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: A recreant Harp, that sings of fear
And heaviness in Clifford's ear!
I said, when evil Men are strong,
No life is good, no pleasure long,
A weak and cowardly untruth!
Our Clifford was a happy Youth,
And thankful through a weary time,
That brought him up to manhood's prime.
- Again he wanders forth at will,
And tends a Flock from hill to hill:
His garb is humble; ne'er was seen
Such garb with such a noble mien ;
Among the Shepherd-grooms no Mate
Hath he, a Child of strength and state !
Yet lacks not friends for solemn glee,
And a cheerful company,
That learned of him submissive ways ;
And comforted his private days.
To his side the Fallow-deer
Came, and rested without fear ;
The Eagle, Lord of land and sea,
Stooped down to pay him fealty;
And both the undying Fish that swim
Through Bowscale-Tarn did wait on him,
The pair were Servants of his eye In their immortality ; They moved about in open sight, To and fro, for his delight. He knew the Rocks which Angels haunt On the Mountains visitant ; He hath kenned them taking wing: And the Caves where Faeries sing He hath entered ; and been told By Voices how Men lived of old. Among the Heavens his eye can see Face of thing that is to be ; . And, if Men report him right, He can whisper words of might. - Now another day is come, Fitter hope, and nobler doom : He hath thrown aside his Crook, And hath buried deep his Book ; Armour rusting in his Halls On the blood of Clifford calls ; — “ Quell the Scot,” exclaims the Lance Bear me to the heart of France, Is the longing of the Shield — Tell thy name, thou trembling Field;
Field of death, where'er thou be,
Groan thou with our victory!
Happy day, and mighty hour,
When our Shepherd, in his power,
Mailed and horsed, with lance and sword,
To his Ancestors restored,
Like a re-appearing Star,
Like a glory from afar,
First shall head the Flock of War!"
Alas! the fervent Harper did not know
That for a tranquil Soul the Lay was framed,
Who, long compelled in humble walks to go,
Was softened into feeling, soothed, and tamed.
Love had he found in huts where poor Men lie,
His daily Teachers had been Woods and Rills,
The silence that is in the starry sky,
The sleep that is among the lonely hills.
In him the savage Virtue of the Race,
Revenge, and all ferocious thoughts were dead :
Nor did he change; but kept in lofty place
The wisdom which adversity had bred.
Glad were the Vales, and every cottage hearth ; The Shepherd Lord was honoured more and
more: And, ages after he was laid in earth, “ The Good Lord Clifford” was the name he bore.
Yes! full surely 'twas the Echo,
Solitary, clear, profound,
Answering to Thee, shouting Cuckoo !
Giving to thee Sound for Sound.
To a babbling wanderer sent ;
Like her ordinary cry,
Like — but oh how different !
Hears not also niortal Life ?
Hear not we, unthinking Creatures !
Slaves of Folly, Love, or Strife,
Voices of two different Natures ?
Have not We too ? — Yes we have Answers, and we know not whence; Echoes from beyond the grave, Recognized intelligence ?