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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, wewly-learned art;

A wedding or á 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 strife;

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; 105

As if his whole vocation
Were endless imitation.


100 VIII,



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, readst 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, In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave; 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 The

years to bring the inevitable yoke, Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife? 125 Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly

freight, And custom lie upon thee with a weight, Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!




O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
That nature yet remembers

What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth

breed Perpetual benediction: not indeed For that which is most worthy to be blest; 135 Delight and liberty, the simple creed Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,



With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his

Not for these I raise

The song of thanks and praise;
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;

Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realised, 145
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty Thing surprised :

But for those first affections,

Those shadowy recollections,

Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain light of all our day,
Are yet a master light of all our seeing;

Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,

To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,

Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!

Hence in a season of calm weather

Though inland far we be,
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea

Which brought us hither,

Can in a moment travel thither, 165 And see the Children sport upon the shore, And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.




Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song!

And let the young Lambs bound
As to the tabor's sound !


We in thought will join your throng,

Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day

Feel the gladness of the May! What though the radiance which was once so bright

175 Be now for ever taken from my sight,

Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the

We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering ;

In the faith that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind.






And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and

Groves, Forebode not any severing of our loves ! Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might; I only have relinquished one delight To live beneath your more habitual sway. I love the Brooks which down their channels

fret, Even more than when I tripped lightly as

they; The innocent brightness of a new-born Day Is lovely yet;

195 The Clouds that gather round the setting


Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;



Another race hath been, and other palms are



Thanks to the human heart by which we live, Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears, 201 To me the meanest flower that blows can give Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.


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