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UP with me! up with me into the clouds !
For thy song, Lark, is strong;
Up with me, up with me into the clouds !
With clouds and sky about thee ringing,
Lift me, guide me till I find
That spot which seems so to thy mind!
Alas ! my journey, rugged and uneven,
Through prickly moors or dusty ways must wind;
But hearing thee, or others of thy kind,
As full of gladness and as free of heaven,
I, with my fate contented, will plod on,
And hope for higher raptures, when Life's day is done.
Let thy wheel-barrow alone –
Wherefore, Sexton, piling still
In thy Bone-house bone on bone ?
'Tis already like a hill
In a field of battle made,
Where three thousand skulls are laid;
- These died in peace each with the other,
Father, Sister, Friend, and Brother.
Mark the spot to which I point!
From this platform, eight feet square,
Take not even a finger-joint:
Andrew's whole fire-side is there.
Here, alone, before thine eyes,
Simon's sickly Daughter lies,
From weakness now, and pain defended,
Whom he twenty winters tended.
Look but at the gardener's pride —
How he glories, when he sees
Roses, Lilies, side by side,
Violets in families !
By the heart of Man, his tears,
By his hopes and by his fears,
Thou, old Grey-beard! art the Warden
Of a far superior garden.
Thus then, each to other dear,
Let them all in quiet lie,
Andrew there, and Susan here,
Neighbours in mortality.
And, should I live through sun and rain
Seven widowed years without my Jane,
O Sexton, do not then remove her,
Let one grave hold the Loved and Lover!
Who fancied what a pretty sight
This Rock would be if edged around
With living Snowdrops ? circlet bright!
How glorious to this Orchard-ground !
Who loved the little Rock, and set
Upon its head this Coronet ?
Was it the humour of a Child ?
Or rather of some love-sick Maid,
Whose brows, the day that she was styled
The Shepherd Queen, were thus arrayed ?
Of Man mature, or Matron sage ?
Or Old-man toying with his age?
I asked — 'twas whispered, The device
To each and all might well belong :
It is the Spirit of Paradise
That prompts such work, a Spirit strong,
That gives to all the self-same bent
Where life is wise and innocent.
Though the torrents from their fountains
Roar down many a craggy steep,
Yet they find among the mountains
Resting-places calm and deep.
Clouds that love through air to hasten,
Ere the storm its fury stills,
Helmet-like themselves will fasten
On the heads of towering hills.
What, if through the frozen centre
Of the Alps the Chamois bound,
Yet he has a home to enter
In some nook of chosen ground.