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Than a forsaken bird's-nest fllPd with snow
'Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine—
Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may know!
TO A SKYLARK.
Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!
Dost thou despise the earth where
cares abound? Or while the wiqgs aspire, are heart
Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?
Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,
Those quivering wings composed, that music still!
To the last point of vision, and beyond,
Mount, daring warbler! —that loveprompted strain
— 'Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond —
Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain:
Yet might'st thou seem, proud privilege! to sing All independent of the leafy spring.
Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
A privacy of glorious light is thine. Whence thou dost pour upon the
world a flood Of harmony, with instinct more divine;
Type of the wise, who soar, but never roam —
True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home!
WE ARE SEFEN.
A Simple child That lightly draws its breath, And feels its life in every limb, What should it know of death?
I met a little cottage girl:
She had a rustic, woodland air,
"Sisters and brothers, little maid,
And wondering looked at me.
"And where are they? I pray you tell."
She answer'd, "Seven are we;
Two of us in the churchyard lie,
"You say that two at Conway dwell,
Then did the little maid reply,
"You run about, my little maid,
"Their graves are green, they may
be seen." The little maid replied, "Twelve steps or more from my
My stockings there I often knit,
And often after sunset, sir,
The first that died was little Jane;
So in the churchyard she was laid;
And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side.
"How many are you then," said I, "If they two are in heaven?" The little maiden did reply, "O Master! we are seven!
"But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in Heaven!"
SHE WAS A PHANTOM OF DELIGHT.
She was a phantom of delight
A lovely apparition, sent
A dancing shape, an image gay,
I saw her upon nearer view,
And steps of virgin liberty;
And now I see with eye serene
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect woman, nobly planned,
THY ART BE NATURE.
A Poet!—He hath put his heart to school.
Nor dares to move unpropped upon the staff
Which art hath lodged within his
hand; must laugh By precept only, and shed tears by
Thy art be nature; the live current quaff,
And let the groveller sip his stagnant pool,
In fear that else, when critics grave and cool
Have killed him, scorn should write
his epitaph. How does the meadow-flower its
bloom unfold! Because the lovely little flower is
Down to its root, and in this freedom bold;
And so the grandeur of the foresttree
Comes not by casting in a formal mould,
But from its own divine vitality.
SCORN NOT THE SONNET.
Scorn not the sonnet. Critic, you
have frowned, Mindless of its just honors: with this
Shakespeare unlocked his heart; the melody
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound; A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound; [grief;
Camoens soothed with it an exile's The sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned
His visionary brow; a glow-worm lamp,
It cheered mild Spenser, called from
fairy-land To struggle through dark ways; and,
when a damp [hand Fell round the path of Milton, in his The thing became a trumpet, whence
Soul-animating strains — alas, too few!
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free.
The holy time is quiet as a nun Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity; The gentleness of heaven is on the
Listen! the mighty Being is awake, And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder — everlastingly.
Dear child! dear girl, that walkest with me here!
If thou appearest untouched by solemn thought,
Thy nature is not, therefore, less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year,
And worshippest at the temple's inner shrine,
God being with thee when we knew it not.
THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US.
The world is too much with us; late
and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste
our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a
sordid boon! This sea that bares her bosom to the
The winds that will be howling at all hours
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I'd rather be
A pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might 1, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me
less forlorn Have sight of Proteus coming from
the sea, [horn, Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed
Earth has not anything to show
more fair: Dull would he be of soul who could
A sight so touching in its majesty: This City now doth like a garment
wear [ bare,
The beauty of the morning; silent, Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and
temples lie Open unto the fields and to the sky, All bright and glittering in the
smokeless air. Never did sun more beautifully steep In his first splendor valley, rock, or
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
TO THE CUCKOO.
0 Rlithe new-comer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice:
0 cuckoo! shall I call thee bird,
While I am lying on the grass.
I hear thee babbling to the vale
Thrice welcome, darling of the
The same whom in my school-boy days
I listened to; that cry Which made me look a thousand ways
In bush and tree and sky.
To seek thee did I often rove
And I can listen to thee yet;
O blessed bird! the earth we pace
Sir Henry Wotton.
A HAPPY LIFE.
How happy is he born and taught
Whose passions not his masters are,
Who envies none that chance doth raise
Or vice; who never understood How deepest wounds are given by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good:
Who hath his life from rumors freed, Whose conscience is his strong retreat:
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make accusers great;
Who God doth late and early pray More of his grace than gifts to lend; And entertains the harmless day With a well-chosen book or friend:
— This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall: