The Mission-for AV

2. He sailed, and small the luggage
That he carried in his hand;
But what he carried in his heart
Was more than science, more than art.
This message that he must impart,
Would others understand?
A foreign face with foreign dress
And from a foreign land?

3. So large a mission to perform,
Yet like a child was he—
Into a strange new country tossed,
Often hungry, often lost,
Improvident of time or cost—
But it was meant to be.
He reached the city, found his place
And waited nervously.

4. What words came down to grace his lips
On that September day!
The hall was large, but larger still
His voice, which rang out strong until
The farthest corner it did fill;
And no one quite could say
What raised the listeners to their feet
Or made them cheer that way.

5. Those words that filled that hall with cheers
Did not stop at its doors.
Upon earth’s eager ears they fell,
Ringing clear as some great bell
Tolling death to that dark spell
Of private creeds and lores
That sunder men and cloud the truth
That each man’s heart adores.

6. The bell had just begun to ring
When he who rang was gone.
The meaning of the blissful play
That took the hero soon away
We do not know, we cannot say;
But somewhere is a swan
Swimming in a sparkling sea
Before a sparkling dawn.



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