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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Frederic Henry Hedge (1805–1890)


HATH this world without me wrought

Other substance than my thought?

Lives it by my sense alone,

Or by essence of its own?

Will its life, with mine begun,

Cease to be when that is done,

Or another consciousness

With the selfsame forms impress?

Doth yon fire-ball poised in air

Hang by my permission there?

Are the clouds that wander by

But the offspring of mine eye,

Born with every glance I cast,

Perishing when that is past?

And those thousand thousand eyes,

Scattered through the twinkling skies—

Do they draw their life from mine,

Or of their own beauty shine?

Now I close my eyes, my ears,

And creation disappears;

Yet if I but speak the word,

All creation is restored,

Or—more wonderful—within,

New creations do begin;

Hues more bright and forms more rare

Than reality doth wear

Flash across my inward sense,

Born of mind’s omnipotence.

Soul, that all informest, say!

Shall these glories pass away?

Will those planets cease to blaze

When these eyes no longer gaze?

And the life of things be o’er,

When these pulses beat no more?

Thought! that in me works and lives,—

Life to all things living gives,—

Art thou not thyself, perchance,

But the universe in trance?

A reflection inly flung

By that world thou fanciedst sprung

From thyself,—thyself a dream,—

Of the world’s thinking, thou the theme?

Be it thus, or be thy birth

From a source above the earth,—

Be thou matter, be thou mind,

In thee alone myself I find,

And through thee alone, for me,

Hath this world reality.

Therefore in thee will I live;

To thee all myself will give:

Losing still, that I may find

This bounded self in boundless mind.