Dost Thou Remember Me?
Savior, I’ve no one else to tell
And so I trouble Thee,
I am the one forgot Thee so—
Dost Thou remember me?
Not, for myself I came so far,
That were the little load—
I brought Thee the imperial Heart
I had not strength to hold.
The heart I carried in my own—
Till mine too heavy be,
Since it went—
Is it too large for Thee?
Tie the Strings to My Life
Tie the Strings to my Life, My Lord,
Then, I am ready to go!
Just a look at the Horses—
Rapid! That will do!
Put me in on the firmest side—
So I shall never fall—
For we must ride to the Judgment—
And it’s partly, down Hill—
But never I mind the steepest—
And never I mind the Sea—
Held fast in Everlasting Race—
By my own Choice, and Thee—
Goodbye to the Life I used to live—
And the World I used to know—
And kiss the Hills, for me, just once—
Then—I am ready to go!
Our Journey Had Advanced
Our journey had advanced,
Our feet were almost come
To that odd fork in being’s road,
Eternity by term.
Our pace took sudden awe,
Our feet reluctant led;
Before were cities, but between,
The forest of the dead.
Retreat was out of hope;
Behind, a sealed route,
Eternity’s white flag before,
And God at every gate.
I Shall Know Why
I shall know why, when time is over,
And I have ceased to wonder why;
Christ will explain each separate anguish
In the fair schoolroom of the sky.
He will tell me what Peter promised,
And I, for wonder at his woe,
I shall forget the drop of anguish
That scalds me now, that scalds me now.
Bring Me the Sunset in a Cup
Bring me the sunset in a cup,
Reckon the morning’s flagons up
And say how many dew,
Tell me how far the morning leaps,
Tell me what time the weaver sleeps
Who spun the breadths of blue.
Write me how many notes there be
In the new robin’s ecstasy
Among astonished boughs,
How many trips the tortoise makes,
How many cups the bee partakes,
The debauchee of dews.
Also, who laid the rainbow’s piers,
Also, who leads the docile spheres
By withes of supple blue?
Whose fingers string the stalactite,
Who counts the wampum of the night
To see that none is due?
Who built this little alban house
And shut the windows down so close
My spirit cannot see?
Who’ll let me out some gala day
With implements to fly away,
We Thirst at First
We thirst at first—‘tis nature’s act—
And later, when we die,
A little water supplicate
Of fingers going by.
It intimates the finer want
Whose adequate supply
Is that great water in the west
Just Lost When I Was Saved
Just lost when I was saved,
Just felt the world go by,
Just girt me for the onset with eternity,
When breath blew back,
And on the other side
I heard recede the disappointed tide.
Therefore as one returned I feel,
Odd secrets of the line to tell—
Some sailor skirting foreign shores,
Some pale reporter from the awful doors
Before the seal.
Next time, to stay.
Next time, the things to see
By ear unheard,
Unscrutinized by eye—
Next time, to tarry,
While the ages steal,
Slow tramp the centuries,
And the cycles wheel.
I Stepped from Plank to Plank
I stepped from plank to plank,
A slow and cautious way;
The stars about my head I felt,
About my feet the sea.
I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch.
This gave me that precarious gait
Some call experience.
To Learn the Transport by the Pain
To learn the transport by the pain
As blind men learn the sun,
To die of thirst suspecting
That brooks in meadows run,
To stay the homesick, homesick feet
Upon a foreign shore,
Haunted by native lands the while,
And blue, beloved air—
This is the sovereign anguish,
This the signal woe.
These are the patient laureates
Whose voices, trained below,
Ascend in ceaseless carol,
To us, the duller scholars
Of the mysterious bard.
‘Tis So Much Joy
‘Tis so much joy! ‘tis so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!
And yet, as poor as I
Have ventured all upon a throw,
Have gained—yes, hesitated so,
This side the victory.
Life is but life, and death but death.
Bliss is but bliss, and breath but breath.
And if indeed I fail,
At least to know the worst is sweet.
Defeat means nothing but defeat,
No drearier can befall.
And if I gain—Oh gun at sea,
Oh bells that in the steeples be,
At first repeat it slow!
For Heaven is a different thing,
Conjectured and waked sudden in,
And might extinguish me.