Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE CALL OF LIFE, by CHARLES V. H. ROBERTS
First Line: Only one life to live! To do the best
Last Line: Thou art a ruby in god's paradise.
Subject(s): Life; Music & Musicians; Symphonies; Concerts
Only one Life to live! To do the best
With it, to make the most of it, that's the question!
Life is music on a sea whose waves are souls,
Conceived in the sweetened darkness between two worlds.
Ah! Think! Each one a cosmic part of this
Great Universe; a Symphony in aeons,
Whose cadent bars but mix and mingle to
The throbbing Pulse of its Creator. Let
Thy Song, great mystery wingéd wondrous Life
Proclaim to me thy secret! To grasp thine essence,
Play to my mind some key in what thou art!
The Chord is struck! An Earth is lit by Magic flame
Amid the conscious vestments of eternity:
And thou dost teach great Space to bear,
To grow, to breathe, to flower, feel and love;
And unto Man place greater Arts in thy proud edifice.
Sequestered, I a Life unto a Life
Do speak, unravelling gilded lessons
In the unknown retinue of mortal Being,
To lead each swaying spirit back to the starry
Firmament and palace Court of Heaven.
To be alive, I deem a lavish gift
Self-existent, self-completing; and
I should make music in these hours brief,
To play to deeds in my maturer days,
That all their great and golden reeds be mine.
Err not in the deeper freedom of the skies,
With all their dreams of stars and moon and sun,
And the singing of a thousand different worlds.
With outstretched arms embrace grim Opportunity,
And fear not joy, that joys might ever be.
Move with conception and with splendid thought,
And be not out of tune with thy design;
Let future hopes cross the string of dead desire;
Steer with great calm though in a tempest tossed.
O Life! thou art an awsome mute appeal,
From mystery unto mystery peopling worlds;
A chorus singing to eternal arches,
Yet each frail voice a trembling worshipper.
Let Kindness be thy mystic star and
Drop Pretence. Success cannot be born in sham.
Whate'er thou artthen fearless let thee be.
Exaltation will thy greatest deeds refute,
As Silence sings thy praise in noble harmony
And Self-controlthe Prelude on the strings
Of power, will and grand accomplishment.
It were a priceless life that can control
The heart's fierce beat, and never speak a word.
Let go of Discontent. In all eternal years
There is no murmur from a restless heart.
How trivial the complainings of thy harassed days,
Thy maiméd wants and selfish thoughts;
In songs of praise thy frettings be undone.
Thou shouldst make me, Life, to such strange effect
That Sympathy be the eyelids of my mind,
Truth the omnipresent iris in the banquet lights
And Honour the pupil on my soul's eclipse.
Make use of Time. There's the Godly sting!
The most reckless spendthrift in the world is he
Who squanders time. What power can restore
The moment that has passed, the day whose sun
Has set, the year that's numbered with the ages gone?
It awes me when I think there was a time
When Life and I were not, when the mysteries
Of eternity swept on, and the sun turned
Into day, without the sound or sight of man.
Hearken unto Death! his torch ablaze,
Yet invisible in the toils of mortal passion,
Of sins and shades, and wasted days of youth.
Be gemmed with prayer and kindred preparation.
A sleep unto oblivionno form,
A flaming memory, a ring of visions,
Thou art a ruby in God's Paradise.
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