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Many Gods

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"ALL'S WELL" I The illimitable leaping of the sea,The mouthing of his madness to the moon,The seething of his endless sorcery,His prophecy no power can attune,Swept over me as, on the sounding prowOf a great ship that steered into the stars,I stood and felt the awe upon my browOf death and destiny and all that mars. II The wind that blew from Cassiopeia castWanly upon my ear a rune that rung;The sailor in his eyrie on the mastSang an "All's well," that to the spirit clungLike a lost voice from some aërial realmWhere ships sail on forever to no shore,Where Time gives Immortality the helm,And fades like a far phantom from life's door. III "And is all well, O Thou UnweariableLauncher of worlds upon bewildered space,"Rose in me, "All? or did thy hand grow dullBuilding this world that bears a piteous race?O was it launched too soon or launched too late?Or can it be a derelict that driftsBeyond thy ken toward some reef of FateOn which Oblivion's sand forever shifts?" IV The sea grew softer as I questioned—calmWith mystery that like an answer moved,And from infinity there fell a balm,The old peace that God is, tho all unproved.The old faith that tho gulfs sidereal stunThe soul, and knowledge drown within their deep,There is no world that wanders, no not oneOf all the millions, that He does not keep.

THE PROSELYTE RECANTS (In Japan) Where the fair golden idolsSit in darkness and in silenceWhile the temple drum beats solemnly and slow;Where the tall cryptomeriasSway in worship round aboutAnd the rain that is falling whispers low;I can hear strange voicesOf the dead and forgotten,On the dimly rising incense I can seeThe lives I have lived,And my lives unbegotten,Namu Amida Butsu pity me! I was born this karmaOf a mother in Chuzenji,Where Nantai-zan looks down into the lake;Where the white-thronged pilgrimsClimb to altars in the cloudsAnd behold the holy eastern dawn awake.It was there I wanderedTill a priest of the ChristiansWith the crucifix he wore compelled my gaze.In grief I had grown,So upon its grief I pondered.Namu Amida Butsu, keep my days! It was wrong, he told me,To pray Jiso for my children,And Binzuru for healing of my ills.And our gods so manyWere conceived, he said, in sin,From Lord Shaka to the least upon the hills.In despair I listenedFor my heart beat hopeless,Not a temple of my land had helped me live.But alas that dayWhen I let my soul be christened!Namu Amida Butsu, O forgive! For the Christ they gave meAs the only Law and Lotus,As the only way to Light that will not wane,May perchance have powerFor the people of the West,But to me he seemed the servitor of pain.For in pain he perishedAs one born to passion:In some other life no doubt his sin was great,Tho they told me no,Those who followed him and cherished.Namu Amida Butsu, such is fate. So again to idolsOf the Buddha who is boundless,While the temple drum is beating thro the rain,I have turned from treasonInto Meditation's truth,From the strife the Western god regards as gain....