[Written for the Sentinel.]


The mountains call! Their heights in azure bathed
Speak of a broader view, of peace, of rest;
But as we climb, sometimes, confronting us
Is rock,—sheer, dark,—across the narrow way;
And, looking back, the valley seems a heaven.
But as we look, again we hear the call:
"The heights alone are heaven; ye see but wraith
Of joy. Ye know full well it is not there
Where ceaseless quest for peace must ever fail."
Again we face the height. The road, sunlit,
Has lost its gloom, and round the base we see
Again the narrow way and onward press,
Sustained by inner voice and mountain call.

Another height is reached, and here we pause;
But now the backward glance gives clearer view.
We see how small a thing has oft obscured
The light; we see the pettiness of aim
Where highest good is but to have and hold,
By right of human law, what men call wealth.
The clear air of the heights reveals to us
The paltriness of what the world calls power;
The childishness of strife for bauble—fame.
It shows to us the narrowness of pride,
The nothingness of self with all its vaunt
Of power, of place, and eager strife for gain.
In clear air of the heights we plainly see
That all earth's clamor yields but seeming good.

Again we face the narrow, rock-strewn trail
And onward press, with step unfaltering
And heart aglow with gratitude and joy
That we have heard the mountain call and found
The way which leads to peace, to heaven,—to God!

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