THE MIRACLE OF LOVE.
Up on the height a hermit stood
Under the purpling sky alone,
Sending his soul in search of God
Out to the infinite, dim Unknown.
Up from below there came a cry –
A piercing, pitiful, long-drawn wail;
It came from the throat of Humanity,
Groaning and struggling down in the vale.
He covered his ears and his head sank low
“Oh God! shall I never escape that cry?
It haunts me forever, wherever I go;
It tortures the soul I would lift on high.
“In vain do I climb from steep to steep –
It still pursues me; and when I kneel
In prayer to Thee, it becomes more deep
With passionate pain and with wild appeal.
“How can I mount to the gates of Light,
Tear the veil from by longing eyes,
While this mad moan from the realms of Night
Drags me down as I seek to rise?”
And lo! as in anguish of soul he knelt,
Battling the cry, which grew louder now,
And praying for mercy, the hermit felt
A burning, imperative touch on his brow.
He dared not look where the Radiance stood,
But he heard when it spoke in tones divine
“I am the Messenger, sent from God
In response to this prayer of thine.
“Poor fool, dost think thou canst reach my throne,
Or ever escape that cry of woe?
Dost hope to climb to the gates alone,
And leave those suffering souls below?
“Go back! Climb down you dizzy height,
Make thy way to the haunts of men;
Love and serve and teach them aright,
Nor think evermore in thy heart again –
“Neglecting the pain of others, to come
Forth in thy selfish search of Me,
If thou wouldst know Me, go make thy home
Deep in the heart of Humanity.”
The darkness shrouded the earth and sky,
The Radiance faded, and toward the plain
The hermit, glowing with purpose high,
Followed the downward path again.
From that time onward, the hermit dwelt
In the midst of sorrow stricken men
Each pain, each joy of theirs he felt,
Nor shunned the common world again.
There was no man so sunk in sin
But that, with tender pity, he
Would stop to lift him up, to win
His soul by loving sympathy.
He soothed their aching hearts with balm,
He fed their souls with holy food;
He taught the beauty and the calm
Of universal brotherhood.
And lo! the miracle! That wail,
Which sounded harsh from up above,
Became, deep down within the vale.
The sweetest, tenderst song of love.
Thus in the lives of humble men,
Toiling along life’s common road;
Through human passion, love, and pain,
The hermit found and knew his God.