The Hero


What doth he ask?
Some worthy task.
Never to run
Till that be done,
that never done
Under the sun.
Here to begin
All things to win
By his endeavor
Forever and ever-
Happy and well
On this ground to dwell
This soil subdue
Plant and renew.
By might & main
Health & strength gain
So to give nerve
To his slenderness
Yet Some mighty pain
He would sustain.
So to preserve
His tenderness.
Not be deceived
Of suffring bereaved
Not lose his life
By living too well
Nor escape strife
In his lonely cell
And so find out Heaven
By not knowing Hell.
Strength like the rock
To withstand any shock —
Yet some Aaron's rod
Some smiting by god
Occasion to gain
To shed human tears
And to entertain
Not once for all, forever, blest,
Still divine fears.
Not once for all, forever, blest,
Still to be cheered out of the west
Not from his heart to banish all sighs
Still be encouraged by the sun rise
Forever to love and to love and to love
Within him, around him — beneath him above
To love is to know, is to feel, is to be
At once 'tis his birth & his destiny
For earthly pleasures
Celestial pains
Heavenly losses
For earthly gains.
Must we still eat
The bread we have spurned
Must we rekindle
The faggots we've burned —
Must we go out
By the poor man's gate
Die by degrees
Not by new fate.
Is then no road
This way my friend
Is there no road
Without any end —
When I have slumbered
I have heard sounds
As travellers passing
Over my grounds —
'Twas a sweet music
Wafted them by
I could not tell
If far off or nigh.
Unless I dreamed it
This was of yore-
But I never told it
To mortal before —
Never remembered
But in my dreams
What to me waking
A miracle seems
If you will give of your pulse or your grain
We will rekindle those flames again
Here will we tarry it is without doubt
Till a miracle putteth that fire out.
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