Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1282. The Soul of the World
By Ernest Crosby
THE SOUL of the world is abroad to-night—
Not in yon silvery amalgam of moonbeam and ocean, nor in the pink heat-lightning tremulous on the horizon;
Not in the embrace of yonder pair of lovers either, heart beating to heart in the shadow of the fishing-smack drawn up on the beach.
All that—shall I call it illusion? Nay, but at best it is a pale reflection of the truth.
I am not to be put off with symbols, for the soul of the world is itself abroad to-night.        5
I neither see nor hear nor smell nor taste nor touch it, but faintly I feel it powerfully stirring.
I feel it as the blind heaving sea feels the moon bending over it.
I feel it as the needle feels the serpentine magnetic current coiling itself about the earth.
I open my arms to embrace it as the lovers embrace each other, but my embrace is all inclusive.
My heart beats to heart likewise, but it is to the heart universal, for the soul of the world is abroad to-night.        10


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