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* Alas your Highness breathes full East,' I said,
• On that which leans to you. I know the Prince,
I prize his truth : and then how vast a work
To assail this gray prëeminence of man !
And takes and ruins all ; and thus your pains
May only make that footprint upon sand
For issue, yet may live in vain, and miss,
Meanwhile, what every woman counts her due,
And she exclaim'd,
• Peace, you young savage of the Northern wild !
What! tho' your Prince's love were like a God's,
Have we not made ourself the sacrifice ?
You are bold indeed : we are not talk'd to thus :
Yet will we say for children, would they grew
More miserable than she that has a son
And sees him err ; nor would we work for fame ;
Tho' she perhaps might reap the applause of Great,
Who learns the one POU STO whence after-hands
May move the world, tho' she herself effect
But little : wherefore up and act, nor shrink
Of frail successors.
Would, indeed, we had been,
In lieu of many mortal flies, a race
Of giants living, each, a thousand years,
That we might see our own work out, and watch The sandy footprint harden into stone.'
I answer'd nothing, doubtful in myself
• No doubt we seem a kind of monster to you :
We are used to that ; for women, up till this Cramp'd under worse than South-sea-isle taboo,
Dwarfs of the gynæceum, fail so far
In high desire, they know not, cannot guess
Oh if our end were less achievable
By slow approaches, than by single act
To compass our dear sister's liberties.'
She bow'd as if to veil a noble tear ;
And up we came to where the river sloped
A breadth of thunder. O’er it shook the woods,
And danced the colour, and, below, stuck out
The bones of some vast bulk that lived and roar'd
Before man was.
She gazed awhile and said,
• As these rude bones to us, are we to her
That will be.'
• Dare we dream of that,' I ask'd,
• Which wrought us, as the workman and his work,
Sits Diotima, teaching him that died
Of hemlock ; our device ; wrought to the life ;
We shudder but to dream our maids should
Those monstrous males that carve the living hound,
And cram him with the fragments of the grave,
Or in the dark dissolving human heart,
Howbeit ourself, foreseeing casualty,
Nor willing men should come among us, learnt,
Which touches on the workman and his work.
Let there be light and there was light : 'tis so :
For was, and is, and will be, are but is ;
And all creation is one act at once,
The birth of light : but we that are not all,