O SOUL of souls, awake! Lift up your eyes
To meet the dayspring, till their sphered skies
Flash answering light to pierce the clinging veil
Of mists and shadows of the night grown pale.
Renascent, leave the tombment of your bed,
Though rich with painted love of legend dead,
And gilded with the gold of hallowed time,
And dim with dreams and darkness of the prime.
O joy of Man, arise! Behold Time brings
Deliverance for you, and thoughts’ swift wings
Are dyed afresh in iris hues of Hope
Who paints for you, by her creative scope,
New heaven in earth renewed before your sight,
With golden fields unreaped and fresh delight
Of flower, and fruit of no forbidden tree,
Where Life is Love, and blooms sweet Liberty.
O Bride of Light! Like Aphrodite rise
From rosy waves of morn that crystallize
Your sacred image in their mirror, smooth
As sculpture of the shining limbs they soothe;
And clothe yourself in pureness like the sun,
With lily lawn and blue of heaven, spun
From spotless fields of interstellar space—
A seamless shrine to keep your inward grace.
Put on your broidered robe, your bride’s attire,
Put on your glory, and the jewel fire
Of fearless thought, nor let thine handmaids spare,
All grateful tribute from the sweet and fair
To deck your loveliness, and make appear
The fullness of the beauty though dost wear:
But let no crown your golden head dethrone
Except the coronal of wisdom’s own.
Fare forth, fair Bride, and from your chamber come,
Lo! They are waiting who shall lead you home:
The winged procession of the eager Hours,
Before your feet to pave the way with flowers;
The Daughters of the Year, the Seasons Four,
Have decked the happy earth with sun and shower;
Each joyful mouth, each blissful day is swift
To bring unto your feet its treasured gift;
The Sisters Three, who plough, and sow, and reap,
Still gather you Time’s grain in growing heap,
From golden age to golden age to be;
Their dreamful faces rapt in prophecy
Of veiled futurity’s potential hour
Where Fate prepares your immortal dower.
Arise, sweet soul! Arise, and take your throne,
Upbuilt in ages long by stone on stone—
The human spirit’s still aspiring stair
Whose marble feet were laid in toil and care,
And washed with tears, and worn in eager quest
Of false and fleeting phantoms, seeking rest.
But now your feet are fledged and would aspire
To climb the summit of your hope’s desire,
High where in sculptured walls and towers rise
Her architecture, white in azure skies,
Tinged with the fire of dawn above your head—
Ah! There, fair soul, your marriage feast is spread.
And there, with Wisdom still, and Knowledge clear,
Sweet counsel shall though take, and without fear,
For Love will give you law, and Love shall be
Your chancellor and rule equality.
No sceptre shall you white right hand ever hold
But sacred Freedom, brighter than the gold
Of kingships, and blessing by the power
That crowns life’s magic staff with bud and flower:
Nor be your sister hand forgotten sole,
The while her slender fingers do control
The world’s large heart, and in its compass found
The wealth of all the universe embound.
And they shall open the eternal reign
Of Justice; while fair Peace, with all her train,
Shall sow the earth with blessings and impart
New joy and skill to men in Craft and Art;
To gather from all shores the scattered gems
With beauty’s pearls to deck thought’s diadems:
And Poesy shall fill your courts with song,
And Commonwealth the ocean gateways throng
With white-winged messengers from all the lands
And tidings glad shall join the nation’s hands,
From riches and from penury set free,
And from the last dread link of slavery;
And eke from tyrant sword, and tyrant gold,
And priestly nightmare that the soul doth fold.
There Giant Labour in his strength new-found,
Rejoicing, shall go forth to break new ground,
One brotherhood with Art and Knowledge clear;
To bridge the gulf of space and bring men near;
With fruitful brain and hand to bring new birth
Of Titan forces to subdue the earth,
And from the willing hands of nature draw
New benefits, and, owning but her law,
Out of her treasury things tried and true,
In human faith and hope to build anew
Man’s shattered house, and paint his storied wall
For Life and Love, a heritage for all.