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The Song of the Pilgrims

 (Halted around the fire by night, after moon-set, they sing this beneath the trees.
) What light of unremembered skies Hast thou relumed within our eyes, Thou whom we seek, whom we shall find? .
A certain odour on the wind, Thy hidden face beyond the west, These things have called us; on a quest Older than any road we trod, More endless than desire.
Far God, Sigh with thy cruel voice, that fills The soul with longing for dim hills And faint horizons! For there come Grey moments of the antient dumb Sickness of travel, when no song Can cheer us; but the way seems long; And one remembers.
Ah! the beat Of weary unreturning feet, And songs of pilgrims unreturning! .
The fires we left are always burning On the old shrines of home.
Our kin Have built them temples, and therein Pray to the Gods we know; and dwell In little houses lovable, Being happy (we remember how!) And peaceful even to death.
O Thou, God of all long desirous roaming, Our hearts are sick of fruitless homing, And crying after lost desire.
Hearten us onward! as with fire Consuming dreams of other bliss.
The best Thou givest, giving this Sufficient thing -- to travel still Over the plain, beyond the hill, Unhesitating through the shade, Amid the silence unafraid, Till, at some sudden turn, one sees Against the black and muttering trees Thine altar, wonderfully white, Among the Forests of the Night.

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