The Road to the Temple

The Road to the Temple

The Road to the Temple

The Road to the Temple

Excerpt

this is the romance of an American brought up on the Mississippi and buried beside the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. It is the story of a promised land that was entered.

Dreams of youth shaped the final years.

It was not alone the past of Greece he loved. It was the past of the Mississippi upon which he was brought up; the past of his own family, entering a wilderness in their covered wagon, the past of the Indians they drove from the land, of the earth which cooled and made us and became our home. A profound, often a disturbing, a tormented awareness of the long life behind him that had given him the mind to consider the life that would be when he was of the past. He was moved as by a thing that lived within him, as if the hinterland of his mind had a longer and clearer road back to first thinking than is there for most of us.

He loved all things that record time: the rocks of the earth, great trees enclosing their many rings, the books that hold the rings of thinking—an old tool, old words. "Flimsy thing—it won't last a year," he would say; or, "This will be here when all men now living are dead," and touch it with feeling because it would know the light when he would not.

His emotion about time molded his life. Because we have come from far, the spirit must be untrammeled. After he had gone to Harvard and Heidelberg he gave up University teaching to turn farmer on the Mississippi. He was writing, and he would make . . .

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