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367

MORALITY

We cannot kindle when we will

The fire which in the heart resides,
The spirit bloweth and is still,
In mystery our soul abides;

But tasks in hours of insight willid
Can be through hours of gloom fulfill’d.

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With aching hands and bleeding feet

We dig and heap, lay stone on stone ; We bear

the burden and the heat
Of the long day, and wish 'twere done.

Not till the hours of light return
All we have built do we discern.

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Then, when the clouds are off the soul,

When thou dost bask in Nature's eye,
Ask, how she view'd thy self-control,
Thy struggling, task'd morality-

Nature, whose free, light, cheerful air,
Oft made thee, in thy gloom, despair.

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And she, whose censure thou dost dread,

Whose eye thou wast afraid to seek,
See, on her face a glow is spread,
A strong emotion on her cheek!

Ah, child !' she cries, that strife divine,
Whence was it, for it is not mine ?

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There is no effort on my brow

I do not strive, I do not weep;
I rush with the swift spheres and glow
In joy, and, when I will, I sleep!

Yet that severe, that earnest air,
I saw, I felt it once-but where ?

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* I knew not yet the gauge of time,

Nor wore the manacles of space;
I felt it in some other clime!
I saw it in some other place!

'Twas when the heavenly house I trod,
And lay upon the breast of God.'

M. ARNOLD.

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368

THE FUTURE

A wanderer is man from his birth.

He was born in a ship
On the breast of the river of Time;
Brimming with wonder and joy

He spreads out his arms to the light,
Rivets his gaze on the banks of the stream.

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As what he sees is, so have his thoughts been.

Whether he wakes
Where the snowy mountainous pass,
Echoing the screams of the eagles,
Hems in its gorges the bed
Of the new-born clear-flowing stream ;
Whether he first sees light
Where the river in gleaming rings

Sluggishly winds through the plain ;
Whether in sound of the swallowing sea-

As is the world on the banks,
So is the mind of the man.

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Vainly does each as he glides
Fable and dream

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Of the lands which the river of Time
Had left ere he woke on its breast,
Or shall reach when his eyes have been clos’d.
Only the tract where he sails
He wots of; only the thoughts,

23 Raised by the objects he passes, are his.

Who can see the green earth any more
As she was by the sources of Time ?
Who imagines her fields as they lay
In the sunshine, unworn by the plough ? 30

Who thinks as they thought,
The tribes who then roam'd on her breast,
Her vigorous primitive sons ?

What girl
Now reads in her bosom as clear

35 As Rebekah read, when she sate At eve by the palm-shaded well ?

Who guards in her breast
As deep, as pellucid a spring
Of feeling, as tranquil, as sure ?

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What bard,
At the height of his vision, can deem
Of God, of the world, of the soul,

With a plainness as near, As flashing as Moses felt,

45 When he lay in the night by his flock On the starlit Arabian waste ?

Can rise and obey
The beck of the Spirit like him ?
This tract which the river of Time

50 Now flows through with us, is the plain. Gone is the calm of its earlier shore.

Border'd by cities, and hoarse
With a thousand cries is its stream.
And we on its breast, our minds

55 Are confused as the cries which we hear, Changing and shot as the sights which we see.

And we say that repose has fled
For ever the course of the river of Time.
That cities will crowd to its edge

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In a blacker incessanter line ;
That the din will be more on its banks,
Denser the trade on its stream,

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Flatter the plain where it flows,
Fiercer the sun overhead.

65 That never will those on its breast

See an ennobling sight,
Drink of the feeling of quiet again.

But what was before us we know not,
And we know not what shall succeed. 70
Haply, the river of Time,
As it grows, as the towns on its marge
Fling their wavering lights
On a wider, statelier stream
May acquire, if not the calm
Of its early mountainous shore,
Yet a solemn peace of its own.
And the width of the waters, the hush

Of the grey expanse where he floats, Freshening its current and spotted with foam

As it draws to the Ocean, may strike
Peace to the soul of the man on its breast;

As the pale waste widens around him-
As the banks fade dimmer away-
As the stars come out, and the night-wind

Brings up the stream
Murmurs and scents of the infinite Sea.

M. ARNOLD. 369

PHILOMELA
Hark! ah, the nightingale !

The tawny-throated !
Hark! from that moonlit cedar what a burst !

What triumph! hark—what pain !
O wanderer from a Grecian shore,
Still, after many years, in distant lands,
Still nourishing in thy bewilder'd brain
That wild, unquench'd, deep - sunken, old - world

pain
Say, will it never heal ?

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Ра

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And can this fragrant lawn
With its cool trees, and night,
And the sweet, tranquil Thames,
And moonshine, and the dew,
To thy rack'd heart and brain

Afford no balm ?

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Dost thou to-night behold, Here, through the moonlight on this English grass, The unfriendly palace in the Thracian wild ?

Dost thou again peruse

With hot cheeks and sear'd eyes
The too clear web, and thy dumb sister's shame?

Dost thou once more assay
Thy flight, and feel come over thee,

Poor fugitive, the feathery change
Once more, and once more seem to make resound
With love and hate, triumph and agony,
Lone Daulis, and the high Cephissian vale ?

Listen, Eugenia-
How thick the bursts come crowding through the

leaves !
Again-thou hearest ?
Eternal passion !
Eternal pain !

M. ARNOLD.

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370

REQUIESCAT

Strew on her roses, roses,

And never a spray of yew!
In quiet she reposes ;

Ah! would that I did too.

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Her mirth the world required ;

She bathed it in smiles of glee.
But her heart was tired, tired,

And now they let her be.

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