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To live without a living soul
To feel the spirit daily pining,
Of mindless chance, itself consigning
Such is the penance, and the meed
Of thoughts that, boasting to be free,
Are tangled with excess of liberty,
Perchance they roam in Duty's sacred name,
Commission'd to erect the world anewAll worldly ties, all interests they disclaim,
Sworn votaries of the beautiful and true ; But vainly deem their own device, in sooth, The very substance of eternal truth.
Their duty still is Duty to deny,
To burst her bonds and cast her cords away: As some turn rebels for pure loyalty,
And some, to save the soul, the body slay : If any law they own, that law decrees, That sovereign right is born of each man's phantasies.
'Twere woe to tell what lamentable wreck
Such dreams may bring upon the public weal, If once restraint be broken from the neck
Of such as grossly think, and fiercely feel, In whom the noble parts by Nature lent, Are sway'd and biass'd from their kindly bent.
Thralls of the world, to whom the world affords
No hope but only this—to toil for food, And eat that they may toil—vassals of lords
With slavish minds and tyrant wills endued, Whose only charity is selfish waste, Whose brightest honour ’tis, to sin with taste.
The master of a slave is never free,
But still himself the slave of sensual fear :Woe to mankind-for ever doom'd to be
The slaves of slaves. The only freeedom here Lives in the spirit that disowns the bands, And dares refuse imperious Fate's commands.
From age to age, beneath the base control
Of servile time, we drudge in sloth or toil ;
Then follows terror wild, and bloody spoil-
TO CERTAIN GOLD FISHES.
Restless forms of living light
Harmless warriors, clad in mail
Was the sun himself your sire ?
Upwards, downwards, now ye glance,
And yet, since on this hapless earth
WHAT I HAVE HEARD.
I've heard the merry voice of spring, When thousand birds their wild notes fling, Here and there, and every where, Stirring the young and lightsome air ;I've heard the many-sounding seas, And all their various harmonies :--The tumbling tempest's dismal roar, On the waste and wreck-strew'd shoreThe howl and the wail of the prison'd waves, Clamouring in the ancient caves, Like a stifled pain that asks for pity :And I have heard the sea at peace, When all its fearful noises cease, Lost in one soft and multitudinous ditty, Most like the murmur of a far off city :Nor less the blither notes I know, To which the inland waters flow, The rush of rocky-bedded rivers, That madly dash themselves to shivers ; But anon, more prudent growing, O’er countless pebbles smoothly flowing, With a dull continuous roar, Hie they onward, evermore :