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Of The Son Of Man
by [?]

VII. And how shall he whose mission is to bring
The soul to worship at its rightful shrine,
Seeing in Beauty what is most divine,
Give out the mightiest impulse, and thus fling
His soul into the future, scattering
The living seed of wisdom? Shall there shine
From underneath his hand a matchless line
Of high earth-beauties, till the wide world ring
With the far clang that tells a missioned soul,
Kneeling to homage all about his feet?
Alas for such a gift were this the whole,
The only bread of life men had to eat!
Lo, I behold them dead about him now,
And him the heart of death, for all that brow!

VIII. If Thou didst pass by Art, thou didst not scorn
The souls that by such symbol yearned in vain
From Truth and Love true nourishment to gain:
On thy warm breast, so chilly and forlorn
Fell these thy nurslings little more than born
That thou wast anguished, and there fell a rain
From thy blest eyelids, and in grief and pain
Thou partedst from them yet one night and morn
To find them wholesome food and nourishment
Instead of what their blindness took for such,
Laying thyself a seed in earthen rent
From which, outspringing to the willing touch,
Riseth for all thy children harvest great,
For which they will all learn to bless thee yet.

IV. Thou sawest Beauty in the streaking cloud
When grief lift up those eyelids; nor in scorn
Broke ever on thine eyes the purple morn
Along the cedar tops; to thee aloud
Spake the night-solitude, when hushed and bowed
The earth lay at thy feet stony and worn;
Loving thou markedst when the lamb unshorn
Was glad before thee, and amongst the crowd
Famished and pent in cities did thine eye
Read strangest glory–though in human art
No record lives to tell us that thy heart
Bowed to its own deep beauty: deeper did lie
The burden of thy mission, even whereby
We know that Beauty liveth where Thou art.

X. Doubtless thine eyes have watched the sun aspire
From that same Olivet, when back on thee
Flushed upwards after some night-agony
Thy proper Godhead, with a purer fire
Purpling thy Infinite, and in strong desire
Thou sattest in the dawn that was to be
Uplifted on our dark perplexity.
Yea in thee lay thy soul, a living lyre,
And each wild beauty smote it, though the sound
Rung to the night-winds oft and desert air;
Beneath thine eyes the lily paled more fair,
And each still shadow slanting on the ground
Lay sweetly on thee as commissioned there,
So full wast thou of eyes all round and round.

XI. And so thou neededst not our human skill
To fix what thus were transient–there it grew
Wedded to thy perfection; and anew
With every coming vision rose there still
Some living principle which did fulfil
Thy most legitimate manhood; and unto
Thy soul all Nature rendered up its due
With not a contradiction; and each hill
And mountain torrent and each wandering light
Grew out divinely on thy countenance,
Whereon, as we are told, by word and glance
Thy hearers read an ever strange delight–So
strange to them thy Truth, they could not tell
What made thy message so unspeakable.

XII. And by such living witness didst thou preach:
Not with blind hands of groping forward thrust
Into the darkness, gathering only dust,
But by this real sign–that thou didst reach,
In natural order, rising each from each,
Thy own ideals of the True and Just;
And that as thou didst live, even so he must
Who would aspire his fellow-men to teach,
Looking perpetual from new heights of Thought
On his old self. Of art no scorner thou!
Instead of leafy chaplet, on thy brow
Wearing the light of manhood, thou hast brought
Death unto Life! Above all statues now,
Immortal Artist, hail! thy work is wrought!