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O

a

1941

FRIEND! I know not which way I must look

For comfort, being, as I am, opprest
To think that now our life is only drest
For show; mean handiwork of craftsman, cook,
Or groom!-We must run glittering like a brook

In the open sunshine, or we are unblest;

The wealthiest man among us is the best:
No grandeur now in Nature or in book
Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense,

This is idolatry; and these we adore:
Plain living and high thinking are no more:

The homely beauty of the good old cause
Is gone; our peace, our fearful innocence,
And pure religion breathing household laws.

William Wordsworth

195

THE

'HE world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,

The winds that will be howling at all hours

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.-Great God! I'd rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn,
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

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William Wordsworth

i Dated London, 1802.

196

THE LOST LEADER

UST for a handful of silver he left us,

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Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us,

Lost all the others she lets us devote;
They, with the gold to give, doled him out silver,

So much was theirs who so little allowed:
How all our copper had gone for his service!

Rags—were they purple, his heart had been proud!
We that had loved him so, followed him, honored him,

Lived in his mild and magnificent eye,
Learned his great language, caught his clear accents,

Made him our pattern to live and to die!
Shakespeare was of us, Milton was for us,

Burns, Shelley, were with us,they watch from their graves! He alone breaks from the van and the freemen,

He alone sinks to the rear and the slaves!

We shall march prospering,—not thro' his presence;

Songs may inspirit us,-not from his lyre;
Deeds will be done, while he boasts his quiescence,

Still bidding crouch whom the rest bade aspire:
Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more,

One task more declined, one more footpath untrod, One more devils'-triumph and sorrow for angels,

One wrong more to man, one more insult to God! Life's night begins: let him never come back to us!

There would be doubt, hesitation, and pain, Forced praise on our part—the glimmer of twilight,

Never glad confident morning again!

1

Best fight on well, for we taught him,-strike gallantly,

Menace our heart ere we master his own;
Then let him receive the new knowledge and wait us,
Pardoned in heaven, the first by the throne!

Robert Browning

197

HOME-THOUGHTS, FROM THE SEA

TOBLY, nobly Cape Saint Vincent to the Northwest died

away; Sunset ran, one glorious blood-red, reeking into Cadiz Bay; Bluish mid the burning water, full in face Trafalgar lay; In the dimmest Northeast distance, dawned Gibraltar grand

and gray;

"Here and here did England help me: 1 how can I help Eng

land?”-say, Whoso turns as I, this evening, turn to God to praise and pray, While Jove's planet rises yonder, silent over Africa.

Robert Browning

198

SONG OF A GREEK POET

(GREECE BEING STILL UNDER TURKISH DOMINATION)

THE

HE isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!

Where burning Sappho loved and sung,-
Where grew the arts of war and peace, —

Where Delos rose, and Phæbus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet;

But all,

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their

sun,

is set.

i The Battle of Trafalgar, won by the British feet under Lord Nelson, secured England against invasion by Napoleon. The rock of Gibraltar, since it became an English possession, has defied several sieges, notably that of 1779-1783.

The Scian and the Teian muse,

The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse;

Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo farther west
Than your sires’ “Islands of the Blest.”

The mountains look on Marathon,

And Marathon looks on the sea; And musing there an hour alone,

I dreamed that Greece might still be free; For, standing on the Persians' grave, I could not deem myself a slave.

A king sat on the rocky brow

Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis; And ships by thousands lay below,

And men in nations,—all were his! He counted them at break of day,— And when the sun set, where were they?

And where are they? and where art thou,

My country? On thy voiceless shore The heroic lay is tuneless now,

The heroic bosom beats no more! And must thy lyre, so long divine, Degenerate into hands like mine!

'Tis something, in the dearth of fame,

Though linked among a fettered race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,

Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush,—for Greece a tear.

Must we but weep o'er days more blest?
Must we but blush? -

Lour fathers bled. Earth! render back from out thy breast

A remnant of our Spartan dead! Of the three hundred, grant but three To make a new Thermopylæ!

What, silent still? and silent all?

Ah no! the voices of the dead Sound like a distant torrent's fall,

And answer, “Let one living head, But one, arise, —we come, we come!” 'Tis but the living who are dumb.

In vain,-in vain; strike other chords;

Fill high the cup with Samian wine!
Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,

And shed the blood of Scio's vine!
Hark! rising to the ignoble call,
How answers each bold Bacchanal!

You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,

Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone? Of two such lessons, why forget

The nobler and the manlier one? You have the letters Cadmus gave,Think ye he meant them for a slave?

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!

We will not think of themes like these! It made Anacreon's song divine;

He served, but served Polycrates,A tyrant; but our masters then Were still, at least, our countrymen.

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