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Doth God exact day labour, light denied ?' I fondly ask: but Patience, to prevent That murmur, soon replies, ‘God doth not need Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best; his state Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed, And post o'er land and ocean without rest :They also serve who only stand and wait.'


LONDON, 1802.

MILTON! thou should’st be living at this hour :

England hath need of thee: she is a fen Of stagnant waters; altar, sword, and pen, Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower, Have forfeited their ancient English dower Of inward happiness. We are selfish men : Oh raise us up, return to us again, And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power. Thy soul was like a star, and dwelt apart : Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea : Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free, So didst thou travel on life's common way, In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart The lowliest duties on herself did lay.



LET me not deem that I was made in vain,

Or that my being was an accident
Which fate, in working its sublime intent,
Not wished to be- to hinder would not deign.
Each drop uncounted in a storm of rain
Hath its own mission, and is duly sent
To its own leaf or blade, not idly spent
’Mid myriad dimples on the shipless main.
The very shadow of an insect's wing,
For which the violet cared not while it stayed,
Yet felt the lighter for its vanishing,
Proved that the sun was shining, by its shade.
Then can a drop of the eternal spring,
Shadow of living lights, in vain be made ?



EARY of myself, and sick of asking

What I am, and what I ought to be,
At the vessel's prow I stand, which bears me
Forwards, forwards, o'er the star-lit sea.

And a look of passionate desire
O’er the sea and to the stars I send :
“Ye who from my childhood up have calmed me,
Calm me, ah, compose me to the end !

“Ah, once more,' I cried, 'ye stars, ye waters,
On my heart your mighty charm renew!
Still, still let me, as I gaze upon you,
Feel my soul becoming vast like you !'

From the intense, clear, star-sown vault of heaven,
Over the lit sea's unquiet way,
In the rustling night air came the answer-
“Would'st thou be as they are ? Live as they !
Unaffrighted by the silence round them,
Undistracted by the sights they see,
These demand not that the things without them
Yield them love, amusement, sympathy.
* And with joy the stars perform their shining,
And the sea its long moon-silvered roll.
Why ?-self-poised they live, nor pine with noting
All the fever of some differing soul.

'Bounded by themselves and unregardful
In what state God's other works may be,
In their own tasks all their powers pouring,
These attain the mighty life you see.'

O air-born voice ! long since, severely clear
A cry like thine in mine own heart I hear:
'Resolve to be thyself ! and know, that he
Who finds himself, loses his misery!'




E cannot kindle when we will

The fire which in the heart resides, The spirit bloweth and is still,

In mystery our soul abides,
But tasks in hours of insight willed
Can be through hours of gloom fulfilled.

With aching hands and bleeding feet

We dig and heap, lay stone on stone; We bear the burden and the heat

Of the long day, and wish 'twere done. Not till the hours of light return All we have built do we discern.

Then, when the clouds are off the soul,

When thou dost bask in Nature's eye, Ask how she viewed thy self-control,

Thy struggling tasked moralityNature, whose free, light, cheerful air, Oft made thee, in thy gloom, despair.

And she, whose censure thou dost dread,

Whose eye thou wast afraid to seek, See, on her face a glow is spread,

A strong emotion on her cheek! "Ah, child !' she cries, that strife divineWhence was it, for it is not mine?

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*There is no effort on my brow

I do not strive, I do not weep;
I rush with the swift spheres, and glow

In joy, and, when I will, I sleep.
Yet that severe, that earnest air,
I saw, I felt it once—but where?

'I knew not yet the gauge of time,

Nor wore the manacles of space;
I felt it in some other clime-

I saw it in some other place.
'Twas when the heavenly house I trod,
And lay upon the breast of God.'




NE feast, of holy days the crest,

I, though no churchman, love to keep, All-Saints,—the unknown good that rest

In God's still memory folded deep. The bravely dumb that did their deed,

And scorned to blot it with a name, Men of the plain heroic breed,

That loved Heaven's silence more than fame.

Such lived not in the past alone,

But thread to-day the unheeding street, And stairs to Sin and Famine known

Sing with the welcome of their feet;

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