— Robert Williams Buchanan Scottish poet, novelist and dramatist 1841 - 1901
Balder the Beautiful (1877)
Context: “O Balder, he who fashion’d us,
And bade us live and move,
Shall weave for Death’s sad heavenly hair
Immortal flowers of love.
“Ah! never fail’d my servant Death,
Whene’er I named his name,—
But at my bidding he hath flown
As swift as frost or flame.
“Yea, as a sleuth-hound tracks a man,
And finds his form, and springs,
So hath he hunted down the gods
As well as human things!
“Yet only thro’ the strength of Death
A god shall fall or rise —
A thousand lie on the cold snows,
Stone still, with marble eyes.
“But whosoe’er shall conquer Death,
Tho’ mortal man he be,
Shall in his season rise again,
And live, with thee, and me!
“And whosoe’er loves mortals most
Shall conquer Death the best,
Yea, whosoe’er grows beautiful
Shall grow divinely blest.”
The white Christ raised his shining face
To that still bright’ning sky.
“Only the beautiful shall abide,
Only the base shall die!”