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When from the general Heart of Human kind
Hope sprang forth like a full-born Deity!
Of that dear Hope afflicted and struck down,
So summon'd homeward, thenceforth calm and sure
From the dread Watch-Tower of man's absolute Self,
With light unwaning on her eyes, to look
Far on-herself a glory to behold,
The Angel of the vision! Then (last strain)
Of Duty, chosen Laws controlling choice,
Action and Joy!—An orphic song indeed,
A song divine of high and passionate thoughts,
To their own Music chaunted!
Ere yet that last strain dying awed the air,"
With stedfast eye I view'd thee in the choir
Of ever-enduring men. The truly Great
Have all one age, and from one visible space
Shed influence! They, both in power and act,
Are permanent, and Time is not with them,
Save as it worketh for them, they in it.
Nor less a sacred Roll, than those of old,
And to be placed, as they, with gradual fame
Among the Archives of Mankind, thy work
Makes audible a linked lay of Truth,
Of Truth profound a sweet continuous lay,
Not learnt, but native, her own natural notes!
Ah! as I listen'd with a heart forlorn
The pulses of my Being beat anew:
And even as Life returns upon the Drown'd,
Life's joy rekindling rous'd a throng of Pains-
Keen Pangs of Love, awakening as a babe
Turbulent, with an outcry in the heart;
And Fears self-will'd, that shunn'd the eye of Hope;
And Hope that scarce would know itself from Fear;
Sense of past Youth, and Manhood come in vain,
And Genius given, and Knowledge won in vain;
And all which I had cull'd in Wood-walks wild,
And all which patient toil had rear'd, and all,
Commune with thee had open'd out-but Flowers
Strew'd on my corse, and borne upon my Bier,
In the same Coffin, for the self-same Grave!
That way no more! and ill beseems it me,
Who came a welcomer in Herald's Guise,
Singing of Glory, and Futurity,
To wander back on such unhealthful road,
Plucking the poisons of self-harm! And ill
Such Intertwine beseems triumphal wreaths
Strew'd before thy advancing!
Sage Bard! impair the memory of that hour
Of thy communion with my nobler mind
By Pity or Grief, already felt too long!
Nor let my words import more blame than needs.
The tumult rose and ceas'd: for Peace is nigh
Where wisdom's voice has found a listening heart.
Amid the howl of more than wintry storms,
The Halcyon hears the voice of vernal Hours
Already on the wing!
Dear tranquil time, when the sweet sense of Home Is sweetest! moments for their own sake hail'd And more desired, more precious for thy song,
In silence listening, like a devout child,
My soul lay passive, by thy various strain
Driven, as in surges now beneath the stars,
With momentary Stars of my own birth,
Fair constellated *Foam, still darting off
Into the darkness; now a tranquil sea,
Outspread and bright, yet swelling to the Moon.
And when-O Friend! my comforter and guide!
Strong in thy self, and powerful to give strength !—
Thy long sustained Song finally closed,
And thy deep voice had ceased—yet thou thyself
Wert still before my eyes, and round us both
That happy vision of beloved Faces-
Scarce conscious, and yet conscious of its close
"A beautiful white cloud of Foam at momentary intervals coursed by the side of the Vessel with a Roar, and little stars of flame danced and sparkled and went out in it: and every now and then light detachments of this white cloud-like foam darted off from the vessel's side, each with its own small constellation, over the Sea, and scoured out of sight like a Tartar Troop over a Wilderness."-THE FRIEND, p. 220.
I sate, my being blended in one thought (Thought was it? or Aspiration? or Resolve?) Absorb'd, yet hanging still upon the sound—
And when I rose, I found myself in prayer.