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Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
And cometh from afar :
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
But He beholds the light, and whence it flows
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own; Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind, And even with something of a Mother's mind, And no unworthy aim,
The homely Nurse doth all she can To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man, Forget the glories he hath known, And that imperial palace whence he came.
Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
With light upon him from his father's eyes!
A mourning or a funeral;
And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song:
To dialogues of business, love, or strife:
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'
Were endless imitation.
Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
Thou best Philosopher, who yet dost keep
On whom those truths do rest,
Broods like the Day, a Master o'er a Slave,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!
O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
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
Are yet the fountain light of all our day,
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy !
Hence in a season of calm weather
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,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Strength in what remains behind;
Which having been must ever be ;
In the faith that looks through death,
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
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
'With sacrifice before the rising morn
Restore him to my sight-great Jove, restore!'
So speaking, and by fervent love endowed
With faith, the Suppliant heavenward lifts her hands;
Her countenance brightens-and her eye expands ;
O terror! what hath she perceived?—O joy!
Her Hero slain upon the beach of Troy?
And a god leads him-winged Mercury!
Mild Hermes spake-and touched her with his wand
Thy Husband walks the paths of upper air:
He comes to tarry with thee three hours' space';
Accept the gift, behold him face to face!'