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5. Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting : The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar :
And not in utter nakedness,
From God, who is our home :
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.
7. Behold the Child among his new-born blisses, A six years' Darling of a pigmy size ! See, where 'mid work of his own hand he lies, Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
With light upon him from his father's eyes !
A wedding or a festival,
And this hath now his heart,
Then will he fit his tongue
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; Thou best Philosopher, who yet dost keep Thy heritage, thou Eye among the blind, That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal deep, Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,
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?
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,
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,
Is lovely yet ;
The Clouds that gather round the setting sun
"With sacrifice before the rising morn Vows have I made by fruitless hope inspired : And from the infernal Gods, ’mid shades forlorn Of night, my slaughtered Lord have I required: Celestial pity I again implore ;Restore him to my sight-great Jove, restore !' So speaking, and by fervent love endowed With faith, the Suppliant heavenward lifts her hands ; While, like the sun emerging from a cloud, Her countenance brightens—and her eye expands ; Her bosom heaves and spreads, her stature grows; And she expects the issue in repose. O terror ! what hath she perceived ?–0 joy! What doth she look on ?-whom doth she behold ? Her Hero slain upon the beach of Troy? His vital presence? his corporeal mould ? It is-if sense deceive her not-'tis he! And a god leads him-winged Mercury! Mild Hermes spake—and touched her with his wand That calms all fear : 'Such grace hath crowned thy prayer, Laodamía! that at Jove's command Thy Husband walks the paths of upper air: He comes to tarry with thee three hours' space ; Accept the gift, behold him face to face !!