[Clinging to him.]
I must not, can not! see as Jacob spake,
As writes the Book: "I will not let thee go,
Except thou bless me!" even so I say!
And what, I ask, makes thy demand so pressing?
What is its purport? matters newly risen.
Or merely a rehearsal of the old?
Were it the last, my time might well be spared.
And has not yet a voice within thy breast
A spark of light before thy mind arisen,
That tell thee where thy way must lead thee to?
A wand'rer, unacquainted with the road
Thou chosest one, that seemed,—but only seemed,
A safe and worthy way to travel on;
Thy choice was wrong, in judgment, not in heart.
But,—when thine every step thou onward takest
Shows thee thy error and reveals to thee
What dread abysses lie thy path beside,
Which deepening, yawning, more and more, invade
Its breath and menace its continuance,—
When from afar a kindly warning voice,