I prayed for riches and achieved success, All that I touched turned into gold.
Alas!My cares were greater, and my peace was lessWhen that wish came to pass. I prayed for glory; and heard my nameSung by sweet children and by hoary men.But ah! the hurts, the hurts that came with fame!I was not happy then. I prayed for love, and had my soul's desire,Through quivering heart and body and through brainThere swept the flame of its devouring fire;And there the scars remain. I prayed for a contented mind. At length Great light upon my darkened spirit burst,Great peace fell on me, also, and great strength.Oh! had that prayer been first!
It is, then, by those shadows of the hoary Past and their fantastic silhouettes on the external screen of every religion and philosophy, that we can, by checking them as we go along, and comparing them, trace out finally the body that produced them.