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Of old sat Freedom on the heights,
The thunders breaking at her feet : Above her shook the starry lights :
She heard the torrents meet.
There in her place she did rejoice,
Self-gather'd in her prophet-mind, But fragments of her mighty voice
Came rolling on the wind.
Then stept she down thro' town and field
To mingle with the human race, And part by part to men reveald
The fullness of her face
Grave mother of majestic works,
From her isle-altar gazing down, Who, God-like, grasps the triple forks,
And, King-like, wears the crown :
Her open eyes desire the truth.
The wisdom of a thousand years Is in them. May perpetual youth
Keep dry their light from tears;
That her fair form may stand and shine,
Make bright our days and light our dreams, Turning to scorn with lips divine
The falsehood of extremes !
LOVE thou thy land, with love far-brought
From out the storied Past, and used
Within the Present, but transfused Thro' future time by power of thought.
True love turn'd round on fixed poles,
Love, that endures not sordid ends,
For English natures, freemen, friends, Thy brothers and immortal souls.
But pamper not a hasty time,
The herd, wild hearts and feeble wings, That every sophister can lime.
Deliver not the tasks of might
To weakness, neither hide the ray
From those, not blind, who wait for day, Tho' sitting girt with doubtful light.
Make knowledge circle with the winds ;
But let her herald, Reverence, fly
Before her to whatever sky
Watch what main-currents draw the years :
Cut Prejudice against the grain :
But gentle words are always gain : Regard the weakness of thy peers :
Nor toil for title, place, or tonch
Of pension, neither count on praise :
It grows to guerdon after-days : Nor deal in watch-words overmuch ;
Not clinging to some ancient saw;
Not master'd by some modern term;
Not swift nor slow to change, but firm : And in its season bring the law;
That from Discussion's lip may fall
With Life, that, working strongly, bindo
Set in all lights by many minds, To close the interests of all.
For Nature also, cold and warm,
And moist and dry, devising long,
Thro' many agents making strong, Matures the individual form.
Meet is it changes should control
Our being, lest we rust in ease.
We all are changed by still degrees, All but the basis of the soul.
So let the change which comes be free
To ingroove itself with that, which flies,
And work, a joint of state, that plies Its office, moved with sympathy.
A saying, hard to shape in act;
For all the past of Time reveals
A bridal dawn of thunder-peals, Wherever Thought hath wedded Fact.
Ev'n now we hear with inward strife
A motion toiling in the gloom-
The Spirit of the years to come Yearning to mix himself with Life.
A slow-develop'd strength awaits
Completion in a painful school ;
Phantoms of other forms of rule, New Majesties of mighty States
The warders of the growing hour,
But vague in vapour, hard to mark ;
And round then sea and air are dark With great contrivances of Power.