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That thou wert wander'd from the studious walls
And thou from earth art gone
Some country-nook, where o'er thy unknown grave
Tall grasses and white flowering nettles wave, Under a dark, red-fruited yew-tree's shade.
- No, no, thou hast not felt the lapse of hours ! For what wears out the life of mortal men?
'Tis that from change to change their being rolls ;
And numb the elastic powers.
And tired upon a thousand schemes our wit,
To the just-pausing Genius we remit
Thou hast not lived, why should'st thou perish, so?
Else wert thou long since number'd with the dead!
And we ourselves shall go;
And we imagine thee exempt from age
And living as thou liv’st on Glanvil's page, Because thou hadst — what we, alas ! have not.
For early didst thou leave the world, with powers
Firm to their mark, not spent on other things ;
O life unlike to ours !
Of whom each strives, nor knows for what he strives,
165 And each half lives a hundred different lives; Who wait like thee, but not, like thee, in hope.
Thou waitest for the spark from heaven! and we,
Who never deeply felt, nor clearly will'd,
For whom each year we see
Who hesitate and falter life away,
And lose to-morrow the ground won to-day — Ah! do not we, wanderer! await it too?
Yes, we await it ! — but it still delays,
Who most has suffer'd, takes dejectedly
Lays bare of wretched days;
And how the dying spark of hope was fed,
And how the breast was soothed, and how the head, And all his hourly varied anodynes.
This for our wisest! and we others pine,
And waive all claim to bliss, and try to bear;
195 But none has hope like thine! Thou through the fields and through the woods dost stray,
Roaming the country-side, a truant boy,
Nursing thy project in unclouded joy,
O born in days when wits were fresh and clear,
Before this strange disease of modern life,
With its sick hurry, its divided aims,
Fly hence, our contact fear!
Averse, as Dido did with gesture stern
From her false friend's approach in Hades turn, Wave us away, and keep thy solitude !
Still nursing the unconquerable hope,
With a free, onward impulse brushing through,
On some mild pastoral slope
Freshen thy flowers as in former years
With dew, or listen with enchanted ears, From the dark dingles, to the nightingales !
But fly our paths, our feverish contact fly!
Which, though it gives no bliss, yet spoils for rest;
Soon, soon thy cheer would die,
And thy clear aims be cross and shifting made ;
And then thy glad perennial youth would fade, Fade, and grow old at last, and die like ours.
Then fly our greetings, fly our speech and smiles !
- As some grave Tyrian trader, from the sea,
Descried at sunrise an emerging prow
Among the Ægæan isles;
Freighted with amber grapes, and Chian wine,
Green, bursting figs, and tunnies steep'd in brine And knew the intruders on his ancient home,
The young light-hearted masters of the waves
And day and night held on indignantly
245 To where the Atlantic raves Outside the western straits ; and unbent sails
There, where down cloudy cliffs, through sheets of foam,
Shy traffickers, the dark Iberians come; And on the beach undid his corded bales.
THE FORSAKEN MERMAN.
COME, dear children, let us away;
Call her once before you go –
Margaret! Margaret !”
Mother dear, we cannot stay !
Come, dear children, come away down;
Children dear, was it yesterday
Children dear, was it yesterday