Alike for those who for To-day prepare,
And those that after some To-morrow stare,
A Muezzín from the Tower of Darkness cries,
"Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There."
Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd
Of the Two Worlds so learnedly are thrust
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Words to Scorn
Are scatter'd, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust.
Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same door where in I went.
With them the seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand wrought to make it grow
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd---
"I came like Water, and like Wind I go."
Vedder's note: The saints and sages of old are dimly discerned, like
dried forms caught in the spiders' webs and dust of Time. Their vain
theories and prophecies are symbolized in the circle of books each
overthrowing its predecessor, with the grim skull as the center.