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IT little profits that an idle king By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honored of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my
I am a part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
Forever and forever when I move. How dull it is to pause, to make an end, To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me Little remains: but every hour is saved From that eternal silence, something more, A bringer of new things; and vile it
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in
To follow knowledge like a sinking
Of common duties, decent not to fail In offices of tenderness, and pay Meet adoration to my household gods, When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
There lies the port: the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me,That ever with a frolic welcome took The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads, — you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil; Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
A poor infirm, weak, and despised old man;
But yet I call you servile ministers, That have with two pernicious daughters joined Your high-engendered battles 'gainst a head
So old and white as this. O! O! 'tis foul!
OF Truth, of Grandeur, Beauty, Love, and Hope,
And melancholy Fear subdued by Faith;
Of blessed consolations in distress; Of moral strength, and intellectual power;
For I must tread on shadowy ground, must sink
Deep, and, aloft ascending, breathe in worlds
To which the heaven of heavens is but a veil.
All strength, all terror, single or in bands,
That ever was put forth in personal form Jehovah, with his thunder, and the choir
Of shouting Angels, and the empyreal thrones,
I pass them unalarmed. Not Chaos, not
The darkest pit of lowest Erebus, Nor aught of blinder vacancy, scooped out
By help of dreams, can breed such fear and awe
As fall upon us often when we look Into our Minds, into the Mind of Man,
My haunt, and the main region of my song.
Beauty- -a living Presence of the
Surpassing the most fair ideal Forms Which craft of delicate Spirits doth compose
From earth's materials-waits upon my steps;
Pitches her tents before me as I move, An hourly neighbor. Paradise, and groves
Elysian, Fortunate Fields, those of old
Sought in the Atlantic main, why should they be A history only of departed things,
Or a mere fiction of what never was? For the discerning intellect of Man, When wedded to this goodly uni
In love and holy passion, shall find these
A simple produce of the common day.
I, long before the blissful hour arrives,
Would chant, in lonely peace, the spousal verse
Of this great consummation: -- and, by words
Which speak of nothing more than what we are,
Would I arouse the sensual from their sleep
Of Death, and win the vacant and the vain
To noble raptures; while my voice proclaims
How exquisitely the individual Mind (And the progressive powers, perhaps no less,
Of the whole species) to the external World
Is fitted: and how exquisitely,
Of bright aerial spirits live insphered In regions mild of calm and serene air,
Above the smoke and stir of this dim spot
Which men call Earth, and with low-thoughted care
Confined and pestered in this pinfold here,
Strive to keep up a frail and feverish being, Unmindful of the crown that virtue gives,
After this mortal change, to her true servants,
Amongst the enthroned Gods on sainted seats.
Yet some there be that by due steps aspire
To lay their just hands on that golden key
That opes the palace of eternity; To such my errand is; and, but for such,
I would not soil these pure ambrosial weeds
With the rank vapors of this sinworn mould.