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Corruption-like, thou teemedst in the graves

Of mouldering systems, with dark weltering waves Troubling the peace of the first mother's womb; Whose ancient awful form,

With inly-tossing storm,

Unquiet heavings kept-a birth-place and a tomb.

Till the life-giving Spirit moved above
The face of the waters, with creative love
Warming the hidden seeds of infant light:
What time the mighty word

Through thine abyss was heard,

And swam from out thy deeps the young day heavenly bright.

Thou and the earth, twin-sisters as they say,
In the old prime were fashioned in one day;
And therefore thou delightest evermore
With her to lie and play

The summer hours away,

Curling thy loving ripples up her quiet shore.

She is a married matron long ago,

With nations at her side; her milk doth flow Each year but thee no husband dares to tame; Thy wild will is thine own,

Thy sole and virgin throne

Thy mood is ever changing-thy resolve the same.

Sunlight and moonlight minister to thee;-
O'er the broad circle of the shoreless sea



Heaven's two great lights for ever set and rise; While the round vault above,

In vast and silent love,

Is gazing down upon thee with his hundred eyes.

All night thou utterest forth thy solemn moan,
Counting the weary minutes all alone;
Then in the morning thou dost calmly lie,
Deep-blue, ere yet the sun

His day-work hath begun,

Under the opening windows of the golden sky.

The Spirit of the mountain looks on thee
Over an hundred hills; quaint shadows flee
Across thy marbled mirror; brooding lie
Storm-mists of infant cloud,

With a sight-baffling shroud

Mantling the grey-blue islands in the western sky.

Sometimes thou liftest up thine hands on high
Into the tempest-cloud that blurs the sky,
Holding rough dalliance with the fitful blast,
Whose stiff breath, whistling shrill,
Pierces with deadly chill

[mast. The wet crew feebly clinging to their shattered

Foam-white along the border of the shore
Thine onward-leaping billows plunge and roar;
While o'er the pebbly ridges slowly glide
Cloaked figures, dim and grey,
Through the thick mist of spray,


Watchers for some struck vessel in the boiling



Daughter and darling of remotest eld—

Time's childhood and Time's age thou hast beheld;
His arm is feeble, and his eye is dim:
He tells old tales again –

He wearies of long pain:

Thou art as at the first thou journeyedst not with him.



THE year is born to-day—methinks it hath
A chilly time of it; for down the sky
The flaky frost-cloud stretches, and the Sun
Lifted his large light from the Eastern plains,
With gloomy mist-enfolded countenance,
And garments rolled in blood.

Under the haze

Along the face of the waters, gather fast
Sharp spikes of the fresh ice-as if the year
That died last night had dropt down suddenly
In his full strength of genial government,
Prisoning the sharp breath of the Northern winds;
Who now burst forth and revel unrestrained
Over the new king's months of infancy.

The bells rung merrily when the old year died;
He past away in music; his death-sleep
Closed on him like the slumber of a child
When a sweet hymn in a sweet voice above him
Takes up into its sound his gentle being.



And we will raise to him two monuments; One where he died, and one where he lies buried; One in the pealing of those midnight bells, Their swell and fall, and varied interchange, The tones that come again upon the spirit In years far off, mid unshaped accidents ;And one in the deep quiet of the soul, The mingled memories of a thousand moods Of joy and sorrow; -and his epitaph Shall be upon him" Here lie the remains Of one, who was less valued while he lived, Than thought on when he died."




MID crowded obelisks and urns

I sought the untimely grave of Burns;
Sons of the bard, my heart still mourns
With sorrow true;

And more would grieve, but that it turns
Trembling to you!

Through twilight shades of good and ill
Ye now are panting up life's hill;

And more than common strength and skill
Must ye display,

If ye would give the better will

Its lawful sway.



Hath nature strung your nerves to bear
Intemp'rance with less harm, beware!
But if the poet's wit ye share,

Like him can speed

The social hour—for tenfold care
There will be need.

Even honest men delight will take
To spare your failings for his sake,
Will flatter you;—and fool and rake
Your steps pursue,

And of your father's name will make
A snare for you.

Far from their noisy haunts retire,
And add your voices to the choir
That sanctify the cottage fire

With service meet;

There seek the glories of your sire,—
His spirit greet.

Or where, mid "lonely heights and hows,”
He paid to nature tuneful vows;

Or wiped his honourable brows

Bedew'd with toil,

While reapers strove, or busy ploughs

Upturn'd the soil:

His judgment with benignant ray
Shall guide, his fancy cheer, your way;
But ne'er to a seductive lay

Let faith be given;

Nor deem that "light which leads astray

Is light from Heaven."

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