I read the Bible with my eyes,
But hardly with my brain;
Should this the meaning recognize,
My heart yet reads in vain.
These words of promise and of woe
Seem but a tinkling sound;
As through an ancient tomb I go,
With dust-filled urns around.
- as a sadly searching child, Afar from love and home,
Sits in an ancient chamber, piled
With scroll and musty tome,
So I, in these epistles old
From men of heavenly care,
Find all the thoughts of other mould
Than I can love or share.
No sympathy with mine they show,
Their world is not the same;
They move me not with joy or woe,
They touch me not with blame.
I hear no word that calls my life,
Or owns my struggling powers;
Those ancient ages had their strife,
But not a strife like ours.
- not like men they move and speak, Those pictures in old panes!
They alter not their aspect meek
For all the winds and rains!
Their thoughts are full of figures strange,
Of Jewish forms and rites:
A world of air and sea I range,
Of mornings and of nights!