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“ And into beasts, and other men,
" And all the Norland whirlwind showers "From open vaults, and all the sea
“O'erwashes with sharp salts, again “Shall fleet together all, and be
"Indued with immortality."
Thrice happy state again to be
The trustful infant on the knee !
Who lets his waxen fingers play
About his mother's neck, and knows
Nothing beyond his mother's eyes.
They comfort him by night and day
They light his little life alway;
He hath no thought of coming woes ;
He hath no care of life or death,
Scarce outward signs of joy arise,
Because the Spirit of happiness
And perfect rest so inward is;
And loveth so his innocent heart,
Her temple and her place of birth,
Where she would ever wish to dwell,
Life of the fountain there, beneath
Its salient springs, and far apart,
Hating to wander out on earth,
Or breathe into the hollow air,
Whose chillness would make visible
Her subtil, warm, and golden breath,
Which mixing with the infant's blood,
Fullfills him with beatitude.
Oh! sure it is a special care
Of God, to fortify from doubt,
To arm in proof, and guard about
With triple-mailed trust, and clear
Delight, the infant's dawning year.
Would that my gloomed fancy were
As thine, my mother, when with brows
Propped on thy knees, my hands upheld
In thine, I listened to thy vows,
For me outpoured in holiest prayer-
For me unworthy !-and beheld
Thy mild deep eyes upraised, that knew
The beauty and repose of faith,
And the clear spirit shining through.
Oh! wherefore do we grow awry
From roots which strike so deep? why dare
Paths in the desart? Could not I
Bow myself down, where thou hast knelt,
To th' earth-until the ice would melt
Here, and I feel as thou hast felt?
What Devil had the heart to scathe
Flowers thou had'st reared—to brush the dew
From thine own lily, when thy grave
Was deep, my mother, in the clay?
Myself? Is it thus? Myself? Had I
So little love for thee? But why
Prevailed not thy pure prayers ? Why pray
To one who heeds not, who can save
But will not? Great in faith, and strong
Against the grief of circumstance
Wert thou, and yet unheard. What if
Thou pleadest still, and seest me drive
Through utter dark a fullsailed skiff,
Unpiloted i' the echoing dance
Of reboant whirlwinds, stooping low
Unto the death, not sunk! I know
At matins and at evensong,
That thou, if thou wert yet alive,
In deep and daily prayers would'st strive
To reconcile me with thy God.
Albeit, my hope is gray, and cold
At heart, thou wouldest murmur still-
Bring this lamb back into thy fold,
"My Lord, if so it be thy will"
Would'st tell me I must brook the rod,
And chastisement of human pride;
That pride, the sin of devils, stood
Betwixt me and the light of God!
That hitherto I had defied,
And had rejected God—that grace
Would drop from his o'erbrimming love,
As manna on my wilderness,
If I would pray—that God would move
And strike the hard hard rock, and thence,
Sweet in their utmost bitterness,
Would issue tears of penitence
Which would keep green hope's life. Alas!
I think that pride hath now no place
Nor sojourn in me. I am void,
Dark, formless, utterly destroyed.
Why not believe then ? Why not yet
Anchor thy frailty there, where man
Hath moored and rested ? Ask the sea
At midnight, when the crisp slope waves
After a tempest, rib and fret
The broadimbasèd beach, why he
Slumbers not like a mountain tarn?
Wherefore his ridges are not curls
And ripples of an inland meer?
Wherefore he moaneth thus, nor can
Draw down into his vexèd pools
All that blue heaven which hues and paves
The other ? I am too forlorn,
Too shaken: my own weakness fools
My judgment, and my spirit whirls,
Moved from beneath with doubt and fear.
“ Yet," said I, in my morn of youth, The unsunned freshness of my strength, When I went forth in quest of truth,
" It is man's privilege to doubt, “If so be that from doubt at length, “Truth may stand forth unmoved of change, "An image with profulgent brows, "And perfect limbs, as from the storm “Of running fires and fluid range “Of lawless airs, at last stood out “This excellence and solid form “Of constant beauty. For the Ox “Feeds in the herb, and sleeps, or fills “The hornèd valleys all about, “And hollows of the fringed hills "In summerheats, with placid lows
Unfearing, till his own blood flows “ About his hoof. And in the flocks “The lamb rejoiceth in the year, “And raceth freely with his fere,
And answers to his mother's calls "From the flowered furrow. In a time, “Of which he wots not, run short pains "Through his warm heart; and then, from whence "He knows not, on his light there falls “A shadow; and his native slope, Where he was wont to leap and climb, "Floats from his sick and filmed eyes,
“And something in the darkness draws
“His forehead earthward, and he dies.
“Shall men live thus, in joy and hope
“As a young lamb, who cannot dream,
"Living, but that he shall live on?
“Shall we not look into the laws
“Of life and death, and things that seem,
“And things that be, and analyse
“Our double nature, and compare
“ All creeds till we have found the one,
“If one there be?” Ay me! I fear
All may not doubt, but everywhere
Some must clasp Idols. Yet, my God,
Whom call I Idol ? Let thy dove
Shadow me over, and my sins
Be unremembered, and thy love
Enlighten me. Oh teach me yet
Somewhat before the heavy clod
Weighs on me, and the busy fret
Of that sharpheaded worm begins
In the gross blackness underneath,
life ! oh
Oh spirit and heart made desolate !
Oh damnéd vacillating state! (1830)
THE BURIAL OF LOVE
His eyes in eclipse,
Pale cold his lips,
The light of his hopes unfed,
Mute his tongue,
His bow unstrung
With the tears he hath shed,
Backward drooping his graceful head,
Love is dead :
His last arrow is sped ;
He hath not another dart;
Go-carry him to his dark deathbed ;
Bury him in the cold cold heart-
Love is dead.
Oh, truest love! art thou forlorn,
And unrevenged ? thy pleasant wiles
Forgotten, and thine innocent joy?
Shall hollowhearted apathy,
The cruellest form of perfect scorn,
With languor of most hateful smiles,
For ever write,
In the withered light
Of the tearless eye,
An epitaph that all may spy
No! sooner she herself shall die.
For her the showers shall not fall,
Nor the round sun shine that shineth to all ;
Her light shall into darkness change ;
For her the green grass shall not spring,
Nor the rivers flow, nor the sweet birds sing,
Till Love have his full revenge.
TO SAINTED Juliet ! dearest name ! If to love be life alone,
I love thee, and live; and yet
Love unreturned is like the fragrant flame
Folding the slaughter of the sacrifice
Offered to gods upon an altarthrone;
My heart is lighted at thine eyes,
Changed into fire, and blown about with sighs.
WHEN cats run home and light is come,
And dew is cold upon the ground,
And the far-off stream is dumb,
And the whirring sail goes round,
And the whirring sail goes round;
Alone and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits.
When merry milkmaids click the latch,
And rarely smells the new-mown hay,
And the cock hath sung beneath the thatch
Twice or thrice his roundelay,
Twice or thrice his roundelay;
Alone and warming his five wits,
(1853) The white owl in the belfry sits.