Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/342

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
Till the balance shall be even

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.

 




AFTERNOON.

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"

Flows the life of Afternoon.