Bibliographing Looks at Melville's Poetry

Concerning Clarel

An excerpt from the poem from the Melville Site 

From Clarel
Herman Melville

Yes, long as children feel affright
In darkness, men shall fear a God;
And long as daisies yield delight
Shall see His footprints in the sod.
Is't ignorance? This ignorant state
Science doth but elucidate --
Deepen, enlarge. But though 'twere made
Demonstrable that God is not --
What then? It would not change this lot:
The ghost would haunt, nor could be laid.
Yea, ape and angel, strife and old debate --
The harps of heaven and the dreary gongs of hell;
Science the feud can only aggravate --
No umpire she betwixt the chimes and knell:
The running battle of the star and clod
Shall run for ever -- if there be no God.
But through such strange illusions have they passed
Who in life's pilgrimage have baffled striven --
Even death may prove unreal at the last,
And stoics be astounded into heaven.
Then keep thy heart, though yet but ill-resigned --
Clarel, thy heart, the issues there but mind;
That like the crocus budding through the snow --
That like a swimmer rising from the deep --
That like a burning secret which doth go
Even from the bosom that would hoard and keep;
Emerge thou mayst from the last whelming sea,
And prove that death but routs life into victory.

For those who wish to sample more and yet have no pervasive impulse to buy--here from Questia is an online version of Clarel.

Unfortunately, it does not appear that there are any other truly free online versions, but I'll continue to look.

Ah, I found this version of Clarel--it looks free but I haven't checked out the whole thing.


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