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Fond words have oft been spoken to thee, Sleep!
And thou hast had thy store of tenderest names ;
The very sweetest words that fancy frames
When thankfulness of heart is strong and deep!
Dear bosom Child we call thee, that dost steep
In rich reward all suffering ; Balm that tames
All anguish; Saint that evil thoughts and aims
Takest away, and into souls dost creep,
Like to a breeze from heaven. Shall I alone,
I surely not a man ungently made,
Call thee worst Tyrant by which Flesh is crost ?
Perverse, self-willed to own and to disown,
Mere Slave of them who never for thee prayed,
Still last to come where thou art wanted most! .
With Ships the sea was sprinkled far and nigh,
Like stars in heaven, and joyously it showed;
Some lying fast at anchor in the road,
Some veering up and down, one knew not why,
A goodly Vessel did I then espy
Come like a Giant from a haven broad;
And lustily along the Bay she strode,
“ Her tackling rich, and of apparel high.”
This Ship was nought to me, nor I to her,
Yet I pursued her with a Lover's look ;
This Ship to all the rest did I prefer :
When will she turn, and whither? She will brook
No tarrying; where she comes the winds must stir :
On went She,—and due north her journey took,
O MOUNTAIN Stream ! the Shepherd and his Cot
Are privileged Inmates of deep solitude :
Nor would the nicest Anchorite exclude
A Field or two of brighter green, or Plot
Of tillage-ground, that seemeth like a spot
Of stationary sunshine: thou hast viewed
These only, Duddon! with their paths renewed
By fits and starts, yet this contents thee not.
Thee hath some awful Spirit impelled to leave,
Utterly to desert, the haunts of men,
Though simple thy Companions were and few;
And through this wilderness a passage cleave
Attended but by thy own Voice, save when
The Clouds and Fowls of the air thy way pursue.
FROM THE ITALIAN OF MICHAEL ANGELO.
Yes! hope may with my strong desire keep pace,
And I be undeluded, unbetray'd;
For if of our affections none find grace
In sight of Heaven, then, wherefore hath God made
The world which we inhabit? Better plea
Love cannot have, than that in loving thee
Glory to that eternal Peace is paid,
Who such Divinity to thee imparts
As hallows and makes pure all gentle hearts.
His hope is treacherous only whose love dies
With beauty, which is varying every hour :
But, in chaste hearts uninfluenced by the power
Of outward change, there blooms a deathless flower,
That breathes on earth the air of paradise.
No mortal object did these eyes behold
When first they met the placid light of thine,
And my Soul felt her destiny divine,
And hope of endless peace in me grew bold :
Heaven-born, the Soul a heaven-ward course must hold;
Beyond the visible world She soars to seek,
(For what delights the sense is false and weak)
Ideal Form, the universal mould.
The wise man, I affirm, can find no rest
In that which perishes : nor will he lend
His heart to aught which doth on time depend.
"Tis sense, unbridled will, and not true love,
Which kills the soul: Love betters what is best,
Even here below, but more in heaven above.