The Final Thought

By Maurice Thompson

What is the grandest thought
Toward which the soul has wrought?
Has it the spirit form,
And the power of a storm?
Comes it of prophesy
(That borrows light of uncreated fires)
Or of transmitted strains of memory
Sent down through countless sires?
Which way are my feet set?
Through infinite changes yet
Shall I go on,
Nearer and nearer drawn
To thee,
God of eternity?
How shall the Human grow,
By changes fine and slow,
To thy perfection from the life dawn sought?
What is the highest thought?

Ah! these dim memories,
Of when thy voice spake lovingly to me,
Under the Eden trees,
Saying: “Lord of all creation thou shalt be.
How they haunt me and elude —
How they hover, how they brood,
On the horizon, fading yet dying not!
What is the final thought?

What if I once did dwell
In the lowest dust germ-cell,
A faint fore-hint of life called forth of God,
Waxing and struggling on,
Through the long flickering dawn,
The awful while His feet earth’s bosom trod?
What if He shaped me so,
And caused my life to blow
Into the full soul-flower in Eden-air?
Lo! now I am not good,
And I stand in solitude,
Calling to Him (and yet he answers not):
What is the final thought?

What myriads of years up from the germ!
What countless ages back from man to worm!
And yet from man to God, O! help me now!
A cold despair is beading on my brow!
I may see Him, and seeing know him not!
What is the highest thought?

So comes, at last,
The answer from the Vast. . . .
Not so, there is a rush of wings —
Earth feels the presence of invisible things.
Closer and closer drawn
In rosy mists of dawn!
One dies to conquer Death
And to burst the awful tomb —
Lo, with his dying breath,
He blows love into bloom!
Love! Faith is born of it!
Death is the scorn of it!
It fills the earth and thrills the heavens above,
And God is love,
And life is love, and, though we heed it not.
Love is the final thought.