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We have not wings, we cannot soar;
But we have feet to scale and climb By slow degrees, by more and more,
The cloudy summits of our time.
The mighty pyramids of stone
That wedge-like cleave the desert airs, When nearer seen, and better known, Are but gigantic flights of stairs.
The distant mountains, that uprear
The heights by great men reached and kept
Standing on what too long we bore
With shoulders bent and downcast eyes, We may discern unseen before
A path to higher destinies.
Nor deem the irrevocable Past,
As wholly wasted, wholly vain, If, rising on its wrecks, at last
To something nobler we attain.
THE PHANTOM SHIP.
IN Mather's Magnalia Christi,
May be found in prose the legend
A ship sailed from New Haven,
That filled her sails at parting,
Were heavy with good men's prayers.
"O Lord! if it be thy pleasure" -
But Master Lamberton muttered,
And the ships that came from England, When the winter months were gone,
Brought no tidings of this vessel
Nor of Master Lamberton.
This put the people to praying
That the Lord would let them hear
What in his greater wisdom
He had done with friends so dear.
And at last their prayers were answered:
It was in the month of June,
An hour before the sunset
Of a windy afternoon,
When, steadily steering landward,
A ship was seen below,
And they knew it was Lamberton, Master, Who sailed so long ago.
On she came, with a cloud of canvas,
Until the eye could distinguish
Then fell her straining topmasts,
Hanging tangled in the shrouds,
And her sails were loosened and lifted,