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And thou shalt love it only as the nest Whence glory-winged things to Heaven have flown:
To the great Soul alone are all things known;
Present and future are to her as past, While she in glorious madness doth forecast
That perfect bud, which seems a flower full-blown
To each new Prophet, and yet always opes
Fuller and fuller with each day and hour, Heartening the soul with odor of fresh hopes,
And longings high, and gushings of wide power,
Yet never is or shall be fully blown Save in the forethought of the Eternal One.
Of what in Woman is to reverence; Thy clear heart, fresh as e'er was forestflower,
Still opens more to me its beauteous dower;
But let praise hush,- Love asks no evidence
To prove itself well-placed; we know not whence
It gleans the straws that thatch its humble bower:
We can but say we found it in the heart,
Spring of all sweetest thoughts, arch foe of blame,
Sower of flowers in the dusty mart,
If we but keep it spotless as it came.
That sank in seeming loss before its foes;
Many there were who made great haste and sold
Unto the cunning enemy their swords, He scorned their gifts of fame, and power, and gold,
And, underneath their soft and flowery words,
Heard the cold serpent hiss; therefore he went
And humbly joined him to the weaker part,
They tell us that our land was made for song,
With its huge rivers and sky-piercing
Its sealike lakes and mighty cataracts, Its forests vast and hoar, and prairies wide,
And mounds that tell of wondrous tribes extinct.
But Poesy springs not from rocks and woods;
Her womb and cradle are the human heart,
And she can find a nobler theme for song
In the most loathsome man that blasts the sight
Than in the broad expanse of sea and shore
Between the frozen deserts of the poles. All nations have their message from on high,
Each the messiah of some central
Subject alone to Order's higher law. What cares the Russian serf or Southern slave
Though we should speak as man spake never yet
Of gleaming Hudson's broad magnifi
Or green Niagara's never-ending roar? Our country hath a gospel of her own To preach and practise before all the world,
The freedom and divinity of man, The glorious claims of human brotherhood,
Which to pay nobly, as a freeman should,
Gains the sole wealth that will not fly away,
And the soul's fealty to none but God. These are realities, which make the shows
Of outward Nature, be they ne'er so grand,
Seem small, and worthless, and contemptible.
These are the mountain-summits for our bards,
Which stretch far upward into heaven itself,
And give such wide-spread and exulting view
Of hope, and faith, and onward destiny,
That shrunk Parnassus to a molehill dwindles.
Our new Atlantis, like a morning-star, Silvers the murk face of slow-yielding
Shall the dull stone pay grateful ori
And we till noonday bar the splendor out,
Lest it reproach and chide our sluggard hearts,
Warm-nestled in the down of Prejudice,
And be content, though clad with angel-wings,
Close-clipped, to hop about from perch to perch,
In paltry cages of dead men's dead thoughts?
O, rather, like the skylark, soar and sing,
And let our gushing songs befit the dawn
And sunrise, and the yet unshaken dew Brimming the chalice of each full-blown hope,
Whose blithe front turns to greet the growing day!
Never had poets such high call before, Never can poets hope for higher one, And, if they be but faithful to their trust, Earth will remember them with love
Coping with mad waves and more mu tinous spirits,
Battled he with the dreadful ache at heart
Which tempts, with devilish subtleties of doubt,
The hermit of that loneliest solitude, The silent desert of a great New Thought;
Though loud Niagara were to-day struck dumb,
Yet would this cataract of boiling life Rush plunging on and on to endless deeps,
And utter thunder till the world shall cease,
A thunder worthy of the poet's song, And which alone can fill it with true life.
The high evangel to our country granted Could make apostles, yea, with tongues of fire,
Of hearts half-darkened back again to clay!
'Tis the soul only that is national, And he who pays true loyalty to that Alone can claim the wreath of patriotism.