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CCLXXXV

A LAMENT

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WORLD! O Life! O Time!

On whose last steps I climb, Trembling at that where I had stood before ; When will return the glory of your prime ? No more

O never more !

Out of the day and night
A joy has taken flight:

Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight No more — O never more !

P. B. Shelley

CCLXXXVI

Mherainbow in the sky

Y heart leaps up when I behold

:
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old

Or let me die !
The Child is father of the Man :
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

W. Wordsworth

CCLXXXVII

ODE

ON INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY FROM

RECOLLECTIONS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD

THERE

"HERE was a time when meadow, grove, and

stream, The earth, and every common sight

To me did seem

Apparell'd in celestial light, The glory and the freshness of a dream. It is not now as it has been of yore;

Turn wheresoe'er I may,

By night or day, The things which I have seen I now can see no more !

a

The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the rose;

The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare ;

Waters on a starry night

Are beautiful and fair ;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;

But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath pass'd away a glory from the earth.

Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound

As to the tabor's sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief :
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,

And I again am strong.
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep, -

No more shall grief of mine the season wrong :
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,

And all the earth is gay ;

Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,

And with the heart of May
Doth every beast keep holiday ;

Thou child of joy
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy

Shepherd boy !

Ye blesséd creatures, I have heard the call

Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee ;

My heart is at your festival,

My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel — I feel it all.

O evil day ! if I were sullen
While Earth herself is adorning

This sweet May morning ;
And the children are pulling

On every side
In a thousand valleys far and wide

Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm, And the babe leaps up on his mother's arm :

I hear, I hear, with joy I hear !

But there's a tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have look'd upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone :

The pansy at my feet

Doth the same tale repeat : Whither is fled the visionary gleam ? Where is it now, the glory and the dream ?

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting ;
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting

And cometh from afar ;
Not in entire forgetfulness

And not in utter nakedness
But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God, who is our home :
Heaven lies about us in our infancy !
Shades of the prison-house begin to close

Upon the growing boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,

He sees it in his joy ;
The youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's priest,

And by the vision splendid

Is on his way attended ;
At length the man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

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Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own ; Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind, And, even with something of a mother's mind

And no unworthy aim,

The homely nurse doth all she can To make her foster-child, her inmate, Man,

Forget the glories he hath known And that imperial palace whence he came.

Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years' darling of a pigmy size !
See, where 'mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
With light upon him from his father's eyes !

See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learnéd art;

A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral ;

And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song:

Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strise ;

But it will not be long
Ere this be thrown aside,

And with new joy and pride
The little actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his ‘humorous stage'
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,
That Life brings with her in her equipage ;

As if his whole vocation
Were endless imitation.

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie

Thy soul's immensity; Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep Thy heritage, thou eye among the blind, That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal deep, Haunted for ever by the eternal Mind,

Mighty Prophet ! Seer blest !

On whom those truths do rest Which we are toiling all our lives to find; Thou, over whom thy immortality Broods like the day, a master o'er a slave, A presence which is not to be put by; Thou little child, yet glorious in the might Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's height, Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke

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