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Very fast and smooth we fly,
Spirits, though the flesh be by.
All looks feed not from the eye,
Nor all hearings from the ear;
We can harken and espy
Without either; we can journey
Bold and gay as knight to tourney,
And though we wear no visor down ·
To dark our countenance, the foe
Shall never chafe us as we go.
I am gone from peopled town!
It passeth its street-thunder round
My body which yet hears no sound.
For now anothier sound, another
Vision, my soul's senses have-
O’er a hundred valleys deep,
Where the hills' green shadows sleep,
Scarce known, (because the valley-trees
Cross those upland images)
O'er a hundred hills, each other
Watching to the western wave,
I have travelled,—I have found
The silent, lone, remembered ground.
I have found a grassy niche
Hollowed in a seaside hill,
As if the ocean-grandeur which
Is aspectable from the place
Had struck the hill as with a mace
Sudden and cleaving. You might fill
That little nook with the little cloud
Which sometimes lieth by the moon
To beautify a night of June.
A cavelike nook, which, opening all
To the wide sea, is disallowed
From its own earth's sweet pastoral ;
Cavelike, but roofless overhead,
And made of yerdant banks instead
Of any rocks, with flowerets spread,
Instead of spar and stalactite,
Cowslips and daisies, gold and white.
Such pretty flowers on such green sward,
You think the sea they look toward
Doth serve them for another sky
As warm and blue as that on high.
And in this hollow is a seat,
And when you shall have crept to it,
Slipping down the banks too steep
To be o'erbrow zëd by the sheep,
Do not think—though at your feet
The cliff's disrupt--you shall behold
The line where earth and ocean meet.
You sit too much above to view
The solemn confluence of the two.
You can hear them as they greet;
You can hear that evermore
Distance-softened noise, more old
Than Nereid's singing,—the tide spent
Joining soft issues with the shore
In harmony of discontent,-
And when you harken to the grave
Lamenting of the underwave,
You must believe in earth's communion,
Albeit you witness not the union.
IX. Except that sound, the place is full Of silences, which when you cull By any word, it thrills you so That presently you let them grow To meditation's fullest length Across your soul with a soul's strength: And as they touch your soul, they borro. Both of its grandeur and its sorrow, That deathly odour which the clay Leaves on its deathlessness alway.
Alway! alway? must this be?
Rapid Soul from city gone,
Dost thou carry inwardly
What doth make the city's moan ?
Must this deep sigh of thine own
Haunt thee with humanity ?
Green-visioned banks that are too steep
To be o'erbrow zëd by the sheep,
May all sad thoughts adown you creep
Without a shepherd ?- Mighty sea,
Can we dwarf thy magnitude,
And fit it to our straitest mood ?--
O fair, fair Nature ! are we thus
Impotent and querulous
Among thy workings glorious,
Wealth and sanctities,—that suill
Leave us vacant and defiled,
And wailing like a soft-kissed child,
Kissed soft against his will ?
With a child's voice I cry,
Weak, sad, confidingly-
Thou knowest, eyelids, raised not always up
Unto thy love, (as none of ours are) droop
As ours, o'er many a tear!
Thou knowest, though thy universe is broad,
Two little tears suffice to cover all.
Thou knowest, thou, who art so prodigal
Of beauty, we are oft but stricken deer
Expiring in the woods—that care for none
Of those delightsome flowers they die upon.
O blissful Mouth which breathed themournful breath We name our souls, self-spoilt !—by that strong pas
Which paled thee once with sighs,—by that strong
Which made thee once unbreathing—from the wrack
Themselves have called around them, call them back
Back to thee in continuous aspiration!
For here, O Lord,
For here they travel vainly,—vainly pass
From city pavement to untrodden sward,
Where the lark finds her deep nest in the grass
Cold with the earth's last dew. Yea, very vain
The greatest speed of all these souls of men,
Unless they travel upward to the throne,
Where sittest Tuou the satisfying ONE,
With help for sins and holy perfectings
For all requirements—while the archangel, raising
Unto thy face his full ecstatic gazing,
Forgets the rush and rapture of his wings.
THE CHILD-FRIEND OF GOETIIE.
“I have the second sight, Goethe !"— Letters of a child.
BETTINE, friend of Goethe,
Hadst thou the second sight-
Upturning worship and delight
With such a loving duty
To his grand face, as women will,
The childhood 'neath thine eyelids still ?
Before his shrine to doom thee
Using the same child's smile
That heaven and earth, beheld erewhile
For the first time, won from thee,
Ere star and flower grew dim and dead,
Save at his feet and o'er his head ?
Digging thine heart and throwing
Away its childhood's gold,
That so its woman-depth might hold