Imagini ale paginilor

Some with upholden hand and mouth severe;
Some with their faces muffled to the ear

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Between their arms; some clear in youthful bloom,
Go glad and smilingly athwart the gloom;

Some looking back, and some with upward gaze ;
Yes, thousands in a thousand different ways
Flit, onward now a lovely wreath of girls
Dancing their sleek hair into tangled curls;
And now broad wings, Most awfully intent
The driver of those steeds is forward bent,
And seems to listen: O that I might know
All that he writes with such a hurrying glow!

The visions all are fled-the car is fled Into the light of heaven, and in their stead A sense of real things comes doubly strong, › And, like a muddy stream, would bear along My soul to nothingness: but I will strive Against all doubtings, and will keep alive


The thought of that same chariot, and the strange
Journey it went.

Is there so small a range

2 In the present strength of manhood, that the high Imagination cannot freely fly

As she was wont of old ? prepare her steeds.
Paw up against the light, and do strange deeds
Upon the clouds? Has she not shown us all?
From the clear space of ether, to the small
Breath of new buds unfolding? From the meaning
Of Jove's large eyebrow, to the tender greening
Of April meadows? here her altar shone,
E'en in this isle; and who could paragon
The fervid choir that lifted up a noise
Of harmony, to where it aye will poise
Its mighty self of convoluting sound,
Huge as a planet, and like that roll round,

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Eternally around a dizzy yoid?

Ay, in those days the Muses were nigh cloy'd
With honours; nor had any other care

Than to sing out and soothe their wavy hair,

Could all this be forgotten?

Yes, a schism

Nurtured by foppery and barbarism

Made great Apollo blush for this his land.

The blue

Men were thought wise who could not understand
His glories; with a puling infant's force
They sway'd about upon a rocking-horse,
And thought it Pegasus., Ah, dismal-soul'd!
The winds of heaven blew, the ocean roll'd
Its gathering waves-ye felt it not.
Bared its eternal bosom, and the dew
Of summer night collected still to make
The morning precious: Beauty was awake!
Why were ye not awake? But ye were dead
To things ye knew not of,—were closely wed
To musty laws lined out with wretched rule
ye taught a school
Of dolts to smooth, inlay, and clip, and fit,
Till, like the certain wands of Jacob's wit,
Their verses tallied, Easy was the task:
A thousand handicraftsmen wore the mask
Of Poesy Ill-fated, impious race!

And compass vile; so that"

That blasphemed the bright Lyrist to his face,
And did not know it,-no, they went about,
Holding a poor, decrepit standard out,

<< Mark'd with most flimsy mottoes, and in large
The name of one Boileau !

O ye whose charge
It is to hover round our pleasant hills !
Whose congregated majesty so fills
My boundly reverence, that I cannot trace
Your hallow'd names, in this unholy place,

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So near those common folk; did not their shames
Affright you? Did our old lamenting Thames
Delight you? did ye never cluster round
Delicious Avon, with a mournful sound,
And weep? Or did ye wholly bid adieu
To regions where no more the laurel grew ?
Or did ye stay to give a welcoming

To some lone spirits who could proudly sing 28
Their youth away, and die? 'Twas even so.7
But let me think away those times of woe: 30
Now 'tis a fairer season; ye have breathed!
Rich benedictions o'er us; ye have wreathed
Fresh garlands: for sweet music has been heard
In many places; some has been upstirr'd
From out its crystal dwelling in a lake,
By a swan's ebon bill; from a thick brake,
Nested and quiet in a valley mild, 77
Bubbles a pipe; fine sounds are floating wild 3
About the earth: happy are ye and glad.
These things are, doubtless; yet in truth we've had
Strange thunders from the potency of song;
Mingled indeed with what is sweet and strong,
From majesty but in clear truth the themes
Are ugly cubs, the poets' Polyphemes
A drainless shower
Of light is poesy; 'tis the supreme of power;


Disturbing the grand sea.

"Tis might half slumbering on its own right arm: The very archings of her eyelids charm

A thousand willing agents to obey,

And still she governs with the mildest sway:
But strength alone, though of the Muses born,
Is like a fallen angel: trees uptorn,

Darkness, and worms, and shrouds, and sepulchres
Delight it; for it feeds upon the burrs

And thorns of life; forgetting the great end
Of poesy, that it should be a friend

To soothe the cares, and lift the thoughts of man,

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Yet I rejoice a myrtle fairer than
5 E'er grew in Paphos, from the bitter weeds
Lifts its sweet heap into the air, and feeds
A silent space with ever-sprouting green.
All tenderest birds there find a pleasant screen,
3 Creep through the shade with jaunty fluttering,
Nibble the little cupped flowers and sing.

Then let us clear away the choking thorns
From round its gentle stem; let the young fawne,
Yeaned in after-times, when we are flown,
Find a fresh sward beneath it, overgrown
With simple flowers: let there nothing be
1070 More boisterous than a lover's bended knee;
7 Nought more ungentle than the placid look
72 Of one who leans upon a closed book;

73 Nought more untranquil than the grassy slopes 7 Between two hills. All hail, delightful hopes! 75 As she was wont, th' imagination

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Into most lovely labyrinths will be gone,

And they shall be accounted poet kings
77 Who simply tell the most heart-easing things.
770 may these joys be ripe before I die!

1080 Will not some say that I presumptuously
Have spoken ? that from hastening disgrace
82'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;

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84And over me the grass shall be smooth shaven ;
And there shall be a kind memorial graven.
/ But off, Despondence! miserable bane!


92 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
Is made of the four seasons-manifest
As a large cross, some old cathedral's crest,
Lifted to the white clouds.

Therefore should I

Be but the essence of deformity,

A coward, did my very eyelids wink

> At speaking out what I have dared to think.
Ah! rather let me like a madman run

Over some precipice; let the hot sun / 2
Melt my Dedalian wings, and drive me down / 3
Convulsed and headlong! Stay! an inward frown / *{
Of conscience bids me be more calm awhile./5
An ocean dim, sprinkled with many an isle,
Spreads awfully before me. How much toil!" />
How many days! what desperate turmoil!
Ere I can have explored its widenesses.
Ah, what a task! upon my bended knees, 20
I could unsay those-no, impossible;


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For sweet relief I'll dwell 22

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On humbler thoughts, and let this strange assay 23

Begun in gentleness die so away.

E'en now all tumult from my bosom fades: 25
I turn full-hearted to the friendly aids

That smooth the path of honour; brotherhood, 27

And friendliness, the nurse of mutual good.

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