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-Beauty-a living Presence of the earth, Surpassing the most fair ideal Forms Which craft of delicate Spirits hath composed From earth's materials-waits upon my steps ; Pitches her tents before me as I move, An hourly neighbour. Paradise, and groves Elysian, Fortunate Fields—like those of old Sought in the Atlantic Main—why should they be A history only of departed things, Or a mere fiction of what never was ? For the discerning intellect of Man, When wedded to this goodly universe In love and holy passion, shall find these A simple produce of the common day. -1, long before the blissful hour arrives, Would chant, in lonely peace, the spousal verse Of this great consummation :-and, by words Which speak of nothing more than what we are, Would I arouse the sensual from their sleep Of Death, and win the vacant and the vain To noble ruptures ; while my voice proclaims How exquisitely the individual Mind (And the progressive powers perhaps no less Of the whole species) to the external World Is fitted :—and how exquisitely, too Theme this but little heard of among men— The external World is fitted to the Mind ; And the creation (by no lower name Can it be called) which they with blended might Accomplish :—this is our high argument. -Such grateful haunts foregoing, if I oft Must turn elsewhere-to travel near the tribes And fellowships of men, and see ill sights Of madding passions mutually inflamed ; Must hear Humanity in fields and groves Pipe solitary anguish ; or must hang Brooding above the fierce confederate storm
Of sorrow, barricadoed evermore Within the walls of cities-may these sounds Have their authentic comment ; that even these Hearing, I be not downcast or forlorn ! Descend, prophetic Spirit ! that inspir'st The human Soul of universal earth, Dreaming on things to come ; and dost possess A metropolitan temple in the hearts Of mighty Poets : upon me bestow A gift of genuine insight ; that my Song With star-like virtue in its place may shine, Shedding benignant influence, and secure, Itself, from all malevolent effect Of those mutations that extend their sway Throughout the nether sphere !-And if with this I mix more lowly matter ; with the thing Contemplated, describe the Mind and Man Contemplating; and who, and what he wasThe transitory Being that beheld This Vision ; when and where, and how he lived ; Be not this labour useless. If such theme May sort with highest objects, then-dread Power! Whose gracious favour is the primal source Of all illumination—may my Life Express the image of a better time, More wise desires, and simpler manners ;--nurse My Heart in genuine freedom :all pure thoughts Be with me ;-80 shall thy unfailing love Guide, and support, and cheer me to the end!'