University of Virginia Library


Nay, take it, friend in Christ,” and held
The book in proffer new; the while
His absent eyes of dreamy Eld
Some floating vision did beguile
(Of heaven perchance the wafted hem),
As if in place of earthly wight
A haze of spirits met his sight,
And Clarel were but one of them.
“Consult it, heart; wayfarer you,
And this a friendly guide, the best;
No ground there is that faith would view
But here 'tis rendered with the rest;


The way to fields of Beulah dear
And New Jerusalem is here.”
“I know that guide,” said Clarel “yes;”
And mused awhile in bitterness;
Then turned and studied him again,
Doubting and marveling. A strain
Of trouble seamed the elder brow:
“A pilgrim art thou? pilgrim thou?”
Words simple, which in Clarel bred
More than the simple saint divined;
And, thinking of vocation fled,
Himself he asked: or do I rave,
Or have I left now far behind
The student of the sacred lore?
Direct he then this answer gave:
“I am a traveler—no more.”
“Come then with me, in peace we'll go;
These ways of Salem well I know;
Me let be guide whose guide is this,”
And held the Book in witness so,
As 'twere a guide that could not miss:
“Heart, come with me; all times I roam,
Yea, everywhere my work I ply,
In Salem's lanes, or down in gloom
Of narrow glens which outer lie:
Ever I find some passer-by.
But thee I'm sent to; share and rove,
With me divide the scrip of love.”
Despite the old man's shattered ray,
Won by his mystic saintly way,
Revering too his primal faith,
And grateful for the human claim;
And deeming he must know each path,
And help him so in languid frame—
The student gave assent, and caught
Dim solacement to previous thought.