The Ideal

Thou shalt behold it once, and once believe
Thou may'st possess it—Love shall make the dream,
Impossible and glorious, palpable seem,
And with the bliss thy soul awhile deceive—
When from that trance thou wakest, never more
On earth hope for it, for its life is o'er;
That one approach of the Divinity
Is but the pledge of thy affinity.
That lovely vision shall not be renewed,
Though through all forms of being close pursued;
The light must pass into the heavens above thee,
Thy polar star, to warn and lead and move thee,
If thou seek lower for it thou shalt follow
A fatal marsh-fire, fleeting, false, and hollow;
Unto the glorious truth thou shalt not soar,
But sink in darkness down for evermore.
Not to behold it once, is not to live,
But to possess it, is not life's to give.

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