Fourteen sonnets and poems/Answered


O Palissy! Within thy breast
Burned the hot fever of unrest;
Thine was the prophet's vision, thine
The exultation, the divine
Insanity of noble minds,
That never falters nor abates,
But labors and endures and waits,
Till all that it foresees, it finds,
Or what it cannot find, creates!

Longfellow

Answered

SINCE I am here, the wherefore do I ask?
       No single thought, or word, or act combined
    Can I therein for once the answer find, Or comprehend at all life's mighty task.
If life to me be what there is of life,
    Through all my numbered years must I reveal
    Each day the force and depth of what I feel,
With conscience warmed to duties new and rife.
For what I ask alone must I contend,
    Like him who riches sought in storied field,
    Which could not of itself its treasure yield,
Till stirred, by patient toil, from end to end.
    Thus shall the world, in full of her design,
    Bestow on me what really is divine.