Philip James Bailey Poems >>
Festus - VI

Our next
Adventure seems to promise fair, for be there
One scene, in life whence evil may be ruled
Absent, 'tis sure pure early love. But not
Love sole, with the world untried before one's eye,
Eager to search all being, though of gross cares
Freed, and in easefullest obscurity lapped,
Can make soul happy. Doubts of things divine,--
Generate spontaneously, or thought inborne
By rumour of the world, as pestful seeds
Mist--sown, or of spirit in self--forced fellowship
Colleagued, from far conveyed; as dominant soul
Remote Seer's tranced intelligence shakes,--distract.
But see love's star now rise, which, ere it set,
Shall, many a mischance bettered, perfect life,
And lead to heavenward; hear of holy ends,
Goaded into man's heart; and worth of faith.

Alcove--Lawn and Garden.
Festus and Clara.
Festus. Days are to me of light when I rejoice
In earth, man, all things round me, and strong faith
Rules, as a prevalent wind the world, my mind;
The stars instil their virtues in the schemes
I muse, so much doth generous reason joy
In rich forecasts of full--orbed happiness;
And the all--fatherly Deity smiles. Anon,
Come surging from afar, dark doubts like wrecks
Of fore--spent storms we deemed we had done with. Wave
On wave of darkness, like the shadowy tides
Of that tenebrous sea which billowing breaks
Soundless, on lunar shores, o'erfloods my soul;
And nothing satisfies. All ends seem mixed
With means that make for evil, and if I see
God's hand, it is everywhere distinct from things;
Moulding them not, nor guiding.

Clara. How! Life's goods,
Heaven's gifts, health, beauty; earth's, wealth, culture, love,
Are means, not ends. A mind absorbed in means
Means but a mind that's mean, which, endless, errs.

Festus. It may be, nay, 'tis probable. Say it's true.

Clara. Let us do more than this. Have noblest ends:
Ends which will bear the eye of God, nor flinch.

Festus. But this means strife. Why should I strive with men?
No ends have I to gain that man can give.

Clara. But thou, I thought, hadst highest intents, and these
It was that drew my soul to thine, resolved,
I deemed, to head the advance of men. And now,
Wouldst note at ease the bubble of fountains rise,
Or count the May--thorn's bloomlets as they fall,
Fragrant, in fa