The Congress of Women: The Nineteenth Century

The Nineteenth Century

It is the world's high noon–Meridian height
Of the great Sun of Progress, in whose light
The continents are bathed–blazing, as sign
That Thought is principle of Life divine;
That Thought is God, and God in thought must shine;
That from the heavens, its primal source,
Has lit the Past, and on its matchless course
Has shone with ever gathering force,
Until, in this consummate hour,
The Thought of all the Centuries has burst to splendid flower.
Upon this central spot we stand,
Encircled with immensity,
Nay–by infinity–
Transfixed with wonder at the grand
Discoveries of human souls–the plans conceived,
The mighty deeds achieved;
The engine's lightning speed–electric speech–
The flashing fires that far off shores can reach;
The current, that in such mysterious way
Connects today with the whole world's today;
The science, art and music, all expressed
In genius of the East, and genius of the West,
And soaring higher than Olympian ways,
Working great problems out in rounded days,
Our modern Sapphos sing to Heaven, nobler than Lesbian lays.
Oh, thou great Sun of Progress! All thy glow
Is but as shadow in the light we know
Will flood the coming ages–Thought will grow,
And souls a larger stature gain,
And truths divine diviner truths attain;
The things today, that we have known,
Perchance, shall all have been outgrown
In those far centuries' Tomorrows,
Yea! even human sorrows:
Thou art immortal on thy dazzling throne,
Thou wert not meant for Time alone,
For Time
Is but a measure in Life's song sublime;
And thou wilt shine–shine on forevermore
Lighting the way to that mysterious door,
That radiant door–starred with the mystic seven
From out the world's high noon to the high noon of Heaven.