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Nought more untranquil than the grassy slopes
Will not some say that I presumptuously Have spoken ? that from hastening disgrace 'T were better far to hide my foolish face? That whining boyhood should with reverence bow Ere the dread thunderbolt could reach me? How! If I do hide myself, it sure shall be In the very fane, the light of Poesy: If I do fall, at least I will be laid Beneath the silence of a poplar shade; And over me the grass shall be smooth shaven; And there shall be a kind memorial graven. But off, Despondence! miserable bane! They should not know thee, who, athirst to gain A noble end, are thirsty every hour. What though I am not wealthy in the dower Of spanning wisdom : though I do not know The shiftings of the mighty winds that blow Hither and thither all the changing thoughts Of man : though no great ministering reason sorts Out the dark mysteries of human souls To clear conceiving: yet there ever rolls A vast idea before me, and I glean Therefrom my liberty; thence too I've seen The end and aim of Poesy. 'Tis clear As anything most true; as that the year Vol. II.
Is made of the four seasons — manifest
bended knees, I could unsay those — no, impossible; Impossible !
For sweet relief I'll dwell On humbler thoughts, and let this strange assay Begun in gentleness die so away. E’en now all tumult from my bosom fades: I turn full-hearted to the friendly aids That smooth the path of honour; brotherhood, And friendliness, the nurse of mutual good. The hearty grasp that sends a pleasant sonnet Into the brain ere one can think upon it; The silence when some rhymes are coming out; And when they're come, the very pleasant rout: The message certain to be done to-morrow. 'Tis perhaps as well that it should be to borrow Some precious book from out its snug retreat,
To cluster round it when we next shall meet.
Things such as these are ever harbingers To trains of peaceful images: the stirs Of a swan's neck unseen among the rushes: A linnet starting all about the bushes : A butterfly, with golden wings broad-parted, Nestling a rose, convulsed as though it smarted With over-pleasure — many, many more, Might I indulge at large in all my store Of luxuries : yet I must not forget Sleep, quiet with his poppy coronet : For what there may be worthy in these rhymes I partly owe to him : and thus, the chimes Of friendly voices had just given place To as sweet a silence, when I 'gan retrace The pleasant day, upon a couch at ease. It was a poet's house who keeps the keys Of Pleasure's temple — round about were hung The glorious features of the bards who sung In other ages — cold and sacred busts
Smiled at each other. Happy he who trusts
Great Alfred's too, with anxious, pitying eyes, As if he always listen'd to the sighs Of the goaded world; and Kosciusko's, worn By horrid suffrance —'mightily forlorn.
Petrarch, outstepping from the shady green,
HINK not of it, sweet one, so;
Give it not a tear;
Any - any where.
Do not look so sad, sweet one,
Sad and fadingly;
Oh! 'twas born to die!
Still so pale ? then, dearest, weep;
Weep, I'll count the tears,