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INI IMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY.
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction : not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest ;
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast :-
Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise ;
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank misgivings of a creature
Moving about in worlds not realized ;
High instincts before which our mortal nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised :
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may, Are yet the fountain light of all our day, Are yet a master light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal silence: truths that wake,
To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor man, nor boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy !
Hence, in a season of calm weather,
Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea,
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.
Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young lambs bound,
As to the tabour's sound !
We in thought will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May !
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind,
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be,
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering,
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
And, O ye fountains, meadows, hills, and groves,
Forebode not any severing of our loves !
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquished one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripped lightly as they ,
The innocent brightness of a new-born day
Is lovely yet;
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober coloring from an eye
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality ;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers ;
Little we see in nature that is ours ;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This sea that bares her bosom to the moon ;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for every thing, we are out of tune ;
It moves us not. — Great God! I'd rather be
suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus coming from the sea ;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
YE Nymphs of Solyma ! begin the song :
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains, and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus and the Aonian maids,
Delight no more. -O thou my voice inspire,
Who touched Isaiah's hallowed lips with fire !
Rapt into future times, the bard begun : A virgin shall conceive, a virgin bear a son ! From Jesse's root behold a branch arise, Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies; The ethereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move, And on its top descends the mystic dove. Ye heavens, from high the dewy nectar pour, And in soft silence shed the kindly shower! The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid, From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade. All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail , Returning Justice lift aloft her scale ; Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend, And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend. Swist fly the years, and rise the expected morn! O, spring to light, auspicious babe, be born! See, Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring, With all the incense of the breathing spring! See lofty Lebanon his head advance! See nodding forests on the mountains dance ! See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise, And Carmel's flowery top perfume the skies ! Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers : Prepare the way! a God, a God appears ! A God, a God! the vocal hills reply, The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity. Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies ! Sink down, ye mountains, and ye valleys, rise ! With heads declined, ye cedars, homage pay ! Be smooth, ye rocks! ye rapid floods, give way! The Saviour comes, by ancient bards foretold : Hear him, ye deaf, and all ye blind, behold ! He from thick films shall purge the visual ray, And on the sightless eyeball pour the day : 'Tis he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear, And bid new music charm the unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutc i forego,
And leap exulting, like the bounding roc.
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear;
face he wipes off every tear.
In adamantine chains shall Death be bound,
And Hell's grim tyrant feel the eternal wound.
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
Secks freshest pasture and the purest air,
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them and by night protects,
The tender lambs he raises in his arms,
Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms;
Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage,
The promised father of the future age.
No more shall nation against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet, with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be covered o'er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more ;
But useless lances into scythes shall bend,
And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end.
Then palaces shall rise ; the joyful son
Shall finish what his short-lived sire begun;
Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield,
And the same hand that sowed shall reap the field.
The swain in barren deserts, with surprise,
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise ;
And starts, amid the thirsty wilds to hear
New falls of water murmuring in his ear.
On rifted rocks, the dragon's late absodes,
The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods.
Waste sandy valleys, once perplexed with thorn,
The spiry fir and shapely box adorn :
To leafless shrubs the flowering palms succeed,
And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed.
The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdan mead, · And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead ;