Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NO-MORE-FEAR, by WILLIAM ROSE BENET



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NO-MORE-FEAR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I came to the mountains of sleep
Last Line: Back with me to the porch of day.
Subject(s): Eucharist; Fear; Soul; Communion


I came to the mountains of sleep.
I came to the hills.
The rivers that run and weep,
The sun that burns and thrills
As the Master wills,
All were gathered there in a flood that came and went
Fathomless and reverberant
Round about the hills,
Over and under the hills.

There speechless stands a grove.
There roofless a temple stands.
Its columns are lost above.
Its hall is quiet with love.
The final work of His hands,
The ultimate from His hands,
Majestic and calm it stands.

There are no doorways here.
There are no halls but one,
Wide to the mystic flood,
Harped upon by the flood,
Dizzied through with the flood,
With the flood in unison
In the temple of No-More-Fear.

No forms that one may see
Move in the lightening hall,
But voices everywhere,
But voices constantly
Echo from wall to wall,
Speaking of unity,
Singing of things most fair—
Voices of purity,
Of light and solemnity
Ring goldenly everywhere.

"They are souls asleep," He said,
Bending above my head.
"They are mine," the Master said,
"As this is my temple, so
These are mine, who sleep below
Whence thou comest, or ever flow
Here for permanence—those ye know
In your puny spheres as your Dead,
As your storied and gloried Dead."

"They are mine," the Master said,
His voice like a thrilled lute string.
"So in your sleep I take you—
So in your sleep I wake you
To gradual còmmuning
That ye be prepared in soul
To win to this final speech
When every soul to each
Shall speak free, confess, extoll;
In this windy, silent hall
One choir forevermore—
Purging your spirits, purging
Your souls without my urging,
Evermore in a golden speech,
Till ye bloom in a radiance whole
And the Plan wakes like light on all."

"Every night ye come, though ye know it not," said the Master.
"Then worlds are dumb.
And the figments of my fancy—
Death, and Fate, and Disaster—
Dissolve from their necromancy,
And up to my Truth ye come;
From the crucible where I weld you
The courage that justifies
All the tests by which I try you.
For the daylight I have held you
'Neath my sun, my fire, and my desire
To temper you to mine eyes.
But now—I purify you!"

And He spake then with words like flame
Of cosmos and creation,
Of Truth and divination—
While the voices sang his name,
While the flood of souls and voices
Rejoiced as a dawn rejoices
In the sun's first kiss—yet I
Nothing have brought away!
Nothing but great content
And some broken words, that went
Back with me to the porch of Day.





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