My mind is like a troubled sea
O'er which the winds forever sweep;
Within its depths, eternally,
My being's pulses throb and leap;
There germs of contemplation sleep,
Like stars beyond the Milky Way, -
Like pearls within the gloomy deep,
That never saw the light of day.
Oh, wondrous mind, how little known!
Whence comes the thought that through my brain
Floats weirdlike as the pleasing tone
That quickens a belovèd strain?
It may have graced some sweet refrain
A thousand years ago, or more;
Some Norman Prince, some valiant Dane,
May have imbibed it with their lore.
It may have strengthened Plato's soul,
Its clarion echoes ringing through
His brain, the heaven-reaching goal
Whence wisdom had its starry view;
It may have cheered the gifted few
Whose minds were mints of royal song,
Who toiled where Shakespeare soared, and drew
Down blessings from the grateful throng.
And on for ages yet to come,
Through minds by heavenly impulse fired,
That thought may strike some scorner dumb,
In all its regal guise attired;
Divinely blest, though uninspired,
Some soul may change its swift career,
Bearing the great truth, long-desired,
In triumph to the highest sphere.
Unbounded universe of Thought!
Illimitable realms of mind!
Regions of Fancy, wonder-fraught!
Temples of mystery! behind
Whose veils the God-appointed plan
In perfect wisdom is enshrined,
Beyond the pigmy reach of man:
I cannot - dare not - seek to know
What finite vision, to the end,
Through years of strictest search below,
Must ever fail to comprehend!
God! whose intents so far transcend
Our poor discernment, let me see
Some portion of the truths that tend
By slow gradations up to Thee:
That in the less imperfect years,
When human frailty shall have died,
When the vexed riddle of the spheres,
Interpreted and glorified,
Shall be as nothing to the tide
Of light in which Thy hidden ways
Will be revealed: I may abide
Thy meanest instrument of praise,
And from the broad calm ocean of Thy truth
And wisdom drinking, find eternal youth.