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How glorious and how beautiful a life
Must thine have been among the hills and streams ! From the far world, and its eternal strife,
But one grey shadow cast upon thy dreams, Tinging their sacred and nymph-haunted glory
With something of a mournful—mortal hue. Ah! if the Spirits of the olden story
Yet linger—and the Ascræan's verse* be true, If Unseen Habitants, yet earth-bound, rove By the still brook, or the melodious grove, And ever o'er Man's state the while they wander, With a high thought, but tender memory, ponder: If the pure ghosts of the Saturnian Race,
Who o'er the sinless pastures led their herds; Oh! if they yet claim haunt and dwelling-place
Where the air gladdens with the summer birds; Methinks to them familiar thy sublime
And undiurnal melody which breathes
And, as o’er ruined fanes the ivy wreathes,
* Hesiod, who tells us (Opera et Dies, verse 121, 'Aůtdp étel KEV TOÛTO, &c.) that the mortals of the golden age became, after death, good spirits wandering over earth, and regarding the acts' of men.
So cling thy fancies in their green embrace
Around a dim and antique holiness ; And, with a loving yet a solemn grace,
At once a freshness and an awe express !
Musing on Man,” amid the mountains lone,
What must have past in thy unfathomed breast !-How, on the lyre within, must many a tone,
Solemn and deep, have risen—unconfest, Save to thyself, and the still ear of GOD!
And from the full and silent Heart of Things, As o'er the hills thy unwatched footsteps trod,
Didst thou not draw the patriarchal springs Of love for Man and Nature, which the hues Of thy transparent verse all livingly suffuse ?
Higher thy theme than Cæsars', or the Pomp
Borne o'er the dusty earth in weary gaud; Ambition's mask, and Glory's brazen tromp,
The embattled Murder, and the ermined Fraud ! Sweeter thy theme than aught which thro’ the lays
Of the Rose Garden's sons may softly flow! And earthlier fires before the Rhean blaze
Lit on thine altar—sicken from their glow!
Man in his simple grandeur, which can take
From Power but poor increase; the Truth which lies Upshining in the Well of homely Life ;"
The Winds, the Waters, and their Mysteries
The Morn and moted Noon, the Stars which make
Their mirror in the heart; the Earth all rife With warnings and with wisdom; the deep lore
Which floateth air-like over lonely places— These made thy study and thy theme; and o'er
The Beauty of thy Soul no Paphian Graces, But a religious and a reverent Awe,
Breathed Sanctity and Music—inspiration, Not from the dark Obscure of priestly law,
But that which burns—the Centre of CreationA Love, a Mystery, and a Fear—the unseen Source of all worship since the world hath been !
How must thy lone and lofty soul have gone
Exulting on its way, beyond the loud
Tethered and dull’d to Nature, in the crowd ! Earth has no nobler, no more moral sight,
Than a Great Poet whom the world disowns, But stills not, neither angers:—from his height,
As from a star, float forth his sphere-like tones : He wits not whether the vex'd herd may hear The music wafted to the reverent ear; And far Man's wrath, or scorn, or heed, above, Smiles down the calm disdain of his majestic love!
A THOUGHT AT NIGHT.
In yonder taper's waning light,
An image of my heart I see;
Its life the love of thee-
But slowly wastes while it illumes ;
My life itself consumes.
The summer-the summer hath come, my love,
And the ring-dove found his bride Not a flower below, not a beam above,
But doth thy coyness chide. I have loved thee well-I have loved thee long
I have loved thyself alone; There lived not a thought in my burning song, That
heart did not more than own.
Be mine be mine while the Hours allow
My life to be vowed to Thee;
But the worm is in the tree.
When the vow shall be ever o’er-
Shall leap to the Breeze no more.
The scent from Life's closing flowers;
" I blest his latest hours !''
TO JULIET SLEEPING.
The moonbeams thro' the lattice fall;
They silver o'er thy blushing cheek ;
The love I could not speak.
Our world can be earth's world no more,
And that we knew before.