Paradox

I
WHEN I have gained the Hill
Where beats the clear and rigid light of God
Full on the path by fearless comrades trod;
When I have tuned to theirs my will and word,
And by my prompting voice their ranks are stirred
To hail each height with ‘Higher! Higher still!’
That luring glow which from the Valley streams
Warns me I am not what my spirit seems.

II
But when my life descends
Into the Hollow, where no wild thoughts reach,
And all that lawful yearning can beseech
Sits at my hearth, or in my garden grows;
When I need match no more with noble foes,
Nor share the yoke with unrelenting friends,
That strange veiled star which o’er the Hill-top beams,
Shows me I am not what my body dreams!

— Gertrude M. Hort

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