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Hardly we breathe, although the air be free:
'Twas on a Holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean, The children walking two and two, in red, and blue, and
Grey-headed beadles walked before, with wands as white as
Till into the high dome of Paul's, they like Thames' waters flow.
O what a multitude they seemed, these flowers of London town, 5
Seated in companies they sit, with radiance all their own : The hum of multitudes was there, but multitudes of lambs, Thousands of little boys and girls, raising their innocent hands.
Now like a mighty wind they raise to heaven the voice of song,
9 Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of heaven among : Beneath them sit the agèd men, wise guardians of the poor. Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door. William Blake.
ON AN ANTIQUE GEM BEARING THE HEADS OF PERICLES AND ASPASIA.
This was the ruler of the land,
When Athens was the land of fame;
His sovereignty was held or won:
Loved-but as freemen love alone,
Then eloquence first flashed below;
And his the sole, the sacred hand
And throned immortal by his side,
A woman sits with eye sublime,—
But, if their solemn love were crime,
He perished, but his wreath was won-
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.
Oft in my waking dreams do I
Beside the ruined tower.
The moonshine stealing o'er the scene,
She leaned against the armèd man,
Amid the lingering light.
Few sorrows hath she of her own,
The songs that make her grieve.
I played a soft and doleful air,
She listened with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes, and modest grace;
I told her of the Knight that wore
I told her how he pined: and ah!
And that he crossed the mountain-woods,
And how she wept, and clasped his knees,
And ever strove to expiate
The scorn that crazed his brain ;
And that she nursed him in a cave;
A dying man he lay;—
His dying words—but when I reached
She wept with pity and delight,
She blushed with love and virgin shame;
I heard her breathe my name.
Her bosom heaved-she stepped aside,
She half enclosed me with her arms,