Page images
PDF
EPUB

Open another gate, and let me hear,
Without confusion and with clearer sense,
The hidden thoughts and purposes of men;
For only thus my heart shall be at rest,
And only thus, at last, I shall perceive
The meaning and the mystery of the world."

The Master's face was turned away from her;
His eyes looked far away, as if he saw
Something beyond her sight; and yet she knew
That he was listening; for her pleading voice
No sooner ceased than he put forth his hand
To touch her brow, and very gently spoke,
With face averted, and with lingering words:
“ Thou seekest for thyself a wondrous gift,
The opening of the second gate, – a gift
That many wise men have desired in vain, -
But some have found it, — whether well or ill
For their own peace, they have attained the

power To hear unspoken thoughts of other men. And thou hast begged this gift? Thou shalt

receive, Not knowing what thou seekest,- it is thine : The second gate is open! Thou shalt hear

All that men feel within their hidden hearts:
All thoughts that move behind the veil of words
Thou shalt perceive as clear as if they spoke.
The gift is granted, daughter, go thy way!
But if thou findest sorrow on this path,
Come back again, — there is a path to peace.”

III
Beyond our power of vision, poets say,
There is another world of forms unseen,
Yet visible to purer eyes than ours.
And if the crystal of our sight were clear,
We should behold the mountain-slopes of cloud,
The moving meadows of the untilled sea,
The groves of twilight and the dales of dawn,
And every wide and lonely field of air,
More populous than cities, crowded close
With living creatures of all shapes and hues.
But if that sight were ours, the things that now
Engage our eyes would seem but dull and dim
Beside the splendours of our new-found world,
And we should be amazed and overwhelmed
Not knowing how to use the plenitude
Of vision. So in Vera's soul, at first,
The opening of the second gate of sound
Let in confusion like a dizzying flood.
The tumult of a myriad-throated mob;
The trampling of an army through a place
Where echoes hide ; the sudden, clanging

Alight
Of an innumerable flock of birds
Along the highway of the midnight sky;

The many-whispered rustling of the reeds
Beneath the footsteps of a thousand winds;
The long-drawn, inarticulate, wailing cry
Of million-pebbled beaches when the scourge
Of white-lashed waves is curled across their

back, - . All these seemed less bewildering than to hear What now she heard at once: the tangled

sound Of all that moves within the minds of men, For now there was no measured flow of words To mark the time; nor any key of speech, Though false, to bring a seeming harmony Into the sound; nor any interval Of silence to repose the listening ear. But through the dead of night, and through the

calm
Of weary noon-tide, through the solemn hush
That fills the temple in the pause of praise,
And through the breathless awe in rooms of

death,
She heard the ceaseless motion and the stir
Of never-silent hearts, that fill the world
With interwoven thoughts of good and ill,
With mingled music of delight and grief,

With songs of love, and bitter cries of hate, With hymns of faith, and dirges of despair, And murmurs deeper and more vague than

all, Thoughts that are born and die without a

name, Or rather, never die, but haunt the soul, With sad persistence, till a name is given. These Vera heard, at first with heart perplexed And half-benumbed by the disordered sound. But soon a clearer sense began to pierce The cloudy turmoil with discerning power. She learned to know the tones of human

thought As plainly as she knew the tones of speech. She could divide the evil from the good, Interpreting the language of the mind, And tracing every feeling like a thread Through all the mystic web that passion

weaves From heart to heart around the living world. Then, - when at last the Master's second gift Was perfected within her, and she heard And understood the secret thoughts of men, Then sadness fell upon her, and the weight

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »