To My Soul
Tired and worn, and wearisome for love
Of some immortal hope beyond the grave,
Thy soul thou frettest like the prisoned dove
That now is sick to rest, and now doth crave
To cleave the upward sky with sudden wing !
The heaven is clear and boundless, and thy flight
To some new land might be a joyous thing,
Within this cage of clay there is no light ;
Glimpses between its mortal bars there be
That bring a powerful longing to be free,
And tones that reach the ear mysteriously
When thou art wrapt in thy divinest dream.
Yet thou art but the plaything and the slave
Of some strange power that wears thy strength away—
Slowly and surely, which thou dar’st not brave
Because pale men in some tradition say
It is God that would not have thee ‘scape
The torture that He wills to be thy fate.
‘Tis but a tyrant’s dream, and born of hate ;
Then, soul, be not disquieted with doubt ;
Step to the brink-this hand shall let thee out.