From depth to height, from height to loftier height,
The climber sets his foot and sets his face,
Tracks lingering sunbeams to their halting-place,
And counts the last pulsations of the light.
Strenuous thro’ day and unsurprised by night
He runs a race with Time, and wins the race,
Emptied and stripped of all save only Grace,
Will, Love,–a threefold panoply of might.
Darkness descends for light he toiled to seek;
He stumbles on the darkened mountain-head,
Left breathless in the unbreathable thin air,
Made freeman of the living and the dead,—
He wots not he has topped the topmost peak,
But the returning sun will find him there.