Poems (Botta)/Books for the People


“Let there be light.”

Light to the darkened mind Bear, like the sun, the world’s wide circle round, Bright messengers that speak without a sound! Sight on the spirit blind Shall fall where’er ye pass; your living ray Shall change the night of ages into day;— God speed ye on your way!

In closet and in hall, Too long alone your message hath been spoken: The spell of gold that bound ye there is broken; Go forth and shine on all; The world’s inheritance, the legacy Bequeathed by Genius to the race are ye; Be like the sunlight, free!

A mighty power ye wield! Ye wake grim centuries from their deep repose, And bid their hoarded treasuries unclose, The spoils of time to yield. Ye hold the gift of immortality; Bard, sage, and seer, whose fame shall never die, Live through your ministry.

Noiseless upon your path, Freighted with lore, romance, and song, ye speed, Moving the world, in custom and in creed, Waking its love or wrath. Tyrants, that blench not on the battle-plain, Quail at your silent coming, and in vain Would bind the riven chain.

Shrines, that embalm great souls! Where yet the illustrious dead high converse hold, As gods spake through their oracles of old; Upon your mystic scrolls, There lives a spell to guide our destiny; The fire by night, the pillared cloud by day, Upon our upward way.