In silence, solitude and stern surmise His faith was tried and proved commensurate With life and death. The stone-blind eyes of Fate Perpetually stared into his eyes, Yet to the hazard of the enterprise He brought his soul, expectant and elate, And challenged, like a champion at the Gate, Death's undissuadable austerities. And thus, full-armed in all that Truth reprieves From dissolution, he beheld the breath Of daybreak flush his thought's exalted ways, While, like Dodona's sad, prophetic leaves, Round him the scant, supreme, momentous days Trembled and murmured in the wind of Death.
There moved a Presence always by his side, With eyes of pleasure and passion and wild tears, And on her lips the murmur of many years, And in her hair the chaplets of a bride; And with him, hour by hour, came one beside, Scatheless of Time and Time's vicissitude, Whose lips, perforce of endless solitude, Were silent and whose eyes were blind and wide. But when he died came One who wore a wreath Of star-light, and with fingers calm and bland Smoothed from his brows the trace of mortal pain; And of the two who stood on either hand, "This one is Life," he said, "And this is Death, And I am Love and Lord over these twain!"