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THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE STOCK-DOVE.

O nightingale! thou surely art
A creature of a fiery heart :-
These notes of thine-they pierce and pierce!
Tumultuous harmony and fierce!
Thou sing'st as if the god of wine
Had help'd thee to a valentine ;
A song in mockery, and despite
Of shades, and dews, and silent night;
And steady bliss, and all the loves
Now sleeping in these peaceful groves.
I heard a stock-dove sing or say
His homely tale, this very day;
His voice was buried among trees,
Yet to be come at by the breeze:
He did not cease; but coo'd—and coord;
And somewhat pensively he woo'd:
He sang of love with quiet blending,
Slow to begin and never ending;
Of serious faith and inward glee;
That was the song—the song for me!

TO THE CUCKOO.

O blithe new-comer! I have heard,

I hear thee and rejoice;
O cuckoo! shall I call thee bird,

Or but a wandering voice?
While I am lying on the grass

Thy twofold shout I hear,
That seems to fill the whole air's space,

As loud far off as near.
Though babbling only, to the vale,

Of sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale

Of visionary hours.
Thrice welcome, darling of the spring!

Even yet thou art to me
No bird: but an invisible thing,

A voice, a mystery.

The same whom in my schoolboy days

I listen’d to; that cry
Which made me look a thousand ways

In bush, and tree, and sky.
To seek thee did I often rove

Through woods and on the green ;
And thou wert still a hope, a love;

Still long‘d for, never seen.
And I can listen to thee yet;

Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget

That golden time again.
O blessed bird! the earth we pace

Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, faery place;

That is fit home for thee!

ODE.-INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY FROM RECOLLECTIONS

OF EARLY CHILDHOOD.

There was a time, when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,

To me did seem

Apparell'd in celestial light, The glory and the freshness of a dream. It is not now as it hath been of

yore;Turn wheresoe'er I

may, By night or day, The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the rose,

The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;

Waters on a starry night

Are beautiful and fair ;
The sunshine is a glorious birth ;

But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath pass’d away a glory from the earth.
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound

As to the tabor's sound,

To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,

And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep,
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,

And all the earth is gay;

Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,

And with the heart of May
Doth every beast keep holiday;

Thou child of joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy

shepherd boy!

Ye blessed creatures, I have heard the call

Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival,

My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel-I feel it all.

Oh evil day! if I were sullen
While the Earth herself is adorning,

This sweet May morning,
And the children are pulling,

On every side,
In a thousand valleys far and wide,

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,
A single field which I have look'd upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone :

The pansy at my feet

Doth the same tale repeat :
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?
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 :
Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come

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,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,

He sees it in his joy;
The youth, who daily farther from the east

Must travel, still is Nature's priest,

And by the vision splendid

Is on his way attended; At length the man perceives it die away, And fade into the light of common day. 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 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!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learned art;

A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral;

And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song :

Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife ;

But it will not be long
Ere this be thrown aside,

And with new joy and pride
The little actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his “humorous stage"
With all the persons, down to palsied age,
That life brings with her in her equipage;

As if his whole vocation
Were endless imitation.

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 th' eternal deep,
Haunted for ever by th' 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 th' 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
Is something that doth live,
That nature yet remembers

What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest;
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still Auttering in his breast :

Not for these I raise

The song of thanks and praise ;
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;

Blank misgivings of a creature
Moving about in worlds not realised,
High instincts before which our mortal nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:

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 Our noisy years seem moments in the being

H н

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