The Rise of Man

Thou for whose birth the whole creation yearned
Through countless ages of the morning world,
Who, first in fiery vapors dimly hurled,
Next to the senseless crystal slowly turned,
Then to the plant which grew to something more,—
Humblest of creatures that draw breath of life,—
Wherefrom through infinites of patient pain
Came conscious man to reason and adore:
Shall we be shamed because such things have been,
Or bate one jot of our ancestral pride?
Nay, in thyself art thou not deified
That from such depths thou couldst such summits win?
While the long way behind is prophecy
Of those perfections which are yet to be.