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– A slender sound! yet hoary Time
Doth to the Soul exalt it with the chime
Of all his years ;- a company.
Of ages coming, ages gone ;
(Nations from before them sweeping,
Regions in destruction steeping,)
But every awful note in unison
With that faint utterance, which tells
Of treasure sucked from buds and bells,
For the pure keeping of those waxen cells ;
Where She, a statist prudent to confer
Upon the public weal; a warrior bold, -
Radiant all over with unburnished gold,
And armed with living spear for mortal fight;
A cunning forager
That spreads no waste ;-a social builder; one
In whom all busy offices unite
With all fine functions that afford delight,
Safe through the winter storm in quiet dwells !
And is She brought within the power
Of vision ?-o'er this tempting flower
Hovering until the petals stay
Her flight, and take its voice away!-
Observe each wing - a tiny van!-
The structure of her laden thigh,
How fragile !-- yet of ancestry
Mysteriously remote and high,
High as the imperial front of man,
The roseate bloom on woman's cheek;
The soaring eagle's curved beak;
The white plumes of the floating swan ;
Old as the tyger's paws, the lion's mane
Ere shaken by that mood of stern disdain
At which the desart trembles. — Humming Bee !
Thy sting was needless then, perchance unknown;
The seeds of malice were not sown;
All creatures met in peace, from fierceness free,
And no pride blended with their dignity.
– Tears had not broken from their source;
Nor anguish strayed from her Tartarian den ;
The golden years maintained a course
Not undiversified, though smooth and even;
We were not mocked with glimpse and shadow then;
Bright Seraphs mixed familiarly with men ;
And earth and stars composed a universal heaven!
AS IT APPEARED TO ENTHUSIASTS AT ITS COM
Reprinted from “ The Friend."
Oh! pleasant exercise of hope and joy!
For mighty the Auxiliars, which then stood
Upon our side, we who were strong in love !
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven! -0, times !
In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways
Of custom, law, and statute, took at once
The attraction of a country in Romance !
When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights, b.
When most intent on making of herself
• This, and the Extract, Vol. I., page 41., and the first, Piece of this Class, are from the unpublished Poem of which some Account is given in the Preface to the Excursion.
A prime Enchantress — to assist the work, Which then was going forward in her name! Not favoured spots alone, but the whole earth, The beauty wore of promise - that which sets (To take an image which was felt no doubt Among the bowers of paradise itself) The budding rose above the rose full blown. What Temper at the prospect did not wake To happiness unthought of? The inert Were roused, and lively Natures rapt away! They who had fed their childhood upon dreams, The play-fellows of fancy, who had made All powers of swiftness, subtilty and strength Their ministers, — who in lordly wise had stirred Among the grandest objects of the sense, And dealt with whatsoever they found there As if they had within some lurking right To wield it; -- they, too, who of gentle mood Had watched all gentle motions, and to these Had fitted their own thoughts, schemers more mild, And in the region of their peaceful selves ; — Now was it that both found, the Meek and Lofty Did both find helpers to their heart's desire, And stuff at hand, plastic as they could wish,
Were called upon to exercise their skill,
Not in Utopia, -- subterraneous Fields, –
Or some secreted Island, Heaven knows where !
But in the very world, which is the world
Of all of us, — the place where in the end
We find our happiness, or not at all!