Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Salvation / Archibald Lampman

         
Salvation

Nature hath fixed in each man's life for dower
One root-like gift, one primal energy,
Wherefrom the soul takes growth, as grows a tree,
With sap and fibre, branch and leaf and flower;
But if this seed in its creative hour
Be crushed and stifled, only then the shell
Lifts like a phantom falsely visible,
Wherein is neither growth, nor joy, nor power.
Find thou this germ, and find thou thus thyself,
This one clear meaning of the deathless I,
This bent, this work, this duty -- for thereby
God numbers thee, and marks thee for his own:
Careless of hurt, or threat, or praise, or pelf,
Find it and follow it, this, and this alone!

--
Archibald Lampman
from
The Poems of Archibald Lampman, 1900

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Archibald Lampman (by George Dance)

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