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A Prelude, And A Bird's Song.

Kate Seymour Maclean 1836 ( Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania) – 1918 ( New York)

The poet's song, and the bird's,
And the waters' that chant as they run
And the waves' that kiss the beach,
And the wind's--they are but one.
He who may read their words,
And the secret hid in each,
May know the solemn monochords
That breathe in vast still places;
And the voices of myriad races,
Shy, and far-off from man,
That hide in shadow and sun,
And are seen but of him who can
To him the awful face is shown
Swathed in a cloud wind-blown
Of Him, who from His secret throne,
In some void, shadowy, and unknown land
Comes forth to lay His mighty hand
On the sounding organ keys,
That play deep thunder-marches,
Like the rush and the roar of seas,
And fill the cavernous arches
Of antique wildernesses hoary,
With a long-resounding roll,
As they fill man's listening soul
With a shuddering sense of might and glory.
These he shall hear, and more than these
In bird's song, and in poet's scroll;
Something underneath the whole,
A music yet unbreathed.--unsung--
Whispered from no mortal tongue:
What seer nor prophet may rehearse
In oracle, or Delphic fable,
Since the old dead gods were young,
And made with man their dwelling-place;
But he shall hear, of all his race,
The dread wherefore of life and death;
He shall behold the ultimates
Of fears and doubts, and scores and hates,
And the sure final crown of faith.
And in his ear the rhythmic verse
Shall sound the steps of that beyond,
Serene, that hastens not, nor waits,
But holds within its depths profound
The mystery of all lives--all fates--
The secret of the universe.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

1:25 min read

Kate Seymour Maclean

Washington Gladden was a leading American Congregational pastor and early leader in the Social Gospel movement. He was a leading member of the Progressive Movement, serving for two years as a member of the Columbus, Ohio city council and campaigning against Boss Tweed as religious editor of the New York Independent. more…

All Kate Seymour Maclean poems | Kate Seymour Maclean Books

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