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After This

After the prison-petals of earth-life fade,
And the soul-scent slips
Into the mighty cosmic wind of Spirit,
No more would I love a flower-cage life—
If I must return—
Unless to mingle the dewdrop tears of other prison’d souls with mine,
And show them the way that I, at last, my freedom won.
O! I would not mind dwelling
In roses and daffodils, for a time,
If that is of my own free will;
But forever to stay behind the bars of beauty
Of violet-sun-gold-rays, I care not.
No more will I be compelled to live
Even in a golden, heavenly cage.
From flower to flower will I fly!
I will wear the blackness of the night,
Shimmering with busy stars—
I will be the twinkle of their lights,
And I will be the waking of the dawn—
And burst forth with the warming rays of friendship!
I will be the shepherd of stray souls,
Or the humblest lamb in all His fold.
I will be the most famous man,
Or the least-known one of a cycle!
I will be the tiniest cosmic spark,
Or roll as the mighty vapors of life,
Dashing my power-fed soul
Against the rocks of worldly strife!
I will be the clouds, donning rainbow-garlands.
I will puff bubbles of planets with my breath,
And float them on the waves of space!
I will be the babble of the brook,
And the voice of the nightingale!
As emotion-waves, I will surge in the sea of souls!
Holding to the log of laughter,
I will float to the shores of bliss!
I will sing through the voices of all;
I will preach through all temples and prayers;
I will love with the love of God!
I will think with the thoughts of all;
The hearts of all will be my heart;
The souls of all will be my soul,
And the smiles of all — my smile!

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