I will not shut me from my kind,
      And, lest I stiffen into stone,
      I will not eat my heart alone,
Nor feed with sighs a passing wind:

What profit lies in barren faith,
      And vacant yearning, tho' with might
      To scale the heaven's highest height,
Or dive below the wells of Death?

What find I in the highest place,
      But mine own phantom chanting hymns?
      And on the depths of death there swims
The reflex of a human face.

I'll rather take what fruit may be
      Of sorrow under human skies:
      'Tis held that sorrow makes us wise,
Whatever wisdom sleep with thee.

Last modified 19 February 2010