Youth's gay springtime scarcely knowing
Went I forth the world to roam--
And the dance of youth, the glowing,
Left I in my father's home,
Of my birthright, glad-believing,
Of my world-gear took I none,
Careless as an infant, cleaving
To my pilgrim staff alone.
For I placed my mighty hope in
Dim and holy words of faith,
"Wander forth--the way is open,
Ever on the upward path--
Till thou gain the golden portal,
Till its gates unclose to thee.
There the earthly and the mortal,
Deathless and divine shall be!"
Night on morning stole, on stealeth,
Never, never stand I still,
And the future yet concealeth,
What I seek, and what I will!
Mount on mount arose before me,
Torrents hemmed me every side,
But I built a bridge that bore me
O'er the roaring tempest-tide.
Towards the east I reached a river,
On its shores I did not rest;
Faith from danger can deliver,
And I trusted to its breast.
Drifted in the whirling motion,
Seas themselves around me roll--
Wide and wider spreads the ocean,
Far and farther flies the goal.
While I live is never given
Bridge or wave the goal to near--
Earth will never meet the heaven,
Never can the there be here!