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A honey dew, and throve on what it shed.
All things I loved; but song I loved in chief.
Imagination is the air of mind;
Judgment its earth and memory its main;
Passion its fire. I was at home in heaven.
Swift-like, I lived above; once touching earth,
The meanest thing might master me: long wings
But baffled. Still and still I harped on song.
Oh! to create within the mind is bliss;
And, shaping forth the lofty thought, or lovely,
We seek not, need not heaven: and when the

Cloudy and shapeless, first forms on the mind,
Slow darkening into some gigantic make,
How the heart shakes with pride and fear, as

heaven Quakes under its own thunder; or as might, Of old, the mortal mother of a god, When first she saw him lessening up the skies. And I began the toil divine of verse, Which, like a burning bush, doth guest a god. But this was only wing-flapping — not flight; ; The pawing of a courser ere he win; Till by degrees, from wrestling with my soul, 28 I gathered strength to keep the fleet thoughts fast, And made them bless me. Yes, there was a time When tones of ancient song held eye and heart; Were the sole lore I recked of: the great bards Of Greece, of Rome, and mine own master land, And they who in the holy book are deathless; Men who have vulgarised sublimity, And bought up truth for the nations; held it

whole; Men who have forged gods

uttered - made

Men whose great thoughts possess us like a passion Through every limb and the whole heart; whose

words Haunt us, as eagles haunt the mountain air; Whose thoughts command all coming times and minds,

60 As from a tower, a warden; fix themselves Deep in the heart as meteor stones in earth, Dropped from some higher sphere; the words of

gods, And fragments of the undeemed tongues of heaven; Men who walk up to fame as to a friend, Or their own house, which from the wrongful heir They have wrested, from the world's hard hand

and gripe; Men who, like death, all bone but all unarmed, Have ta'en the giant world by the throat, and

thrown him; And made him swear to maintain their name and fame

70 At peril of his life; who shed great thoughts As easily as an oak looseneth its golden leaves In a kindly largesse to the soil it grew on; Whose names are ever on the world's broad tongue Like sound upon the falling of a force; Whose words, if winged are with angels' wings; Who play upon the heart as on a harp, 77 And make our eyes bright as we speak of them; Whose hearts have a look southward, and are open To the whole noon of nature; these I have waked, And wept o'er night by night; oft pondering

thus: Homer is gone; and where is Jove? and where The rival cities seven? His song outlives Time, tower, and god — all that then was, save



them pass;





Sons of the sons of God, who, in olden days,
Did leave their passionless heaven for earth and

Brought an immortal to a mortal breast,
And, rainbow-like the sweet earth clasping, left
A bright precipitate of soul, which lives
Ever; and through the lines of sullen men,
The dumb array of ages, speaks for all;
Flashing by fits, like fire from an enemy's front;
Whose thoughts, like bars of sunshine in shut

rooms, 'Mid gloom, all glory, win the world to light; Who make their very follies like their souls; And like the young moon with a ragged edge, Still, in their imperfection, beautiful; 50 Whose weaknesses are lovely as their strengths, Like the white nebulous matter between stars, Which, if not light, at least is likest light; Men whom we build our love round like an arch Of triumph, as they pass us on their way To glory and to immortality;

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At dead of night their sails were filled,

And onward each rejoicing steered Ah, neither blame, for neither willed, 15

Or wist, what first with dawn appeared !

The foul engendered worm
Feeds on the flesh of the life-giving form
Of our most Holy and Anointed One.

He is not risen, no
He lies and moulders low;

Christ is not risen.


To veer, how vain! On, onward strain,

Brave barks! In light, in darkness too, Through winds and tides one compass

guides To that, and your own selves, be true. But o blithe breeze; and O great seas,

Though ne'er, that earliest parting past, On your wide plain they join again,

Together lead them home at last.
One port, methought, alike they sought,

One purpose hold where'er they fare,
O bounding breeze, O rushing seas !

At last, at last, unite them there! 28

What if the women, ere the dawn was grey, Saw one or more great angels, as they say 25 (Angels, or Him himself) ? Yet neither there, nor

then, Nor afterwards, nor elsewhere, nor at all, Hath He appeared to Peter or the Ten; Nor, save in thunderous terror, to blind Saul; Save in an after Gospel and late Creed, 30

He is not risen, indeed,

Christ is not risen!



It fortifies my soul to know
That, though I perish, Truth is so:
That, howsoe'er I stray and range,
Whate'er I do, Thou dost not change.
I steadier step when I recall
That, if I slip, Thou dost not fall.

Or, what if e'en, as runs a tale, the Ten
Saw, heard, and touched, again and yet again?
What if at Emmaüs'inn, and by Capernaüm's Lake,
Came One, the bread that brake

36 Came One that spake as never mortal spake, And with them ate, and drank, and stood, and

walked about?
Ah, “some" did well to "doubt”!

39 Ah! the true Christ, while these things came to pass, Nor heard, nor spake, nor walked, nor lived, alas!

He was not risen, no —
He lay and mouldered low,

Christ was not risen!



As circulates in some great city crowd

45 A rumour changeful, vague, importunate, and

From no determined centre, or of fact

Or authorship exact,
Which no man can deny
Nor verify;

So spread the wondrous fame;
He all the same
Lay senseless, mouldering, low:
He was not risen, no —
Christ was not risen.


Naples, 1849 Through the great sinful streets of Naples as I past,

With fiercer heat than flamed above my head
My heart was hot within me; till at last
My brain was lightened when my tongue had

Christ is not risen!

5 Christ is not risen, no —

He lies and moulders low;

Christ is not risen!
What though the stone were rolled away, and

The grave found empty there ? –

If not there, then elsewhere;
If not where Joseph laid Him first, why then

Where other men
Translaid Him after, in some humbler clay.
Long ere to-day

15 Corruption that sad perfect work hath done, Which here she scarcely, lightly had begun:

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
As of the unjust, also of the just

Yea, of that Just One, too!
This is the one sad Gospel that is true

Christ is not risen!



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Come ere we thought it is our day of doom;
From the cursed world, which is one tomb,

Christ is not risen!
Eat, drink, and play, and think that this is

bliss: There is no heaven but this;

70 There is no hell, Save earth, which serves the purpose doubly well,

Seeing it visits still With equalest apportionment of ill Both good and bad alike, and brings to one same dust

75 The unjust and the just With Christ, who is not risen.

And catch not men, but fish;

Whate'er things ye might wish,
Him neither here nor there ye e'er shall meet

with more.
Ye poor deluded youths, go home,
Mend the old nets ye left to roam,
Tie the split oar, patch the torn sail: 115
It was indeed an “idle tale".

He was not risen!

I 20

Eat, drink, and die, for we are souls bereaved:

Of all the creatures under heaven's wide cope

We are most hopeless, who had once most hope, And most beliefless, that had most believed. 81

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
As of the unjust, also of the just —

Yea, of that Just One too!
It is the one sad Gospel that is true

85 Christ is not risen!

And, oh, good men of ages yet to be,
Who shall believe because ye did not see

Oh, be ye warned, be wise !
No more with pleading eyes,
And sobs of strong desire,

Unto the empty vacant void aspire,
Seeking another and impossible birth
That is not of your own, and only mother earth.
But if there is no other life for you, 126
Sit down and be content, since this must even

He is not risen!

One look, and then depart,

Ye humble and ye holy men of heart; 130 And ye! ye ministers and stewards of a Word Which ye would preach, because another heard

Ye worshippers of that ye do not know,
Take these things hence and go:
He is not risen!


Weep not beside the tomb,

Ye women, unto whom
He was great solace while ye tended Him;

Ye who with napkin o'er the head 90 And folds of linen round each wounded limb

Laid out the Sacred Dead; And thou that bar'st Him in thy wondering womb; Yea, Daughters of Jerusalem, depart, Bind up as best ye may your own sad bleeding heart:

95 Go to your homes, your living children tend,

Your earthly spouses love;

Set your affections not on things above, Which moth and rust corrupt, which quickliest

come to end: Or pray, if pray ye must, and pray, if pray ye

can, For death; since dead is He whom ye deemed

more than man,
Who is not risen: no-
But lies and moulders low

Who is not risen.

Here, on our Easter Day We rise, we come, and lo! we find Him not, Gardener nor other, on the sacred spot: Where they have laid Him there is none to say; No sound, nor in, nor out — no word

140 Of where to seek the dead or meet the living Lord. There is no glistering of an angel's wings, There is no voice of heavenly clear behest: Let us go hence, and think upon these things In silence, which is best.

145 Is He not risen? NoBut lies and moulders low ?

Christ is not risen?




Ye men of Galilee !

105 Why stand ye looking up to heaven, where

Him ye ne'er may see, Neither ascending hence, nor returning hither

again? Ye ignorant and idle fishermen! Hence to your huts, and boats, and inland

native shore,

So in the sinful streets, abstracted and alone,
I with my secret self held communing of mine own.

So in the southern city spake the tongue
Of one that somewhat overwildly sung,
But in a later hour I sat and heard
Another voice that spake - another graver word.
Weep not, it bade, whatever hath been said,


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Weep not beside His tomb,
Ye women unto whom
He was great comfort and yet greater grief;
Nor ye, ye faithful few that wont with Him to

roam, Seek sadly what for Him ye left, go hopeless to

your home; Nor ye despair, ye sharers yet to be of their

Though He be dead, He is not dead,
Nor gone, though fled,
Not lost, though vanished;
Though He return not, though
He lies and moulders low;
In the true creed
He is yet risen indeed;

Christ is yet risen.


The human spirits saw I on a day,
Sitting and looking each a different way;
And hardly tasking, subtly questioning,
Another spirit went around the ring
To each and each: and as he ceased his say,
Each after each, I heard them singly sing,
Some querulously high, some softly, sadly low,
We know not — what avails to know?
We know not — wherefore need we know?
This answer gave they still unto his suing,
We know not, let us do as we are doing.
Dost thou not know that these things only seem?-
I know not, let me dream my dream.
Are dust and ashes fit to make a treasure ?
I know not, let me take my pleasure.
What shall avail the knowledge thou hast

sought ?-
I know not, let me think my thought.
What is the end of strife?
I know not, let me live my life.

How many days or e'er thou mean'st to move?-
I know not, let me love my love.
Were not things old once new ?-
I know not, let me do as others do.
And when the rest were over-past,
I know not, I will do my duty, said the last.
Thy duty do? rejoined the voice,
Ah, do it, do it, and rejoice;
But shalt thou then, when all is done,
Enjoy a love, embrace a beauty
Like these, that may be seen and won

30 In life, whose course will then be run; Or wilt thou be where there is none? I know not, I will do my duty.


Sit if ye will, sit down upon the ground,
Yet not to weep and wail, but calmly look

Whate'er befell,

Earth is not hell; Now, too, as when it first began, Life is yet life, and man is man. For all that breathe beneath the heaven's high

Joy with grief mixes, with despondence hope.
Hope conquers cowardice, joy grief:
Or at least, faith unbelief.

Though dead, not dead;
Not gone, though fled;
Not lost, though vanished.
In the great gospel and true creed,
He is yet risen indeed;

Christ is yet risen.





To spend uncounted years of pain,
Again, again, and yet again,
In working out in heart and brain

The problem of our being here;
To gather facts from far and near,
Upon the mind to hold them clear,
And, knowing more may yet appear,
Unto one's latest breath to fear,
The premature result to draw
Is this the object, end, and law,

And purpose of our being here?

And taking up the word around, above, below,
Some querulously high, some softly, sadly low,
We know not, sang they all, nor ever need we know;
We know not, sang they, what avails to know?
Whereat the questioning spirit, some short space,
Though unabashed, stood quiet in his place.
But as the echoing chorus died away
And to their dreams the rest returned apace,
By the one spirit I saw him kneeling low,
And in a silvery whisper heard him say:
Truly, thou know'st not, and thou need'st not

Hope only, hope thou, and believe alway;
I also know not, and I need not know,
Only with questionings pass I to and fro,
Perplexing these that sleep, and in their folly
Imbreeding doubt and sceptic melancholy; 49
Till that, their dreams deserting, they with me
Come all to this true ignorance and thee.


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