they cannot use;
Others, maimed too, holding flesh a hindrance,
Vilify the bounty they refuse.

He’s most man who loves the purple shadows,
Yet must love the flaring autumn too,–
Follow when the skrieling pipes bid forward,
Lie and gaze for hours into the blue.

He would have gone down with Alexander,
Quelling unknown lands beneath the sun;
Watched where Buddha in the Bo tree shadows
Saw this life’s web woven and undone;

Freed his stifled heart in Shakespeare’s people,
Sweet and elemental and serene;
Dared the unknown with Blake and Galileo;
Fronted death with Daulac’s seventeen.

So shall mighty peace possess his spirit
Whom the noonday leads alone apart,
Through the wind-clear early Indian summer,
Where no yearning more shall move his heart.

Wise and foot-free, of the tranquil tenor,
He shall wayfare with the homeless tides;
Time enough, when life allures no longer,
To frequent the tavern death provides.

Life be neither hermitage nor revel;
Lent or carnival alone were vain;
Sin and sainthood–Help me, little brother,
With your largo finder-thought again!

Lift, uplift me, higher still and higher!
Climb and pause and tremble and plunge on,
Till I, toiling after you, come breathless
Where the mountain tops are touched with dawn!

Dark this valley world; and drenched with slumber
We have kept the centuries of night.
Cry, Amati, pierce the waiting stillness
Tremulous with forecast of the light!

Cry, Amati! Melt the twilight dirges
In “Te Deums” fit for marching men!
“Good,” the days are chorusing, “shall triumph;”
Though the far-off morrows whisper, “When?”

What is good? I hear your soft string answer,
“I am that whereon the round world leans,
I am every man’s poor guess at wisdom;
Evil is the soul’s misuse of means.