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A mazy course along familiar things,

Well may our hearts have faith that blessings come,
Streaming from founts above the starry sky,
With angels, when their own untroubled home
They leave, and speed on nightly embassy
To visit earthly chambers, and for whom?
Yea, both for souls who God's forbearance try,
And those that seek his help, and for his mercy



ARMY of Clouds! ye wingèd Host in troops
Ascending from behind the motionless brow
Of that tall rock, as from a hidden world,
O whither with such eagerness of speed?
What seek ye, or what shun ye? of the gale
Companions, fear ye to be left behind,
Or, racing o'er your blue, ethereal field,
Contend ye with each other? of the sea
Children, thus post ye over vale and height
To sink upon your mother's lap, and rest?
Or were ye rightlier hailed, when first mine eyes
Beheld in your impetuous march the likeness.
Of a wide army pressing on to meet

Or overtake some unknown enemy ?.

But your smooth motions suit a peaceful aim:
And Fancy, not less aptly pleased, compares
Your squadrons to an endless flight of birds
Aerial, upon due migration bound

To milder climes; or rather do ye urge
In caravan your hasty pilgrimage,

To pause at last on more aspiring heights
Than these, and utter your devotion there
With thundrous voice? Or are ye jubilant,
And would ye, tracking your proud lord, the Sun,
Be present at his setting; or the pomp
Of Persian mornings would ye fill, and stand
Poising your splendors high above the heads
Of worshippers kneeling to their up-risen God?
Whence, whence, ye Clouds! this eagerness of


Speak, silent creatures.

They are gone, are fled,

Buried together in yon gloomy mass

That loads the middle heaven; and clear and


And vacant doth the region which they thronged
Appear; a calm descent of sky conducting
Down to the unapproachable abyss,

Down to that hidden gulf from which they rose

To vanish, fleet as days and months and years,

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Fleet as the generations of mankind,

Power, glory, empire, as the world itself,

The lingering world, when time had ceased to be.
But the winds roar, shaking the rooted trees,
And see a bright precursor to a train

Perchance as numerous, overpeers the rock
That sullenly refuses to partake

Of the wild impulse. From a fount of life
Invisible, the long procession moves

Luminous or gloomy, welcome to the vale Which they are entering, welcome to mine eye That sees them, to my soul that owns in them, And in the bosom of the firmament

O'er which they move, wherein they are contained, A type of her capacious self and all

Her restless progeny.

A humble walk

Here is my body doomed to tread, this path,
A little hoary line and faintly traced,
Work, shall we call it, of the shepherd's foot
Or of his flock?-joint vestige of them both.
I pace it unrepining, for my thoughts

Admit no bondage and my words have wings.
Where is the Orphean lyre, or Druid harp,
To accompany the verse? The mountain blast
Shall be our hand of music; he shall sweep
The rocks, and quivering trees, and billowy lake,
And search the fibres of the caves, and they
Shall answer, for our song is of the Clouds
And the wind loves them; and the gentle gales
Which by their aid reclothe the naked lawn
With annual verdure, and revive the woods,
And moisten the parched lips of thirsty flowers
Love them; and every idle breeze of air
Bends to the favorite burden. Moon and stars

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Keep their most solemn vigils when the Clouds
Watch also, shifting peaceably their place
Like bands of ministering Spirits, or when they lie,
As if some Protean art the change had wrought,
In listless quiet o'er the ethereal deep
Scattered, a Cyclades of various shapes
And all degrees of beauty. O ye Lightnings!
Ye are their perilous offspring; and the Sun-
Source inexhaustible of life and joy,

And type of man's far-darting reason, therefore
In old time worshipped as the god of verse,
A blazing intellectual deity -

Loves his own glory in their looks, and showers
Upon that unsubstantial brotherhood

Visions with all but beatific light

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too transient were they not renewed

From age to age,

and did not, while we gaze

In silent rapture, credulous desire

Nourish the hope that memory lacks not power
To keep the treasure unimpaired. Vain thought!
Yet why repine, created as we are

For joy and rest, albeit to find them only
Lodged in the bosom of eternal things?




THE gentlest Poet, with free thoughts endowed,
And a true master of the glowing strain,
Might scan the narrow province with disdain
That to the Painter's skill is here allowed.
This, this the Bird of Paradise! disclaim
The daring thought, forget the name;

This the Sun's Bird, whom Glendoveers might own
As no unworthy Partner in their flight
Through seas of ether, where the ruffling sway
Of nether air's rude billows is unknown;
Whom Sylphs, if e'er for casual pastime they
Through India's spicy regions wing their way,
Might bow to as their Lord. What character,
O sovereign Nature! I appeal to thee,
Of all thy feathered progeny

Is so unearthly, and what shape so fair?
So richly decked in variegated down,

Green, sable, shining yellow, shadowy brown,

Tints softly with each other blended,

Hues doubtfully begun and ended;

Or intershooting, and to sight

Lost and recovered, as the rays of light

Glance on the conscious plumes touched here and there?

Full surely, when with such proud gifts of life

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