TO the lore of no manner of men Would his vision have yielded When he found what will never again From his vision be shielded,— Though he paid with as much of his life As a nun could have given, And to-night would have been as a knife, Devil-drawn, devil-driven.
For to-night, with his flame-weary eyes On the work he is doing, He considers the tinder that flies And the quick flame pursuing. In the leaves that are crinkled and curled Are his ashes of glory, And what once were an end of the world Is an end of a story.
But he smiles, for no more shall his days Be a toil and a calling For a way to make others to gaze On God’s face without falling. He has come to the end of his words, And alone he rejoices In the choiring that silence affords Of ineffable voices.
To a realm that his words may not reach He may lead none to find him; An adept, and with nothing to teach, He leaves nothing behind him. For the rest, he will have his release, And his embers, attended By the large and unclamoring peace Of a dream that is ended.