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there are, who seem like nuclei and central ganglions of these ideas, whose personality is so charged with their power that we idolize and almost worship them - what we call hero-worship. Such a man Shelley was, and is, to me. I remember as it were yesterday, when I was a freshman at Harvard, the very hour in that cold library when my hand first closed round the precious volume; and to this day the fragrant beauty of that blossomed May is as the birth of a new life; and when I read Wordsworth's ode,

"Not in entire forgetfulness

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come❞—

I think of those first days with Shelley. To others it is some other book, some other man Carlyle, Emerson, Goethe-whoever it may be: for the selective principle always operates to bring a man to his own; but in whatever way it comes about, the seeking mind gets connected with these men, books, ideas, symbols, through which it receives the stored race-force of mankind; so each of us, passing through the forms of developing life, receives the revelation of the world and of himself, grasps the world and is able to express himself through it, to utter his nature, not in language, but in being, in idea and emotion, and becomes more and more completely man, working toward that consummation, which I began by placing before you, of the time when the best that has anywhere been in the world shall be the portion of every man born into it.

I must crave your patience for yet a final thought, which, though it may be hard to realize, yet, if it be realized only at moments, sheds light upon our days. Of

all the webs of illusion in which our mortality is enmeshed, time is the greatest illusion. This race-store, our inheritance, of which I have been speaking, which vitalized in our lives is race-power, is not a dead thing, a thing of the past; all that it has of life with us is living. Plato is not a thing of the past, twenty centuries ago; but a mood, a spirit, an approach to supreme beauty, by the pathway of human love; Spenser's "Red Cross Knight" is not an Elizabethan legend, but the image of the Christian life to-day; and the hopes of man were not burnt away in the fire that consumed Shelley's mortal remains by the bright Mediterranean waves, nor do they sleep with his ashes by the Roman wall; they live in us. I have made much of the idea that all history is at last absorbed in imagination, and takes the form of the ideal in literature; it is a present ideal. We dip in life, as Shelley did, and we put on in our own personality these forms of which I have been speaking all along - forms of liberty, forms of beauty, forms of reason-of righteousness, of kindliness, of love, of courtesy, of charity, of joy in nature, of approach to God and these forms being present with us, eternity is with us; they have been shaped in past ages by the chosen among men - by poets, by saints, by dreamers - by Plato, by Virgil, and Dante, by Shakespeare and Goethe, who live through them in us; except in so far as they so live in us, they are dust and ashes: Babylon is not more a grave. But these ideal forms of thought and emotion, charged with the life of the human spirit through ages, are here and now, a part of present life, of our lives, as our lives take on these forms; casting their shadows on time, they raise us, as by the hands of angels, up the paths of being-we are released from the temporal, we lay hold on eternity, and

entering on our inheritance as heirs of man's past glory, we begin to lead that life of the free soul among the things of the spirit, which is the climax of man's race-life and the culmination of the soul's long progress through time.

Eight lectures on Poetic Energy, delivered before the Lowell Institute of Boston, 1906

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