Swings the to and fro of strife;
Till an awful equilibrium
Stills it, beats the Heart of Life.
What's the text to-day for reading
Nature and its being by?
Effort, effort all the morning,
Through the sea and windy sky.
Purple headland over yonder,
Fleecy, sun-extinguished moon,
I am here alone, and ponder
On the theme of Afternoon.
Past has made a groove for Present,
And what fits it is: no more.
Waves before the wind are weighty;
Strongest sea-beats shape the shore.
Just what is is just what can be,
And the Possible is free;
'Tis by being, not by effort,
That the firm cliff juts to sea.
With an uncontentious calmness
Drifts the Fact before the "Law;"
So we name the ordered sequence
We, remembering, foresaw.
And a law is mere procession
Of the forcible and fit;
Calm of uncontested Being,
And our thought that comes of it.
In the mellow shining daylight
Lies the Afternoon at ease,
Little willing ripples answer
To a drift of casual breeze.
Purple headland to the westward!
Ebbing tide and fleecy moon!
In the "line of least resistance"