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by [?]

First-born of the creating Voice!
Minister of God’s spirit, who wast sent
To wait upon Him first, what time He went
Moving about ‘mid the tumultuous noise
Of each unpiloted element
Upon the face of the void formless deep!
Thou who didst come unbodied and alone,
Ere yet the sun was set his rule to keep,
Or ever the moon shone,
Or e’er the wandering star-flocks forth were driven!
Thou garment of the Invisible, whose skirt
Falleth on all things from the lofty heaven!
Thou Comforter, be with me as thou wert
When first I longed for words, to be
A radiant garment for my thought, like thee.

We lay us down in sorrow,
Wrapt in the old mantle of our mother Night;
In vexing dreams we ‘strive until the morrow;
Grief lifts our eyelids up–and lo, the light!
The sunlight on the wall! And visions rise
Of shining leaves that make sweet melodies;
Of wind-borne waves with thee upon their crests;
Of rippled sands on which thou rainest down;
Of quiet lakes that smooth for thee their breasts;
Of clouds that show thy glory as their own.
O joy! O joy! the visions are gone by,
Light, gladness, motion, are Reality!

Thou art the god of earth. The skylark springs
Far up to catch thy glory on his wings;
And thou dost bless him first that highest soars.
The bee comes forth to see thee; and the flowers
Worship thee all day long, and through the skies
Follow thy journey with their earnest eyes.
River of life, thou pourest on the woods;
And on thy waves float forth the wakening buds;
The trees lean towards thee, and, in loving pain,
Keep turning still to see thee yet again.
And nothing in thine eyes is mean or low:
Where’er thou art, on every side,
All things are glorified;
And where thou canst not come, there thou dost throw
Beautiful shadows, made out of the Dark,
That else were shapeless. Loving thou dost mark
The sadness on men’s faces, and dost seek
To make all things around of hope and gladness speak.

And men have worshipped thee.
The Persian, on his mountain-top,
Kneeling doth wait until thy sun go up,
God-like in his serenity.
All-giving, and none-gifted, he draws near;
And the wide earth waits till his face appear–
Longs patient. And the herald glory leaps
Along the ridges of the outlying clouds,
Climbing the heights of all their towering steeps;
And a quiet multitudinous laughter crowds
The universal face, as, silently,
Up cometh he, the never-closing eye.
Symbol of Deity! men could not be
Farthest from truth when they were kneeling unto thee.

Thou plaything of the child,
When from the water’s surface thou dost fall
In mazy dance, ethereal motion wild,
Like his own thoughts, upon the chamber wall;
Or through the dust darting in long thin streams!
How I have played with thee, and longed to climb
On sloping ladders of thy moted beams!
And how I loved thee falling from the moon!
And most about the mellow harvest-time,
When night had softly settled down,
And thou from her didst flow, a sea of love.
And then the stars, ah me! that flashed above
And the ghost-stars that shimmered in the tide!
While here and there mysterious earthly shining
Came forth of windows from the hill and glen;
Each ray of thine so wondrously entwining
With household love and rest of weary men.
And still I am a child, thank God! To see
Thee streaming from a bit of broken glass,
That else on the brown earth lay undescried,
Is a high joy, a glorious thing to me,
A spark that lights the light of joy within,
A thought of Hope to Prophecy akin,
That from my spirit fruitless will not pass.