After This

After the prison‐petals of this earth‐life fade away,
And my soul‐perfume disappears
With the mighty, cosmic wind of Spirit,
No more would I be confined in the flower‐cage of life. If I must return, however,

Let it be to mingle the dewdrop tears of other prison’d souls with my own,

That I may show them the way by which I myself won my freedom.
Oh! I would not mind dwelling for a time In the roses and the daffodils,

If it were by my own free will;
But forever to stay even behind the bars of beauty, Reveling in the sunrays,
Violet and gold, I care not.
No more will I be compelled to live
In even the most beautiful, golden heaven:
To me it would be only a cage!
Freely, from flower to flower will I fly!
I will wear the dark veil of the night;
I will shimmer with the myriad stars,
I will be their very light!
I will be the waking of the dawn—
And I will shine in the warming rays of friendship! I will be the shepherd of stray souls,
And also the humblest lamb in all His fold.
I will be the most famous among men,
And the very‐least‐known in a cosmic cycle!
I will be the tiniest cosmic spark,
And will also roll with the mighty vapors of life,
Dashing myself exuberantly
Upon rocks of worldly strife!
I will be the clouds, wearing rainbow‐garlands.
I will puff out bubbles of planets with my breath,
Then oat them on the tides of space!
I will be the babbling brook
And the voice of the nightingale!
As emotion‐waves, I will surge on the sea of all beings! Holding to a little flotsam of laughter,
I will float to the endless shore of supreme bliss!
I will sing through the voices of all;
I will preach in all temples, and through all prayers;
I will think with the thoughts of all;
I will love everything and everyone with the love of God! 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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Shadows