Songs that could span the earth,
When leaping thought had stirred them,
In many an hour since birth,
We heard or dreamed we heard them.
Sometimes to all their sway
We yield ourselves half fearing,
Sometimes with hearts grown grey
We curse ourselves for hearing.
We toil and but begin;
In vain our spirits fret them,
We strive, and cannot win,
Nor evermore forget them.
A light that will not stand,
That comes and goes in flashes,
Fair fruits that in the hand
Are turned to dust and ashes.
Yet still the deep thoughts ring
Around and through and through us,
Sweet mights that make us sing,
But bring no resting to us.