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But they, beheld, must disappear, and melt
Of mighty waters shall be seen or felt:
No vestige will remain of lands where man hath dwelt.
And shall this ocean that compared might be (If aught the perishable world can have Liken'd unto it,) with eternity,
Be lost at once as is a single wave
That breaks the beach?-this greedy grave
Of shatter'd navies, shall it ever cease
Το gorge its victims while fierce tempests rave?
He can perform-build worlds, destroy them, if he please.
Heaven, Earth, and Ocean perish; but the soul
Burning for knowledge, where new planets roll
What other worlds interfluent among,
Oceans may swell and roar, 'tis vain to think.
Of a vast precipice; we well might shrink
Of thought is broken by conjecture's breath,
When mind attempts to soar above the depths of death!
Ah, why in age
Do we revert so fondly to the walks
Of childhood, but that there the soul discerns
Of her own native vigour-but for this,
WORDSWORTH's Excursion, book viii.
BEAUTIFUL day thou art! but doubly fair
Whispers of childhood, changeful lights unfold
Distinctly, hamlets, mansions known of old, Glow in the sunshine; cornfields, meadows green, And wood-surrounded domes of grandeur swell between.*
*And "flowery gardens curtain'd round
With world-excluding groves."
The deep of azure by a cloud unstained
Here the pavilion stands, where children bright
Though they are grown to womanhood, there came
To-day, their young successors full of joy :
And as the sun subdued his fiercer flame,
The dance commenced, that charmed me when a boy, And simple sports that gave delight without alloy.
The presence of the past is bodied forth,
It seemeth that this hill-encircling zone
Of beech and firs but yesterday was made; There to assist illusion, yon grey stone
Remains, of old the work-directing planter's throne.
The numerous steps of time that rise between
The mental eye with smooth descent illude: 'Twixt was and is how brief the interlude! As we reseek a spot the heart that cheers
With the remembrance of a sport pursued In childhood, visibly there it re-appears ; Vanisheth like a rapid dream long interval of years!
And what is Time's progression? the same breeze
Runs through the garden rapidly at will;
One proof, alas! there is, that years have fled—
Some who have here with me rejoiced are numbered
with the dead.