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Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep
On whom those truths do rest
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
Broods like the day, a master o'er a slave,
O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
What was so fugitive!
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
Blank misgivings of a creature
Those shadowy recollections,
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
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavor,
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
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the children sport upon the shore,
Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
As to the tabor's sound!
We in thought will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower-
Which, having been, must ever be;
In the faith that looks through death,
And O ye fountains, meadows, hills, and groves,
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the brooks which down their channels fret,.
Is lovely yet;
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;
T the close of the day, when the hamlet is still, And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove, When nought but the torrent is heard on the hill, And nought but the nightingale's song in the grove, 'T was thus, by the cave of the mountain afar,
While his harp rung symphonious, a hermit began; No more with himself or with nature at war,
He thought as a sage, though he felt as a man :
"Ah! why, all abandoned to darkness and woe,
Mourn, sweetest complainer, man calls thee to mourn!
"Now, gliding remote on the verge of the sky, The moon, half extinguished, her crescent displays;
But lately I marked when majestic on high
She shone, and the planets were lost in her blaze. Roll on, thou fair orb, and with gladness pursue
The path that conducts thee to splendor again!
"Tis night, and the landscape is lovely no more.
Perfumed with fresh fragrance, and glittering with dew. Nor yet for the ravage of Winter I mourn
Kind nature the embryo blossom will save;
But when shall Spring visit the mouldering urn?
THE FIRST VOICES OF PARADISE.
"'T was thus, by the glare of false science betrayed, That leads to bewilder, and dazzles to blind,
My thoughts wont to roam from shade onward to shade, Destruction before me, and sorrow behind.
'O pity, great Father of light,' then I cried,
'Thy creature, who fain would not wander from Thee! Lo, humbled in dust, I relinquish my pride;
From doubt and from darkness Thou only canst free.'
"And darkness and doubt are now flying away;
No longer I roam in conjecture forlorn :
So breaks on the traveler, faint and astray,
The bright and the balmy effulgence of morn. See truth, love, and mercy in triumph descending, And nature all glowing in Eden's first bloom! On the cold cheek of Death smiles and roses are blending, And beauty immortal awakes from the tomb."
The First Voices of Paradise.
HAT was 't awakened first the untuned ear