[Written for the Sentinel.]

THE CALL OF THE MOUNTAINS

The mountains call! Their heights in azure bathedSpeak of a broader view, of peace, of rest;But as we climb, sometimes, confronting usIs 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 wraithOf joy. Ye know full well it is not thereWhere ceaseless quest for peace must ever fail."Again we face the height. The road, sunlit,Has lost its gloom, and round the base we seeAgain 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 obscuredThe light; we see the pettiness of aimWhere 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 usThe 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 vauntOf power, of place, and eager strife for gain.In clear air of the heights we plainly seeThat all earth's clamor yields but seeming good.

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