Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE IDEAL, by KATHARINE LEE BATES



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THE IDEAL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: By the promise of noon's blue splendor in the dawn's
Last Line: I am thine angel of judgment; mine eyes thou must meet in the end.
Subject(s): Cape Cod; Wellesley College


BY the promise of noon's blue splendor in the dawn's first silvery gleam,
By the song of the sea that compelleth the path of the rock-cleaving stream,
I summon thee, recreant dreamer, to rise and follow thy dream.

In the inmost core of thy being I am a burning fire,
From thine own altar-flame kindled in the hour when souls aspire,
For know that men's prayers shall be answered, and guard thy spirit's desire.

That which thou wouldst be thou must be, that which thou shalt be thou art;
As the oak, astir in the acorn, the dull earth rendeth apart,
Lo, thou, the seed of thy longing, that breaketh and waketh the heart.

I am the cry of the night wind, startling thy traitorous sleep;
Moaning I echo thy music, and e'en while thou boastest to reap
Alien harvests, my anger resounds from the vehement deep.

I am the solitude folding thy soul in a sudden embrace.
Faint waxes the voice of thy fellow, wan the light on his face.
Life is as cloud-drift about thee alone in shelterless space.

I am the drawn sword barring the lanes thy mutinous feet
Vainly covet for greenness. Loitering pace or fleet,
Thine is the crag-path chosen. On the crest shall rest be sweet.

I am thy strong consoler, when the desolate human pain
Darkens upon thee, the azure outblotted by rush of the rain.
All thou dost cherish may perish; still shall thy quest remain.

Call me thy foe in thy passion; claim me in peace for thy friend;
Yet bethink thee by lowland and upland, wherever thou willest to wend,
I am thine Angel of Judgment; mine eyes thou must meet in the end.





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