Thou sphinx that sittest at the Opal Gate,
That lets the ocean in to Puget Sea,
Keeping thy silent watch o'er time and fate
Thro' clouds that veil thy grandeur mistily,
Or with the sun's fierce halo on thy brow;
Furrowed by lava, rugged, stern, and white,
Thou wert a marvel to me once, but now,
Majestic sphinx! I read thy secret right.
God, let me be a mountain when I die,
Stung by the hail, lashed by the terrible rains!
Let lava fires surge, turbulent and high,
And fierce with torment, thro' my bursting veins;
Let lightnings flame around my lonely brow,
And mighty storm-clouds race, and break, and roar
About me; let the melted lava plow
Raw furrows in my breast; torment me sore,
O God! Let me curse loneliness, yet see
My very forests felled beneath my eyes.
Give me all Time's distilled agony,—
Yet let me still stand, mute, beneath the skies;
Thro' storms that beat and inward fires that burn,
Tortured, yet silent; suffering, yet pure,—
That torn and tempted hearts may lift and learn
The noble meaning of the word endure.