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Till then, afford us so much wit That, as the world serves us, we may serve Thee, And both thy servants be.
HEARD a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sat reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure-
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan
To catch the breezy air ;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
If this belief from Heaven be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man ?
LITTLE thinks, in the field, yon red-cloaked clown
Of thee from the hill-top looking down ;
The heifer that lows on the upland farm,
Far-heard, lows not thine ear to charm;
The sexton, tolling his bell at noon,
Deems not that great Napoleon
Stops his horse, and lists with delight,
Whilst his files sweep round yon Alpine height;
Nor knowest thou what argument
Thy life to thy neighbour's creed has lent.
All are needed by each one ;
Nothing is fair or good alone.
I thought the sparrow's note from heaven,
Singing at dawn on the alder bough;
I brought him home in his nest at even ;-
He sings the song, but it pleases not now;
For I did not bring home the river and sky.
He sang to my ear; they sang to my eye.
The delicate shells lay on the shore;
The bubbles of the latest wave
Fresh pearls to their enamel gave;
And the bellowing of the savage sea
Greeted their safe escape to me.
I wiped away the weeds and foam,
I fetched my sea-born treasures home;
But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
Had left their beauty on the shore
With the sun, and the sand, and the wild uproar.
The lover watched his graceful maid,
As 'mid the virgin train she strayed,
Nor knew her beauty's best attire
Was woven still by the snow-white choir.
At last she came to his hermitage,
Like the bird from the woodlands to the cage ;-
The gay enchantment was undone,
A gentle wife, but fairy none.
Then I said 'I covet Truth;
Beauty is unripe childhood's cheat,-
I leave it behind with the games of youth.'
As I spoke, beneath my feet
The ground-pine curled its pretty wreath,
Running over the club-moss burrs;
I inhaled the violet's breath :
Around me stood the oaks and firs;
Pine-cones and acorns lay on the ground;
Over me soared the eternal sky,
Full of light and deity.
Again I saw, again I heard,
The rolling river, the morning bird :
Beauty through my senses stole;
I yielded myself to the perfect whole.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON.
Y heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began ;
So is it now I am a man ;
So be it when I shall grow old-
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
Composed upon an evening of extraordinary splendour and beauty.
HAD this effulgence disappeared
With flying haste, I might have sent,
Among the speechless clouds, a look
Of blank astonishment;
But 'tis endued with power to stay,
And sanctify one closing day,
That frail mortality may see-
What is ?-ah no, but what can be !
Time was when field and watery cove
With modulated echoes rang,
While choirs of fervent angels sang
Their vespers in the grove;
Or, crowning, star-like, each some sovereign height,
Warbled, for heaven above and earth below,
Strains suitable to both.-Such holy rite,
Methinks, if audibly repeated now
From hill or valley, could not move
Sublimer transport, purer love,
Than doth this silent spectacle—the gleam-
The shadow-and the peace supreme.
No sound is uttered, --but a deep
And solemn harmony pervades
The hollow vale from steep to steep,
And penetrates the glades.
Far-distant images draw nigh,
Called forth by wondrous potency
Of beamy radiance, that imbues
Whate'er it strikes with gem-like hues !
In vision exquisitely clear,
Herds range along the mountain side
And glistening antlers are descried,
And gilded flocks appear.
Thine is the tranquil hour, purpureal eve !
But long as god-like wish, or hope divine,
Informs my spirit, ne'er can I believe
That this magnificence is wholly thine !