And even sorrow and misfortune dire,
To haunt.the keeping of some thoughtless vow.
For human destinies have countless threads,
And each life has its pattern planned of God.
How can we know if through our neighbor's web
Are woven threads of Our own weal or woe?
And who can stop his busy Weaver's hand
To find if all the woof be his or not.?
And who so rash to break or tie one thread ?"
"Vows, are not lightly made in Honor's realm,"
Rasalle made quick reply, "The Mount of Life
Is steep and high, and many faint midway.
Sweet manna falls in plenty at its foot;
Hope's dews are bount'ous; joy breathes on the air.
Here bide the dwellers of the valley land,
Content to grope their narrow twilight way,
To live, to die. Here dwell th' inconstant hearts,
The restless murm'ring people who cry out:
'Up, make us gods!'__who worship but by sight.
Ah! Love itself can live but half the way,
Upon the breathless heights great souls must climb,
If they would reach the goal. Yea, there's a point
Where friendships, human sympathies, and all
Save Duty's self must fall at last below
The snow line of that rare and lofty realm.
But oh! the trumpet of the Voice divine,
From out the thund'rings of the awful cloud,
Speaks only to the fasting soul that stands
On Honor's Sinai, serene, alone!"