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TO THE MEMORY OF HOOD.
ANOTHER star 'neath Time's horizon dropped,
To gleam o'er unknown lands and seas;
Another heart that beat for freedom stopped,
What mournful words are these!
O Love Divine, that claspest our tired earth,
And lullest it upon thy heart,
Thou knowest how much a gentle soul is worth
To teach men what thou art!
His was a spirit that to all thy poor
Was kind as slumber after pain:
Why ope so soon thy heaven-deep Quiet's door
And call him home again ?
Freedom needs all her poets: it is they
Who give her aspirations wings,
And to the wiser law of music sway
Her wild imaginings.
Yet thou hast called him, nor art thou unkind,
O Love Divine, for 'tis thy will
That gracious natures leave their love behind
To work for Freedom still.
Let laurelled marbles weigh on other tombs,
Let anthems peal for other dead,
Rustling the bannered depth of minster-glooms
With their exulting spread.
His epitaph shall mock the short-lived stone
No lichen shall its lines efface,
He needs these few and simple lines alone
To mark his resting-place :-
• Here lies a Poet. Stranger, if to thee
His claim to memory be obscure,
If thou wouldst learn how truly great was he,
Go, ask it of the poor.'
Through suffering and sorrow thou hast passed
To show us what a woman true may be:
They have not taken sympathy from thee,
Nor made thee any other than thou wast,
Save as some tree, which, in a sudden blast,
Sheddeth those blossoms, that are weakly grown,
Upon the air, but keepeth every one
Whose strength gives warrant of good fruit at last:
So thou hast shed some blooms of gaiety,
But never one of steadfast cheerfulness;
Nor hath thy knowledge of adversity
Robbed thee of any faith in happiness,
But rather cleared thine inner eyes to see
How many simple ways there are to bless.
What were I, Love, if I were stripped of thee,
If thine eyes shut me out whereby I live,
Thou, who unto my calmer soul dost give
Knowledge, and Truth, and holy Mystery,
Wherein Truth mainly lies for those who see
Beyond the earthly and the fugitive,
Who in the grandeur of the soul believe,
And only in the Infinite are free ?
Without thee I were naked, bleak, and bare
As yon dead cedar on the sea-cliff's brow;
And Nature's teachings, which come to m now,
Common and beautiful as light and air,
Would be as fruitless as a stream which still
Slips through the wheel of some old ruined mill.
I would not hare this perfect love of ours
Grow from a single root, a single stem,
Bearing no goodly fruit, but only flowers
That idly hide life’s iron diadem:
It should grow alway like that eastern tree
Whose limbs take root and spread forth constantly ;
That love for one, from which there doth not spring
Wide love for all, is but a worthless thing.
Not in another world, as poets prate,
Dwell we apart above the tide of things,
High floating o'er earth's clouds on faery wings;
But our pure love doth ever elevate
Into a holy bond of brotherhood
All earthly things, making them pure and good.
*For this true nobleness I seek in vain,
In woman and in man I find it not;
I almost weary of my earthly lot,
My life-springs are dried up with burning pain.'
Thou find'st it not? I pray thee look again,
Look inward through the depths of thine own soul.
How is it with thee? Art thou sound and whole ?
Doth narrow search show thee no earthly stain ?
Be NOBLE! and the nobleness that lies
In other men, sleeping, but never dead
Will rise in majesty to meet thine own;
Then wilt thou see it gleam in many eyes,
Then will pure light around thy path be shed,
And thou wilt never more be sad and lone
TO THE SPIRIT OF KEATS. Great soul, thou sittest with me in my room, L'plifting me with thy rast, quiet eres, On whose full orbs, with kindly lustre, lies The twilight warmth of ruddy ember-gloom: Thy clear, strong tones will oft bring sudden bloom Of hope secure, to him who lonely cries, Wrestling with the young poet's agonies, Neglert and scorn, which seem a certain doom: Yes! the few words which, like great thunderdrops, Thy large heart down to earth shook doubtfully, Thrilled by the inward lightning of its might, Serene and pure, like gushing joy of light, Shall track the eternal chords of Destiny, After the moon-led pulse of ocean stops.
Great Truths are portions of the soul of man;
Great souls are portions of Eternity;
Each drop of blood that e'er through true heart ran
With lofty message, ran for thee and me;
For God's law, since the starry song began,
Hath been, and still for evermore must be,
That every deed which shall outlast Time's span
Must goad the soul to be erect and free;
Slave is no word of deathless lineage sprung, -
Too many noble souls have thought and died,
Too many mighty poets lived and sung,
And our good Saxon, from lips purified
With martyr-fire, throughout the world hath rung
Too long to have God's holy cause denied.
I ask not for those thoughts, that sudden leap
From being's sea, like the isle-seeming Kraken,
With whose great rise the ocean all is shaken
And a heart-tremble quivers through the deep;
Give me that growth which some perchance deem sleep,
Wherewith the steadfast coral-stems uprise,
Which, by the toil of gathering energies,
Their upward way into clear sunshine keep,
Until, by Heaven's sweetest influences,
Slowly and slowly spreads a speck of
Into a pleasant island in the seas,
Where, 'mid tall palms, the cane-roofed home is seen,
And wearied men shall sit at sunset's hour,
Hearing the leaves and loving God's dear power.
TO M. W., ON HER BIRTHDAY.
MAIDEN, when such a soul as thine is born,
The morning stars their ancient music make,
And, joyful, once again their song awake,
Long silent now with melancholy scorn ;
And thou, not mindless of so blest a morn,
By no least deed its harmony shall break,
But shalt to that high chime thy footsteps take,
Through life's most darksome passes unforlorn ;
Therefore from thy pure faith thou shalt not fall,
Therefore shalt thou be ever fair and free,
And in thine every motion musical
As summer air, majestic as the sea,
A mystery to those who creep and crawl
Through Time, and part it from Eternity.