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THE TWO VOICES.

By ALFRED LORD TENNYSON.

THE TWO VOICES.

A STILL small voice spake unto me, “ Thou art so full of misery,

Were it not better not to be?”

Then to the still small voice I said ; “Let me not cast in endless shade

What is so wonderfully made."

To which the voice did urge reply: “ To-day I saw the dragon-fly Come from the wells where he did lie.

“ An inner impulse rent the veil

Of his old husk : from head to tail
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.

“ He dried his wings: like gauze they grew: Thro' crofts and pastures wet with dew A living flash of light he flew.”

I said, “When first the world began,
Young Nature thro’ five cycles ran,
And in the sixth she moulded man.

“She gave him mind, the lordliest Proportion, and, above the rest, Dominion in the head and breast.”

Thereto the silent voice replied : “ Self-blinded are you by your pride ;

Look up thro' night: the world is wide.

“ This truth within thy mind rehearse,
That in a boundless universe
Is boundless better, boundless worse.

“ Think you this mould of hopes and fears
Could find no statelier than his peers
In yonder hundred million spheres?

It spake, moreover, in my mind : “Tho' thou wert scatter'd to the wind, Yet is there plenty of the kind.”

Then did my response clearer fall : “ No compound of this earthly ball Is like another, all in all."

To which he answer'd scoffingly; “Good soul! suppose I grant it thee,

Who 'll weep for thy deficiency?

" Or will one beam be less intense,

When thy peculiar difference
Is cancell'd in the world of sense ?

I would have said, “Thou canst not know," But my full heart, that work'd below, Rain'd thro' my sight its overflow.

Again the voice spake unto me : “ Thou art so steep'd in misery,

Surely 't were better not to be.

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