An episode in an unremembered tale,

Its beginning lost, its motive and plot concealed,

A once living story has prepared and made

Our present fate, child of past energies.


Our golden fountain of the world’s delight,

An immortality cowled in the cape of death,

The shape of our unborn divinity.

It guards for us our fate in depths within

Where sleeps the eternal seed of transient things.


The dim-masked hooded godheads rode who move

Assigned to man immutably from his birth,

Receivers of the inner and outer law,

At once the agents of his spirit’s will

And witnesses and executors of his fate.

Inexorably faithful to their task,

They hold his nature’s sequence in their guard

Carrying the unbroken thread old lives have spun.

Attendants on his destiny’s measured walk

Leading to joys he has won and pains he has called,


Even in his casual steps they intervene.

Nothing we think or do is void or vain;

Each is an energy loosed and holds its course.


The shadowy keepers of our deathless past

Have made our fate the child of our own acts,

And from the furrows labored by our will

We reap the fruit of our forgotten deeds.

But since unseen the tree that bore this fruit

And we live in a present born from an unknown past,

They seem but parts of a mechanic Force

To a mechanic mind tied by earth’s laws;


Yet are they instruments of a Will supreme,

Watched by a still all-seeing Eye above.

A prescient architect of Fate and Chance

Who builds our lives on a foreseen design

The meaning knows and consequence of each step

And watches the inferior stumbling powers.


Fate is a balance drawn in Destiny’s book.

Man can accept his fate, he can refuse.

Even if the One maintains the unseen decree

He writes thy refusal in thy credit page:

For doom is not a close, a mystic seal.

Arisen from the tragic crash of life,

Arisen from the body’s torture and death,


The spirit rises mightier by defeat;

Its godlike wings grow wider with each fall.

Its splendid failures sum to victory.


O man, the events that meet thee on thy road,

Though they smite thy body and soul with joy and grief,

Are not thy fate, —they touch thee awhile and pass;

Even death can cut not short thy spirit’s walk:

Thy goal, the road thou choosest are thy fate.

Thy fate is a long sacrifice to the gods

Till they have opened to thee thy secret self

And made thee one with the indwelling God.

O soul, intruder in Nature’s ignorance,

Armed traveller to the unseen supernal heights,

Thy spirit’s fate is a battle and ceaseless march

Against invisible opponent Powers,

A passage from Matter into timeless self.


Here Matter seems to mould the body’s life

And the soul follows where its nature drives.

Nature and Fate compel his free-will’s choice.

But greater spirits this balance can reverse


And make the soul the artist of its fate.

This is the mystic truth our ignorance hides:

Doom is a passage for our inborn force,

Our ordeal is the hidden spirit’s choice…




Leave a Reply