Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
Ideals
By David Atwood Wasson (1823–1887)
 
[Born in Brooksville, Me., 1823. Died at West Medford, Mass., 1887. Poems. 1888.]

ANGELS of Growth, of old in that surprise
  Of your first vision, wild and sweet,
      I poured in passionate sighs
      My wish unwise
That ye descend my heart to meet—        5
      My heart so slow to rise.
 
Now thus I pray: Angelic be to hold
  In heaven your shining poise afar,
      And to my wishes bold
      Reply with cold        10
Sweet invitation, like a star
      Fixed in the heavens old.
 
Did ye descend, what were ye more than I?
  Is’t not by this ye are divine—
      That, native to the sky,        15
      Ye cannot hie
Downward, and give low hearts the wine
      That should reward the high?
 
Weak, yet in weakness I no more complain
  Of your abiding in your places:        20
      Oh, still, howe’er my pain
      Wild prayers may rain,
Keep pure on high the perfect graces
      That stooping could but stain.
 
Not to content your lowness, but to lure        25
  And lift us to your angelhood,
      Do your surprises pure
      Dawn far and sure
Above the tumult of young blood,
      And starlike there endure.        30
 
Wait there! wait, and invite me while I climb;
  For, see, I come! but slow, but slow!
      Yet ever as your chime,
      Soft and sublime,
Lifts at my feet, they move, they go        35
      Up the great stair of Time.

  1866.
 
 
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