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Wrought in a sad sincerity;
Himself from God he could not free;
He builded better than he knew ;
The conscious stone to beauty grew.
Know'st thou what wove yon woodbird's nest
Of leaves, and feathers from her breast ?
Or how the fish outbuilt her shell,
Painting with morn each annual cell ?
Or how the sacred pine-tree adds
To her old leaves new myriads ?
Such and so grew these holy piles,
Whilst love and terror laid the tiles.
Earth proudly wears the Parthenon,
As the best gem upon her zone;
Ard Morning opes with haste her lids,
To gaze upon the Pyramids ;
O'er England's abbeys bends the sky,
As on its friends, with kindred eye;
For, out of Thought's interior sphere,
These wonders rose to upper air ;
And Nature gladly gave them place,
Adopted them into her race,
And granted them an equal date
With Andes and with Ararat.
These temples grew as grows the grass ;
Art might obey, but not surpass,
The passive Master lent his hand
To the vast soul that o'er him planned ;
And the same power that reared the shrine,
Bestrode the tribes that knelt within.
Ever the fiery Pentecost
Girds with one flame the countless host,
Trances the heart through chanting choirs,
And through the priest the mind inspires.
The word unto the prophet spoken
Was writ on tables yet unbroken ;
The word by seers or sibyls told,
In groves of oak, or fanes of gold,
Still floats upon the morning wind,
Still whispers to the willing mind.
One accent of the Holy Ghost
The heedless world hath never lost.
I know what say the fathers wise,-
The Book itself before me lies,
Old Chrysostom, best Augustine,
And he who blent both in his line,
The younger Golden Lips or mines,
Taylor, the Shakespeare of divines.
His words are music in my ear,
I see his cowled portrait dear;
And yet, for all his faith could see,
I would not the good bishop be.
"HEE, dear friend, a brother soothes,
Not with flatteries, but truths, Which tarnish not, but purify To light which dims the morning's eye. I have come from the spring-woods, From the fragrant solitudes; Listen what the poplar-tree And murmuring waters counselled me.
If with love thy heart has burned;
If thy love is unreturned ;
Hide thy grief within thy breast,
Though it tear thee unexpressed;
For when love has once departed
From the eyes of the false-hearted,
And one by one has torn off quite
The bandages of purple light;
Though thou wert the loveliest
Form the soul had ever dressed,
Thou shalt seem, in each reply,
A vixen to his altered eye;
Thy softest pleadings seem too bold, Thy praying lute will seem to scold; Though thou kept the straightest road, Yet thou errest far and broad.
But thou shalt do as do the gods
In their cloudless periods;
For of this lore be thou sure,-
Though thou forget, the gods, secure,
Forget never their command,
But make the statute of this land.
As they lead, so follow all,
Ever have done, ever shall.
Warning to the blind and deaf,
'Tis written on the iron leaf,
Who drinks of Cupid's nectar cup
Loveth downward, and not up;
He who loves, of gods or men,
Shall not by the same be loved again;
His sweetheart's idolatry
Falls, in turn, a new degree.
When a god is once beguiled
By beauty of a mortal child,
And by her radiant youth delighted,
He is not fooled, but warily knoweth
His love shall never be requited.
And thus the wise Immortal doeth:-
'Tis his study and delight
To bless that creature day and night;
From all evils to defend her;
In her lap to pour all splendour ;
To ransack earth for riches rare,
And fetch her stars to deck her hair :
He mixes music with her thoughts,
And saddens her with heavenly doubts :
All grace, all good his great heart knows,
Profuse in love, the king bestows :
Saying, “ Hearken ! Earth, Sea, Air !
This monument of my despair
Build I to the All-Good, All-Fair.
Not for a private good,
But I, from my beatitude,
Albeit scorned as none was scorned,
Adorn her as was none adorned.
I make this maiden an ensample
To Nature, through her kingdoms ample,
Whereby to model newer races,
Statelier forms, and fairer faces;
To carry man to new degrees
Of power and of comeliness.
These presents be the hostages
Which I pawn for my release.
See to thyself, O Universe !
Thou art better, and not worse.'
And the god, having given all,
Is freed for ever from his thrall.
SKEST, “How long thou shalt stay?"
Devastator of the day !
Know, each substance and relation,
Thorough nature's operation,
Hath its unit, bound, and metre;
And every new compound
Is some product and repeater,-
Product of the earlier found.
But the unit of the visit,
The encounter of the wise,-
Say, what other metre is it
Than the meeting of the eyes ?
Nature poureth into nature
Through the channels of that feature,
Riding on the ray of sight,
Fleeter far than whirlwinds go,
Or for service, or delight,
Hearts to hearts their meaning show,
Sum their long experience,
And import intelligence.
Single look has drained the breast;
Single moment years confessed.
The duration of a glance
Is the term of convenance,
And, though thy rede be church or state,
Frugal multiples of that.
Speeding Saturn cannot halt;
Linger,—thou shalt rue the fault:
If Love his moment overstay,
Hatred's swift repulsions play.
T fell in the ancient periods
Which the brooding soul surveys, Or ever the wild Time coined itself
Into calendar months and days.
This was the lapse of Uriel, Which in Paradise befell. Once, among the Pleiads walking, SAID overheard the young gods talking; And the treason, too long pent, To his ears was evident. The young deities discussed Laws of form, and metre just, Orb, quintessence, and sunbeams, What subsisteth, and what seems. One, with low tones that decide, And doubt and reverend use defied, With a look that solved the sphere, And stirred the devils everywhere, Gave his sentiment divine Against the being of a line. “ Line in nature is not found; Unit and universe are round; In vain produced, all rays return; Evil will bless, and ice will burn.”