The Progress Of Man

First he appeared in the realm inanimate; Thence came into the world of plants and lived The plant-life many a year, nor called to mind What he had been; then took the onward way To animal existence, and once more Remembers naught of what life vegetative, Save when he feels himself moved with desire Towards it in the season of sweet flowers, As babes that seek the breast and know not why. Again the wise Creator whom thou knowest Uplifted him from animality To Man’s estate; and so from realm to realm Advancing, he became intelligent, Cunning and keen of wit, as he is now. No memory of his past abides with him, And from his present soul he shall be changes. Though he is fallen asleep, God will not leave him In this forgetfulness. Awakened, he Will laugh to think what troubleous dreams he had. And wonder how his happy state of being He could forget, and not perceive that all Those pains and sorrows were the effect of sleep And guile and vain illusion. So this world Seems lasting, though ’tis but the sleepers’ dream; Who, when the appointed Day shall dawn, escapes From dark imaginings that haunted him, And turns with laughter on his phantom griefs When he beholds his everlasting home.

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