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But any man that walks the mead,
In bud or blade, or bloom, may find, According as his humours lead,
A meaning suited to his mind. And liberal applications lie
In Art like Nature, dearest friend; So 'twere to
1. You shake
head. A random string Your finer female sense offends. Well—were it not a pleasant thing
To fall asleep with all one's friends; To pass
with all our social ties To silence from the paths of men; And every hundred years to rise
And learn the world, and sleep again ; To sleep thro' terms of mighty wars,
And wake on science grown to more
On secrets of the brain, the stars,
As wild as aught of fairy lore ; And all that else the
will show, The Poet-forms of stronger hours, The vast Republics that may grow,
The Federations and the Powers ; Titanic forces taking birth
In divers seasons, divers climes ; For we are Ancients of the earth,
And in the morning of the times.
2. So sleeping, so aroused from sleep
Thro' sunny decads new and strange, Or gay quinquenniads would we reap
The flower and quintessence of change.
3. Ah, yet would I-and would I might!
So much your eyes my fancy takeBe still the first to leap to light
That I might kiss those eyes awako! For, am I right, or am I wrong,
To choose your own you did not care ; You'd have my moral from the song, And I will take my pleasure there :
And, am I right or am I wrong,
My fancy, ranging thro' and thro',
Perforce will still revert to you;
All-graceful head, so richly curl'd,
The prelude to some brighter world.
For since the time when Adam first
bird of Eden burst
What lips, like thine, so sweetly join'd ?
The fullness of the pensive mind;
Yet sleeps a dreamless sleep to me;
That lets thee neither hear nor see :
And in the rights that name may give,
And that for which I care to live.
So, Lady Flora, take my lay,
And, if you find a meaning there, O whisper to your glass, and say,
“What wonder, if he thinks me fair ?”. What wonder I was all unwise,
To shape the song for your delight Like long-tail'd birds of Paradise,
That float thro' Heaven, and cannot lights Or old-world trains, upheld at court
By Cupid-boys of blooming hueBut take it earnest wed with sport,
And either sacred into you.
My father left a park to me,
But it is wild and barren,
And waster than a warren :
It is not bad but good land, And in it is the germ of all
That grows within the woodland.
O had I lived when song was great
In days of old Amphion,
Nor cared for seed or scion !
And legs of trees were limber, And ta’en my fiddle to the gate,
And fiddled in the timber !