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And with the heart of May
Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he game.
A six years' darling of a pygmy size !
Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
With light upon him from his father's eyes ! The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee ;
See at his feet some little plan or chart, My heart is at your festival,
Some fragment from his dream of human life, My head hath its coronal,
Shaped by himself with newly learned art,
A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral,
And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song.
Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife ;
But it will not be long
Ere this be thrown aside,
And with new joy and pride
The little actor cons another part,
Filling from time to time his “humorous stage"
With all the persons, down to palsied age,
That life brings with her in her equipage ;
As if his whole vocation
Were endless imitation.
Thy soul's immensity !
Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting ;
Thy heritage ! thou eye among the blind, The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal deep,
Haunted forever by the eternal mind !--
Mighty prophet! Seer blest,
On whom those truths do rest
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave ! From God, who is our home.
Thou over whom thy immortality Heaven lies about us in our infancy !
Broods like the day, a master o'er a slave,
A presence which is not to be put by!
Thou little child, yet glorious in the might But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,- of heaven-born freedom on thy being's height, He sees it in his joy.
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke The youth who daily farther from the east
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight At length the man perceives it die away, Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life ! And fade into the light of common day.
O joy! that in our embers Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own.
Is something that doth live, Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind;
That nature yet remembers
What was so fugitive !
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might; Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
I only have relinquished one delight With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his To live beneath your more habitual sway. breast,
I love the brooks which down their channels fret, Not for these I raise
Even more than when I tripped lightly as they; The song of thanks and praise ;
The innocent brightness of a new-born day But for those obstinate questionings
Is lovely yet ; Of sense and outward things,
The clouds that gather round the setting sun Fallings from us, vanishings,
Do take a sober coloring from an eye Blank misgivings of a creature
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality ; Moving about in worlds not realized,
Another race hath been, and other palms are won. High instincts, before which our mortal nature Thanks to the human heart by which we live, Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised, - Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears, But for those first affections,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give Those shadowy recollections,
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears. 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 SOLILOQUY: ON IMMORTALITY. Of the eternal silence : truths that wake,
SCENE. -CATO sitting in a thoughtful posture, with Plato's desde To perish never,
on the immortality of the Soul in his hand, and a drawn werd
on the table by him. Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavor, Nor man nor boy,
It must be so. Plato, thou reasonest well! Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, Can utterly abolish or destroy !
This longing after immortality ? Hence in a season of calm weather,
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror, Though inland far we be,
Of falling into naught? Why shrinks the soul Our souls have sight of that immortal sea Back on herself, and startles at destruction ? Which brought us hither,
'T is the divinity that stirs within us; Can in a moment travel thither,
'T is Heaven itself, that points out a hereafter, And see the children sport upon the shore, And intimates eternity to man. And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore. Eternity ! — thou pleasing, dreadful thought!
Through what variety of untried being, Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
Through what new scenes and changes must we
The wide, the unbounded prospect lies before me; We in thought will join your throng,
But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it. Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Here will I hold. If there 's a Power above us Ye that through your hearts to-day
(And that there is, all Nature cries aloud Feel the gladness of the May !
Through all her works), he must delight in virtue; What though the radiance which was once so And that which he delights in must be happy. bright
But when ? or where ? This world was made for Be now forever taken from my sight,
Cæsar. Though nothing can bring back the hour I'm weary of conjectures, – this must end them. Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower,
[Laying his hand on his scord. We will grieve not, rather find
Thus am I doubly armed : my death and life, Strength in what remains behind ;
My bane and antidote, are both before me.
This in a moment brings me to an end;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secured in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point. In the faith that looks through death,
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself In years that bring the philosophic mind.
Grow dim with age, and Nature sink in years ;
Unhurt amid the war of elements,
Its proper power to hurt each creature feels : So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
Bulls aim their horns, and asses kick their heels. So near is God to man, When Duty whispers low, Thou must,
Here Wisdom calls, “Seek virtue first, be bold; The youth replies, I can.
As gold to silver, virtue is to gold.”
Let lands and houses have what lords they will, THE SEA,
Let us be fixed and our own masters still.
BEHOLD the Sea, The opaline, the plentiful and strong,
'Tis the first virtue vices to abhor, Yet beautiful as is the rose in June,
And the first wisdom to be fool no more. Fresh as the trickling rainbow of July : Sea full of food, the nourisher of kinds, Long as to him who works for debt, the day. Purger of earth, and medicine of men ;
Not to go back is somewhat to advance, Creating a sweet climate by my breath,
And men must walk, at least, before they dance. Washing out harms and griefs from memory, And, in my mathematic ebb and flow,
True, conscious honor is to feel no sin ; Giving a hint of that which changes not. He's armed without that's innocent within. Rich are the sea-gods: — who gives gifts but they ? They grope the sea for pearls, but more than pearls : For virtue's self may too much zeal be had, They pluck Force thence, and give it to the wise. The worst of madmen is a saint run mad. For every wave is wealth to Dædalus, Wealth to the cunning artist who can work
If wealth alone can make and keep us blest, This matchless strength. Where shall he find, Still, still be getting ; never, never rest. O waves!
That God of nature who within us still A load your Atlas shoulders cannot lift ?
Inclines our actions, not constrains our will.
It is not poetry, but prose run mad.
Pretty in amber to observe the forms
The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare, Men to all shores that front the hoary main. But wonder how the mischief they got there !
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame. Know then this truth, enough for man to know,
Virtue alone is happiness below.
And height of bliss but height of charity.
If then to all men happiness was meant
Order is Heaven's first law, and, this confest, Throned in the centre of his thin designs,
Some are, and must be, greater than the rest. Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines.
Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense, He who, still wanting, though he lives on theft, Lie in three words, — health, peace, and compe
tence. Steals much, spends little, yet has nothing left.
But health consists with temperance alone, What future bliss He gives thee not to know, And peace, O Virtue ! peace is all thine own. But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Fortune her gifts may variously dispose, All nature is but art, unknown to thee, And these be happy called, unhappy those ; All chance, direction which thou canst not see. But Heaven's just balance equal will appear,
When those are placed in hope, and these in jear. 'Tis education forms the common mind; Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined. “But sometimes virtue starves, while vice is fed";
“ What then, is the reward of virtue, - bread! Manners with fortunes, humors turn with climes, That vice may merit, 't is the price of toil, Tenets with books, and principles with times.
The knave deserves it when he tills the soil." Who shall decide when doctors disagree?
What nothing earthly gives or can destroy, And then mistook reverse of wrong for right.
The soul's calm sunshine, and the heartfelt joy.
Honor and shame from no condition rise ;
Act well your part, there all the honor lies. Ye little stars, hide your diminished rays.
Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave,
Is but the more a fool, the more a knave.
Or, failing, smiles in exile or in chains,
Like Socrates, that man is great indeed. Something there is more needful than expense, What's fame? A fancied life in others' breath. And something previous e'en to taste, — 't is sense.
One self-approving hour whole years outweighs In all let Nature never be forgot,
Of stupid starers and of loud huzzas.
Is gentle love, and charms all womankind.
That to be hated needs but to be seen ; 'Tis use alone that sanctifies expense,
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law,
Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw ; And knows where faith, law, morals, all began, Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight,
in love of God and love of man. A little louder, but as empty quite.