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Ye blessed Creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I
My head hath its coronal.
Oh evil day! if I were sullen
This sweet May-morning,
On every side,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm, And the Babe leaps up on his Mother's arm :
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear !
-But there's a Tree, of many, one,
The Pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat:
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting :
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar :
And not in utter nakedness,
From God who is our home: Heaven lies about us in our infancy! Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
He sees it in his joy ;
Must travel, still is Nature's Priest,
Is on his way attended ;
Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own; Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind, And, even with something of a Mother's mind,
And no unworthy aim,
The homely Nurse doth all she can To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man,
Forget the glories he hath known, And that imperial palace whence he came.
Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A wedding or a festival,
And this hath now his heart,
To dialogues of business, love, or strife ;
But it will not be long
And with new joy and pride
As if his whole vocation
Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
Thy Soul's immensity;
Mighty Prophet! Seer blest!
On whom those truths do rest, Which we are toiling all our lives to find, In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave; Thou, over whom thy Immortality Broods like the Day, a Master o'er a Slave, A Presence which is not to be put by; Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's height, Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke The years to bring the inevitable yoke, Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife? Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly freight, And custom lie upon thee with a weight, Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!
O joy! that in our embers
What was so fugitive!
Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise ;
Blank misgivings of a Creature
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may, Are yet the fountain light of all our day, Are yet a master light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
To perish never;
Nor Man nor Boy,
Hence in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be,
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither, And see the Children sport upon the shore, And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.
Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young Lambs bound
As to the tabor's sound !
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Feel the gladness of the May !
Though nothing can bring back the hour
We will grieve not, rather find
In the faith that looks through death,
And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,