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I 22

INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY.

O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
That Nature yet remembers

What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction; not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest,
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:

- Not for these I raise

The song of thanks and praise;
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings,

Blank misgivings of a creature
Moving about in worlds not realized,
High instincts, before which our mortal nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprized:

But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,

Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;

Uphold us-cherish-and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal silence: truths that wake

To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,

Nor man, nor boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
Hence, in a season of calm weather

Though inland far we bę,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea

Which brought us hither;
Can in a moment travel thither-

INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY.

123

And see the children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore,

Then, sing ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!

And let the young lambs bound

As to the tabor's sound!
We, in thought, will join your throng,

Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day

Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,

Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind,
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be,
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering,

In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind,

And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groveș,
Forbode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquish'd one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway;
I love the brooks which down their channels fret
Even more than when I tripp'd lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born day

Is lovely yet;
The clouds that gather round the setting sụn
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o’er man's mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.

124

THE POET'S INVOCATION.

Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

W. Wordsworth.

THE POET'S INVOCATION.

EARTH, Ocean, Air, beloved brotherhood!
If our great Mother has imbued my soul
With aught of natural piety to feel
Your love, and recompense the boon with mine;
If dewy morn, and odorous noon, and even,
With sunset and its gorgeous ministers,
And solemn midnight's tingling silentness;
If Autumn's hollow sighs in the sere wood,
And Winter robing with pure snow and crowns
Of starry ice the grey grass and bare boughs-
If Spring's voluptuous pantings when she breathes
Her first sweet kisses-have been dear to me;
If no bright bird, insect, or gentle beast,
I consciously have injured, but still loved
And cherished these my kindred;—then forgive
This boast, beloved brethren, and withdraw
No portion of your wonted favour now!

1

Mother of this unfathomable world,
Favour my solemn song! for I have loved
Thee ever, and thee only; I have watched
Thy shadow, and the darkness of thy steps,
And my heart ever gazes on the depth
Of thy deep mysteries. I have made my bed
In charnels and on coffins, where black Death

THE POET'S INVOCATION.

125

Keeps record of the trophies won from thee;
Hoping to still these obstinate questionings
Of thee and thine by forcing some lone ghost,
Thy messenger, to render up the tale
Of what we are. In lone and silent hours,
When night makes a weird sound of its own stillness,
Like an inspired and desperate alchemist
Staking his very life on some dark hope,
Have I mixed awful talk and asking looks
With my most innocent love; until strange tears,
Uniting with those breathless kisses, made
Such magic as compels the charmèd night
To render up thy charge. And, though ne'er yet
Thou hast unveiled thy inmost sanctuary,
Enough from incommunicable dream,
And twilight phantasms, and deep noonday thought,
Has shone within me, that serenely now
And moveless (as a long-forgotten lyre
Suspended in the solitary dome
Of some mysterious and deserted fane)
I wait thy breath, Great Parent; that my

strain
May modulate with murmurs of the air,
And motions of the forests and the sea,
And voice of living beings, and woven hymns
Of night and day, and the deep heart of man.

P. B. Shelley.

126

HYMN TO THE EARTH.

HYMN TO THE EARTH.

HEXAMETERS.

EARTH! thou mother of numberless children, the nurse and

the mother, Hail! O Goddess, thrice hail! Blest be thou! and, blessing,

I hymn thee! Forth, ye sweet sounds! from my harp, and my voice shall

float on your surgesSoar thou aloft, O my soul! and bear up my song on thy

pinions.

Travelling the vale with mine eyes-green meadows and

lake with green island, Dark in its basin of rock, and the bare stream flowing in

brightnessThrilled with thy beauty and love in the wooded slope of

the mountain, Here, great mother, I lie, thy child, with his head on thy

bosom! Playful the spirits of noon, that rushing soft through thy

tresses, Green-haired goddess! refresh me; and hark! as they hurry

or linger, Fill the pause of my harp, or sustain it with musical murmurs, Into my being thou murmurest joy, and tenderest sadness Shedd'st thou, like dew, on my heart, till the joy and the

heavenly sadness Pour themselves forth from my heart in tears, and the hymn

of thanksgiving.

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