Birds of Passage
Birds of Passage
SONG OF THE UNIVERSAL
COME said the Muse,
Sing me a song no poet yet has chanted,
Sing me the universal.
In this broad earth of ours,
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its
Nestles the seed perfection.
By every life a share or more or less,
None born but it is born, conceal'd or unconceal'd the
seed is waiting.
Lo! keen-eyed towering science,
As from tall peaks the modern overlooking,
Successive absolute fiats
Yet again, lo! the soul, above all science,
For it has history gather'd like husks around the globe,
the entire star-myriads roll through the sky.
In spiral routes by long detours,
(As a much-tacking ship upon the sea,)
For it the partial to the permanent
For it the real to the ideal tends.
For it the mystic evolution,
Not the right only justified, what we call evil also
Forth from their masks, no matter what,
From the huge festering trunk, from craft and guile
to emerge and joy, joy universal.
Out of the bulk, the morbid and the shallow,
Out of the bad majority, the varied countless frauds
Electric, antiseptic yet, cleaving, suffusing all,
Only the good is universal.
Over the mountain-growths disease and sorrow,
An uncaught bird is ever hovering, hovering,
High in the
purer, happier air.
From imperfection's murkiest cloud,
Darts always forth one ray of perfect light,
One flash of heaven's glory.
To fashion's, custom's discord,
To the mad Babel-din, the deafening orgies,
Soothing each lull a strain is
heard, just heard,
From some far shore the final chorus sounding.
O the blest eyes, the happy hearts,
That see, that know the guiding thread so fine,
Along the mighty labyrinth.
And thou America,
For the scheme's culmination, its thought and its
For these (not for thyself) thou
Thou too surroundest all,
Embracing carrying welcoming all, thou too by path-
ways broad and new,
The measur'd faiths of other lands, the grandeurs of
Are not for thee, but grandeurs of thine
Deific faiths and amplitudes, absorbing, comprehending
All eligible to all.
All, all for immortality,
Love like the light silently wrapping all,
Nature's amelioration blessing all,
fruits of ages, orchards divine and certain,
Forms, objects, growths, humanities, to spiritual images