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The Marshes of Glynn
Beautiful glooms, soft dusks in the noonday fire, -
leaves, Cells for the passionate pleasure of prayer to the soul that
grieves, Pure with a sense of the passing of saints through the wood, Cool for the dutiful weighing of ill with good;
O braided dusks of the oak and woven shades of the vine,
my soul all day hath drunken the soul of the oak,
heart is at ease from men, and the wearisome sound of the stroke Of the scythe of time and the trowel of trade is low, And belief overmasters doubt, and I know that I know,
And my spirit is grown to a lordly great compass within, That the length and the breadth and the sweep of the
marshes of Glynn Will work me no fear like the fear they have wrought me of
yore When length was fatigue, and when breadth was but bitter
ness sore, And when terror and shrinking and dreary unnamable pain Drew over me out of the mercileșs miles of the plain,
Oh, now, unafraid, I am fain to face
The vast sweet visage of space.
For a mete and a mark
Thus—with your favor-soft, with a reverent hand,
band Of the sand beach fastens the fringe of the marsh to the
folds of the land. Inward and outward to northward and southward the beach
lines linger and curl As a silver-wrought garment that clings to and follows the
firm sweet limbs of a girl. Vanishing, swerving, evermore curving again into sight, Softly the sand-beach wavers away to a dim gray looping of
light. And what if behind me to westward the wall of the woods
stands high? The world lies east: how ample, the marsh and the sea and
the sky! A league and a league of marsh-grass, waist-high, broad in
the blade, Green, and all of a height, and unflecked with a light or a
shade, Stretch leisurely off, in a pleasant plain, To the terminal blue of the main,
Oh, what is abroad in the marsh and the terminal sea?
my soul seems suddenly free From the weighing of fate and the sad discussion of sin, By the length and the breadth and the sweep of the marshes
of Glynn. Ye marshes, how candid and simple and nothing-withhold
ing and free Ye publish yourselves to the sky and offer yourselves to the
sea! Tolerant plains, that suffer the sea and the rains and the sun, Ye spread and span like the catholic man who hath mightily
The Marshes of Glynn
God out of knowledge and good out of infinite pain
As the marsh-hen secretly builds on the watery sod,
And the sea lends large, as the marsh: lo, out of his plenty
Pours fast: full soon the time of the flood-tide must be:
Here and there,
Farewell, my lord Sun! The creeks overflow: a thousand rivulets run 'Twixt the roots of the sod; the blades of the marsh-grass
stir; Passeth a hurrying sound of wings that westward whirr; Passeth, and all is still; and the currents cease to run; And the sea and the marsh are one.
How still the plains of the waters be!
And it is night.
And now from the Vast of the Lord will the waters of sleep Roll in on the souls of men,
But who will reveal to our waking ken
Under the waters of sleep?
tide comes in On the length and the breadth of the marvelous marshes of Glynn.
Sidney Lanier (1842-1881]
THERE's not a nook within this solemn Pass
But were an apt confessional for one
Taught by his summer spent, his autumn gone,
That thought away, turn, and with watchful eyes
Feed it ʼmid Nature's old felicities,
If from a golden perch of aspen spray
(October's workmanship to rival May) The pensive warbler of the ruddy breast
That moral sweeten by a heaven-taught lay, Lulling the year, with all its cares, to rest!
William Wordsworth (1770-1850]
BEFORE SUNRISE, IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI
Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star
An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it,
Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody, So sweet, we know not we are listening to it, Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thought, Yea, with my Life and Life's own secret joy: Till the dilating Soul, enrapt, transfused, Into the mighty vision passing—there, As in her natural form, swelled vast to Heaven!
Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
Thou first and chief, sole sovereign of the Vale!
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad!