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For it is not the rushing flight
Of seasons soaring to the sun; And it is not the wasted might
when their march is done :
It is the sand that hourly keeps
Its silent ebb from day to day,
The golden hoard of life away.
Though secret be their course, and dark:
The sunbeam ceases not on high,
Although no shade the dial mark.
How long soe'er the measure given
To bound thy moments fugitive, These shatter'd boughs, though rent and riven,
The narrow confines shall o’erlive.
Thou, blending in thy compass small,
Impending age with infant birth, Ere many seasons pass, must fall,
And mingle with thy parent earth.
Yet, though the feeble frame that moulds
Thy substance, all decaying be, That frame of fragile dust enfolds
The germ of immortality. Spirit of origin sublime,
Age is maturing strength to thee; Death thy best heritage, and Time
The portal of eternity.”
Voice of the Oak! whate'er thou be,
Of wild and visionary race,
As no light fancy should efface, ; Still may thy warning hold a place
Within my heart, nor pass away,
Till latest time's faint shadow trace
The dawning of celestial day!
H SONNET I.
« Two voices are there.” From the inmost breast,
Its seat oracular, the one proceeds,
Prompting the high-born soul to worthy deeds, And rousing Fancy from inglorious rest. The other from above, Heaven's high behest
In still small accents speaks; which he who heeds,
Is wise, for sure the path where Duty leads, Though dark, is safe; though rugged, yet the best.
Nor would I at the call of Pleasure dare
Resist that voice, but rather wait resign'd, Perform my daily task with duteous care,
And quench the proud aspirings of my mind; Till happier days arrive, when, blithe and free, My soul shall spread her wings in joyful liberty.
It is a false theology that says,
There is no bliss on earth, although the name
May seem to mock the worldling's baffled aim, Who for his scanty mess of pottage pays His all, his birthright. There are pleasant ways
Of love and peace to him whose end is right,
Pastures aye green, and streams of calm delight, On which the heav'ns pour down their living rays. Some happy ones there are, blest far above
Fortune's spoil'd heirs, who, in the quiet round Of duty, in the energies of love,
And hope, and prayer, and in the eternal course Of Nature, healthful joy's perennial source,
A sober certainty of bliss have found.
A RICH and flowery slope ! its woodland bound
Climbing the sky behind us, and before
Towers the white crag precipitous, of yore
Of ocean comes upon the placid ear.
Far stretching on our right, its waves appear Like fields of grosser ether, where abound White-winged barks that catch upon their breast
Th' alternate sun and shadow. O, e'en now, For shade of passing cloud, while here we rest,
Groupe fit for poet, on this sultry brow, For the slow-trickling coolness of her waters,
Courting the tiniest of the Naiad's daughters.