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But Love, who, prostrated,
Now nay, now nay! she shall not give away
Where Grief makes moan,
Love claims his own! And therefore do I lie here night and day, And eke my life out with the breath she sigheth.'
THE SOUL'S EXPRESSION. WITH stammering lips and insufficient sound I strive and struggle to deliver right That music of my nature, day and night With dream and thought and feeling interwound, And inly answering all the senses round With octaves of a mystic depth and height Which step out grandly to the infinite From the dark edges of the sensual ground! This song of soul I struggle to outbear Through portals of the sense, sublime and whole, And utter all myself into the air. But if I did it, as the thunder-roll Breaks its own cloud, my flesh would perish there, Before that dread apocalypse of soul.
THE SERAPH AND POET. The seraph sings before the manifest God-One, and in the burning of the Seven, And with the full life of consummate Heaven Heaving beneath him, like a mother's breast Warm with her first-born's slumber in that nest. The poet sings upon the earth grave-riven, Before the naughty world, soon self-forgiven For wronging him,—and in the darkness prest From his own soul by worldly weights. Even so Sing, seraph with the glory! heaven is high. Sing, poet with the sorrow! earth is low. Thą universe's inward voices cry "Amen' to either song of joy and woe. Sing, seraph,-poet,-sing on equally!
BEREAVEMENT. WHEN some Beloveds, 'neath whose eyelids lay The sweet lights of my childhood, one by one Did leave me dark before the natural sun, And I astonied fell and could not pray,A thought within me to myself did say, 'Is God less God, that thou art left undone? Rise, worship, bless Him, in this sackcloth spun, As in that purple !'~But I answered, Nay! What child his filial heart in words can loose, If he behold his tender father raise The hand that chastens sorely? can he choose But sob in silence with an upward gaze :And my great Father, thinking fit to bruise, Discerns in speechless tears, both prayer and praise.
CONSOLATION. All are not taken; there are left behind Living Beloveds, tender looks to bring, And make the daylight still a happy thing, And tender voices, to make soft the wind. But if it were not so—if I could find No love in all the world for comforting, Nor any path but hollowly did ring, Where dust to dust' the love from life disjoined, And, if, before those sepulchres unmoving, I stood alone, (as some forsaken lamb Goes bleating up the moors in weary dearth) Crying “Where are ye, O my loved and loving?... I know a Voice would sound, ‘Daughter, I AM. Can I suffice for HEAVEN, and not for earth ??
TO MARY RUSSELL MITFORD
IN HER GARDEN. What time I lay these rhymes anear thy feet, Benignant friend, I will not proudly say As better poets use, “These flowers I lay,' Because I would not wrong thy roses sweet, Blaspheming so their name. And yet, repeat, Thou, overleaning them this springtime day, With heart as open to love as theirs to May, -'Low-rooted verse may reach some heavenly heat, Even like my blossoins, if as nature-true, Though not as precious.' Thou art unperplext, Dear friend, in whose dear writings drops the dew And blow the natural airs,—thou, who art next To nature's self in cheering the world's view,To preach a sermon on so known a text!
BY R. B. HAYDON.
ON A PORTRAIT OF WORDS WORTH TY CWordSWORTII upon Helvellyn! Let the cloud Ebb audibly along the mountain-wind Then break against the rock, and show behind The lowland valleys floating up to crowd The sense with beauty. He with forehead bowed And humble-lidded eyes, as one inclined Before the sovran thought of his own mind, And very meek with inspirations proud, Takes here his rightful place as poet-priest By the high altar, singing prayer and prayer To the higher Heavens. A noble vision free Our Haydon's hand has flung out from the mist! No portrait this, with Academic air! This is the poet and his poetry.
PAST AND FUTURE. My future will not copy fair my past On any leaf but Heaven's. Be fully done, Supernal Will! I would not fain be one Who, satisfying thirst and breaking fast Upon the fulness of the heart, at last Says no grace after meat. My wine has run Indeed out of my cup, and there is none To gather up the bread of my repast Scattered and trampled, -yet I find some good In earth's green herbs, and streams that bubble up Clear from the darkling ground, --content until I sit with angels before better food. Dear Christ! when thy new vintage fills my cup, This hand shall shake no more, nor that wine spill. IRREPARABLENESS. I HAVE been in the meadows all the day And gathered there the nosegay that you see, Singing within myself as a bird or bee When such do field-work on a morn of May. But now I look upon my flowers, decay Has met them in my hands more fatally Because more warmly clasped,—and sobs are free To come instead of songs. What do you say, Sweet counsellors, dear friends that I should go Back straightway to the fields, and gather more? Another, sooth, may do it,—but not I! My heart is very tired, my strength is low, My hands are full of blossoms plucked before, Held dead within them till myself shall die.
TEARS. THANK God, bless God, all ye who suffer not More grief than ye can weep for. That is wellThat is light grieving! lighter, none befel, Since Adam forfeited the primal lot. Tears! what are tears? The babe weeps in its cot, The mother singing,—at her marriage-bell The bride weeps,-and before the oracle Of high-faned hills, the poet has forgot Such moisture on his cheeks. Thank God for grace, Ye who weep only! If, as some have done, Ye grope tear-blinded in a desert place And touch but tombs,-look up! those tears will run Soon in long rivers down the lifted face, And leave the vision clear for stars and sun.