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Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who draws the drapery of his couch
THE VISION OF IMMORTALITY.
I who essayed to sing, in earlier days,
Yet once again, oh! man, come forth and view
Enter the silent groves, or pierce again
The depths of the untrodden wilderness,
And she shall teach thee. Thou hast learned before and her Hymn of Death hath fallen
With melancholy sweetness on thine ear;
And she shall teach thee that the dead have slept
The flowers that spring above their last year's grave
The voice of triumph and the hymn of life.
The insect brood are there! - each painted wing
From the close cerements of a worm's own shroud,
Is telling, as it flies, how life may spring
In its glad beauty from the gloom of death
Where the crushed mould beneath the sunken foot
Seems but the sepulchre of old decay,
Turn thou a keener glance, and thou shalt find
The gathered myriads of a mimic world.
Bears on its wing a cloud of witnesses,
That earth from her unnumbered caves of death
The broad green prairies and the wilderness,
Of myriads, waking from the silent dust.
Kings that lay down in state, and earth's poor slaves,
The white-haired patriarch and the tender babe,
Archon and priest, and the poor common crowd,-
To hail the dawn of the immortal day.
Aye, learn the lesson. Though the worm shall be,
And all shall pass, humble and proud and gay
The grave shall gather thee: yet thou shalt come,
In rags or purple, but arrayed as those
Whose mortal puts on Immortality!
Then mourn not when thou markest the decay
Of Nature, and her solemn hymn of death
Steals with a note of sadness to thy heart.
That other voice, with its rejoicing tones,
Breaks from the mould with every bursting flower, "O grave! thy victory!' And thou, oh! man,
Burdened with sorrow at the woes that crowd
Thy narrow heritage, lift up thy head
And shout the Hymn to Immortality.
The dear departed that have passed away
A king and priest to God, -
So live, that when the mighty caravan,
Which halts one night-time in the vale of Death,
INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY FROM RECOLLECTIONS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD.
The child is Father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
The Rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the Rose,
The Moon doth with delight
Look round her when the Heavens are bare;
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.
Now, while the Birds thus sing a joyous song,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
The Cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;
Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,
And with the heart of May
Doth every Beast keep holiday; —
Thou Child of Joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy
Ye blessed Creatures, I have heard the call
The heavens laugh with you in your Jubilee;
My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss I feel I feel it all.
This sweet May-morning,
And the Children are pulling,
On every side,
In a thousand valleys far and wide,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm, And the Babe leaps up on his mother's arm:— I hear, I hear, with joy I hear! But there is a Tree, of many one,
A single Field which I have looked upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone:
The Pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
And cometh from afar,
Not in entire forgetfulness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come,
But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,
The Youth, who daily farther from the East
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
The homely Nurse doth all she can To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man, Forget the glories he hath known, And that imperial palace whence he came.
Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
See, where 'mid work of his own hand he lies,