Verse > Anthologies > George Willis Cooke, ed. > The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology
George Willis Cooke, comp.  The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology.  1903.
Life a Temple
By Margaret Fuller (1810–1850)
      THE TEMPLE round
    Spread green the pleasant ground;
        The fair colonnade
    Be of pure marble pillars made;
    Strong to sustain the roof,        5
        Time and tempest proof;
    Yet, amidst which, the lightest breeze
        Can play as it please;
        The audience hall
        Be free to all        10
        Who revere
    The power worshipped here,
        Sole guide of youth,
        Unswerving Truth.
        In the inmost shrine        15
        Stands the image divine,
          Only seen
    By those whose deeds have worthy been—
          Priestlike clean.
    Those, who initiated are,        20
          As the hours
      Usher in varying hopes and powers;
          It changes its face,
            It changes its age,        25
          Now a young, beaming Grace,
            Now a Nestorian Sage:
          But, to the pure in heart,
          This shape of primal art
            In age is fair,        30
            In youth seems wise,
            Beyond compare,
            Above surprise;
          What it teaches native seems,
          Its new lore our ancient dreams;        35
          Incense rises from the ground;
            Music flows around;
  Firm rest the feet below, clear gaze the eyes above,
When Truth, to point the way through Life, assumes the wand of Love;
    But, if she cast aside the robe of green,        40
          Winter’s silver sheen,
          White, pure as light,
  Makes gentle shroud as worthy weed as bridal robe has been.

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