What is this life? A pearl
In thy own shell to bear,
In the flame’s heart to hurl
Thyself, nor melt to air.

Love is with speed to pass
Out of this shuttered sphere,
To cast the moon’s bright glass
High over heaven clear.

Power is from hand to fling
The cash of heart and faith.
To rule the world, a king,
And brave the chance of death.

Philosophy is taught
By manly zeal alone,
To whet the blade of thought
Upon the world for stone.

The living spirit’s trust
Is no disordered dream,
But of this scattered dust
To build a braver scheme.