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AFTER BROWNING.

A RIDDLE.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

IMMEASURABLE distance up aloft in azure blue,

Storm-fed on hailstones, thunders, mountain dew;

Archetypal standard of the human race,

Of Freedom's standard now usurping place,

Full-orbed and semispherical

With convoluted outline full of intricate design,

Yet hard and hollow as a woman's heart;

Supported on a vertical

And heaven-piercing shaft, almost divine

Thou seemest, yet thou art

The same which once on earth we knew.

Voracious monster, gorged with slimiest slime,

Vile, seeking darkness hid from view

Below, deep down below, from where man's time

Of soul-refreshing spirit-life is passed,

To what a glory art thou come at last!

Thy grand apotheosis doth display to all

The anthropoidal creatures on this terrestrial ball

The object lesson of androidal possibilities.

Like thee poor wingless bipeds with terraneous filth are drenched

By their cosmical relations the soul spark almost quenched,

Like thee when purged by wintry storms and cloud-compelling gales,

As battered bark with broken masts and wind-dismantled sails,

Their spirits like as angel shapes may ever hope to rise,

And fill the lucid interspace betwixt the earth and skies.

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