Edith Wharton

24 January 1862 – 11 August 1937 / New York City / United States

Aeropagus

WHERE suns chase suns in rhythmic dance,
Where seeds are springing from the dust,
Where mind sways mind with spirit-glance,
High court is held, and law is just.
No hill alone, a sovereign bar;
Through space the fiery sparks are whirled
That draw and cling, and shape a star, -
That burn and cool, and form a world
Whose hidden forces hear a voice
That leads them by a perfect plan:
'Obey,' it cries, 'with steadfast choice,
Law shall complete what law began.
'Refuse, - behold the broken arc,
The sky of all its stars despoiled;
The new germ smothered in the dark,
The snow-pure soul with sin assoiled.'
The voice still saith, 'While atoms weave
Both world and soul for utmost joy,
Who sins must suffer, - no reprieve;
The law that quickens must destroy.'
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