THE MUSE OF THE NEW CENTURY 785
bring an elixir of life ; her song in verse and in prose will be short, clear, and rich. The heart-beats of the nations are each but one letter in the great alphabet of evolution, but she will with equal affection take hold of each letter, form them into words, and link the words into rhythms for her hymn of the present time.
And when will the fullness of time have come ?
It is long for us, who are still behind here ; it is short for those, who flew on ahead.
Soon the Chinese Wall will fall, the railways of Europe reach the secluded cultures of Asia—the two streams of culture meet. Then perhaps the waterfall will foam with its deep resounding roar ; we old men of the present will shake at the mighty tones, and hear in them a Ragnarok, the fall of the ancient gods ; we forget that times and races here below must disappear, and only a slight image of each, enclosed in the capsule of a word, will swim like a lotus-flower on the stream of eternity, and tell us that they all are and were flesh of our flesh, though in different raiment. The image of the Jews shines out from the Bible,
that of the Greeks from the Iliad and Odyssey, and ours------?
Ask the Muse of the New Century, at Ragnarok, when the new Grimle arises glorified and made intelligible.
All the power of steam, all the forces of the present, were levers. Master Bloodless and his busy workmen, who seem to be the powerful rulers of our time, are only servants, black slaves who adorn the palace-hall, bring forth the treasures, lay the tables for the great feast at which the Muse, with the innocence of a child, the enthusiasm of a maid, and the calmness and knowledge of a matron, raises the marvellous lamp of Poetry, the rich, full heart of man with the flame of God in it.
Hail to thee, Muse of the new century of Poetry. Our greeting soars up and is heard, even as the worm's hymn of gratitude is heard, the worm which is cut asunder by the ploughshare when a new spring dawns and the plough cleaves the furrows, cutting us worms asunder, so that blessing may grow for the new generation that is to come.
Hail to thee, Muse of the New Century I