So friendly the fire to flinty stone

So friendly is the fire to flinty stone,
That, struck therefrom and kindled to a blaze,
It burns the stone, and from the ash doth raise
What lives thenceforward binding stones in one:

Kiln-hardened this resists both frost and sun,
Acquiring higher worth for endless days–
As the purged soul from hell returns with praise,
Amid the heavenly host to take her throne.

E’en so the fire struck from my soul, that lay
Close-hidden in my heart, may temper me,
Till burned and slaked to better life I rise.

If, made mere smoke and dust, I live to-day,
Fire-hardened I shall live eternally;
Such gold, not iron, my spirit strikes and tries.