Which curbs the passion of that level line Of marble youths, who with untroubled eyes And chastened limbs ride round Athena's shrine And mirror her divine economies, And balanced symmetry of what in man Would else wage ceaseless warfare, - this at least within the span
Between our mother's kisses and the grave Might so inform our lives, that we could win Such mighty empires that from her cave Temptation would grow hoarse, and pallid Sin Would walk ashamed of his adulteries, And Passion creep from out the House of Lust with startled eyes.
To make the body and the spirit one With all right things, till no thing live in vain From morn to noon, but in sweet unison With every pulse of flesh and throb of brain The soul in flawless essence high enthroned, Against all outer vain attack invincibly bastioned,
Mark with serene impartiality The strife of things, and yet be comforted, Knowing that by the chain causality All separate existences are wed Into one supreme whole, whose utterance Is joy, or holier praise! ah! surely this were governance
Of Life in most august omnipresence, Through which the rational intellect would find In passion its expression, and mere sense, Ignoble else, lend fire to the mind, And being joined with it in harmony More mystical than that which binds the stars planetary,
Strike from their several tones one octave chord Whose cadence being measureless would fly Through all the circling spheres, then to its Lord Return refreshed with its new empery And more exultant power, - this indeed Could we but reach it were to find the last, the perfect creed.
Ah! it was easy when the world was young To keep one's life free and inviolate, From our sad lips another song is rung, By our own hands our heads are desecrate, Wanderers in drear exile, and dispossessed Of what should be our own, we can but feed on wild unrest.
Somehow the grace, the bloom of things has flown, And of all men we are most wretched who Must live each other's lives and not our own For very pity's sake and then undo All that we lived for - it was otherwise When soul and body seemed to blend in mystic symphonies.