In my boyhood time long years ago,
When life was half divine,
I read, with a
horror you may not know,
The story of Frankenstein—
That student wild and deep who wrought
Alone in his silent room,
monster-man of his midnight thought
Took shape in the ghostly gloom.
Then when life woke up in each heavy limb,
And the pulses began to play,
its dull, blank eyes open'd up on him,
He rush'd from his work away.
But still through his life, when Hope held high
Her cup full to the brim,
demon whose life was his came by
And dash'd the bliss from him.
Ah! fearful story it was and seem'd
To wear little purpose then;
But its deeper
truths have upon me gleam'd
Since I look'd as a man on men.
For still in the hurry and fret of life,
When I see the brow bent down,
the hand stretch'd out for the straws of strife,
Instead of the golden crown,
Then I whisper—Here is one who moulds
In his heart, and knows it
A monster that yet will burst its folds,
And haunt him from spot to
Haunt him till life's frail powers grow weak,
And the hopes we keep to cheer
Turn away from the deathlike brow and cheek,
And come no more anear.
Ah me! what wisdom this might teach,
If we lent but our ear and will;
inward things would rise up and preach,
For our better guidance still!
But this working world rolls on, and we shape
All things but the high divine;
And still, far down in our heart, we ape
The story of Frankenstein.