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Unless the master-spirits of this earth
Then relatively greater shall shine forth.
How oft in bygone days we loved to quote
Each gentle verse that Pope to Harley wrote;
Or that sweet lay, in which while he adored
"Mary in Heaven," poor Burns his soul outpour'd;
To snatch, can words the depth or breadth express
Of Wordsworth 'raptured with their loveliness,
The pearls of wisdom that, beneath a stream
Of poetry, as pure as Derwent's, gleam.
Oh these are Poets we may call divine;
Like Angels standing in the Sun, they shine;
Point out to us exultingly the way
That leads to Truth's abode as bright as day;
Bestow a lovelier hue on every flower
Year after year; awaken thoughts that tower
Above our sordid schemes on earth; and blend
Emotions here, with those which heavenward tend.
May we, once having past death's confines, see
In their own orbs the great, the good, the free :
That "old man eloquent" whose mind was stored
With ancient, modern lore, a boundless hoard,
Whose genius e'en o'er common subjects threw
Embroidery of language ever new!
Newton! La Place! what mind can comprehend The worlds through which all-seeing they ascend!
While to their gaze, as crystal mirrors clear,
The wonders of the Universe appear.
As knowledge burns within them, on their sight
In full perspective burst the realms of light,
One blaze, no momentary cloud obscures,
Such as the eye of mind alone endures!
From strength to strength, unclogg'd by grosser sense,
Progressive grows each fine intelligence :
The shades of mystery vanishing, at last
All harmonize the present-future-past!
Like interchange of sunbeams, thought with thought
Has quick communion,―wisdom comes unsought;
And mind with all the sciences instinct
That rainbow-like are blended yet distinct,
With mind converses; Envy never throws
One shadow there where Love's pure effluence flows.
Oh what ineffable delight above
To know, to feel, that all around is love!
Though broken be the lute, the magic skill
Of the musician lives within him still.
Shall not that efflux bright from Heaven, the Mind,
Survive the ruins of its "corporal rind ?"
Crown'd with transcendent splendours far and wide,
Then range, and Time's decaying touch deride?
Drawing by turns into itself whate'er
It sees around that's wonderful or fair?
Collecting knowledge infinite each hour,
As the Bee gathers sweets from every flower?
Beings we partially imagine now,
Gay creatures of our day-dreams, then will glow
Star-like in lustre, beauteous as that morn,
When above Eden's mount the Day-God rose new-born,
Will pass in waves of light the mind before
That then may dare their nature to explore,
Whatever be its element; or flame,
Or finer essence that we cannot name.
"The age of sophists, calculators, and economists has succeeded."
O'ER her vast verdant nest Composure broods!
There is a forest grandeur in the woods
That lengthen through the valley, or on high
Like emerald clouds against a silver sky,
Towering into the air, luxuriant crown
The hills, or graceful stretch the vales adown;
Foliage o'er foliage swelling, dark, and bright;
With shadows here imbrown'd, there bathed in light.
Once more enshrouded in the woods that close
My mansion round, once more I woo repose,
Dream of rose-colour'd days that long have pass'd,
And moralize o'er flowers too gay to last,
Yet now produced again, this month to cheer :
Youth's flower, when faded, ne'er shall reappear!
young enthusiast when he sees
An emerald cloud of richly foliaged trees
Deepening into the sunlight's golden glow?
Dearer to me the shades of evening now!
As we rove Avon's flowery banks along,
We seem to hear the tricksy Ariel's song:
Love-breathing imagery flows around
(A poet's presence hallows it) this ground.
Like a young beauty placed in grandeur's car,
Smiles o'er yon purple cloud one lovely star :
That Shakspeare's spirit liveth there we deem,
So brightly imaged 'tis in yon mild stream.
Now through the air, sweeter than Grisi's notes,
At times imaginary music floats.
There may be planets in which beings dwell,
The least of whom even Newton might excel—
Intelligences wonderful; yet far,
As from the primal fount of light a star
Twinkling in the immeasurable abyss,
Their knowledge from the great Creator's is.
Each in his orbit brightening, as he nears
The rainbow-circled glory-throne, appears.
How spirit join'd by love to spirit shines,
As flame when touching flame its strength combines ;
The essences of things before them brought
Without continuous exercise of thought!
Slow is our progress to perfection here,
Whate'er it may be in another sphere;