To Emerson. On His 77th Birthday.

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AH! what to him our trivial praise or blame,
Who through long years hath raised half-mournful eyes
Yearning to mark some heaven-descended flame
Light his soul's altar rife with sacrifice?

The offering of far thoughts, profound as prayer,
And starry dreams, still rhythmical of youth,
With travail of brain that pants for loftier air,
To the veiled mystery of immaculate Truth:

No Orient seer--wild woodlands, 'round him furled,--
Building his shrine 'mid virginal vales apart,
E'er watched and waited in the antique world,
For fire divine, with more ethereal heart!

Can life's supreme oblations still remain
All undiscerned? or hath some marvellous levin
Hallowed his gift, and down his rifted pain
Flashed the white splendor of God's grace from heaven?

© Paul Hamilton Hayne