O, thy bright eyes must answer now,
When Reason, with a scornful brow,
Is mocking at my overthrow!
O, thy sweet tongue must plead for me,
And tell why I have chosen thee!
Stern Reason is to judgment come,
Arrayed in all her forms of gloom:
Wilt thou, my advocate, be dumb?
No, radiant angel, speak and say
Why I did cast the world away;
Why I have presevered to shun
The common paths that others run,
And on a strange road journeyed on,
Heedless alike of wealth and power,
Of Glory’s wreath and Pleasure’s flower.
These once, indeed, seemed Beings Divine;
And they, perchance, heard vows of mine,
And saw my offerings on their shrine;
But careless gifts are seldom prized,
And mine were worthily despised.
So, with a ready heart I swore
To seek their altar-stone no more;
And gave my spirit to adore
Thee, ever-present, phantom thing –
My slave, my comrade, and my king.
A slave, because I rule thee still,
Incline thee to my changeful will,
And make thy influence good or ill;
A comrade, for by day and night
Thou art my intimate delight, –
My darling pain that wounds and sears,
And wrings a blessing out of tears
Be deadening me to earthly cares;
And yet, a king, though Prudence well
Have taught thy subject to rebel.
And I am wrong to worship where
Faith cannot doubt, nor Hope despair,
Since my own soul can grant my prayer?
Speak, God of Visions, plead for me,
And tell why I have chosen thee