« PreviousContinue »
A land of settled government,
A land of just and old renown,
Where Freedom broadens slowly down From precedent to precedent :
Where faction seldom gathers head,
But by degrees to fulness wrought,
The strength of some diffusive thought llath time and space to work and spread.
Should banded unions persecute
Opinion, and induce a time
When single thought is civil crime, Anel individual freedom mute;
Tho' Power should make from land to land
The name of Britain trebly great
Tho' every channel of the State Should almost choke with golden sand —
Yet waft me from the harbor-mouth,
Wild wind! I seek a warmer sky,
And I will see before I die
Of old sat Freedom on the heights,
The thunders breaking at her teet: Above her shook the starry lights:
She heard the torrents meet.
There in her place she did rejoice,
Self-gather'd in her prophet-mind, But fragments of her mighty voice
Came rolling on the wind.
Then stept she down thro' town and field
To mingle with the human race, And part by part to men reveald
The fulness of her face
Grave mother of majestic works,
From her isle-altar gazing down,
Who, God-like, grasps the triple forks, And, King-like, wears the crown:
Her open eyes desire the truth.
The wisdom of a thousand years Is in them. May perpetual youth
Keep dry their light from tears ;
That her fair form may stand and shine,
Make bright our days and light our dreams. Turning to scorn with lips divine
The falsehood of extremes !
LOVE thou thy land, with love far-brought
From out the storied Past, and used
Within the Present, but transfuseid Thro' future time by power of thought.
True love turn'd round on fixed poles,
Love, that endures not sordid ends,
For English natures, freemen, friends, Thy brothers and immortal souls.
But pamper not a hasty time,
Nor feed with crude imaginings
The herd, wild hearts and feeble wings, That every sophister can lime.
Deliver not the tasks of might
To weakness, neither hide the ray
From those, not blind, who wait for day, Tho' sitting girt with doubtful light.
Make knowledge circle with the winds ;
But let her heralıl, Reverence, fly
Before her to whatever sky
Watch what main-currents draw the years :
Cut Prejudice against the grain:
But gentle words are always gain : Regard the weakness of thy peers :
Nor toil for title, place, or touch
Of pension, neither count on praise :
It grows to guerdon after-days: Nor deal in watchwords overmuch ;
Not clinging to some ancient saw ;
Not master'd by some modern term;
Not swift nor slow to change, but firm : And in its season bring the law;
That from Discussion's lip may fall
With Life, that, working strongly, binds –
Set in all lights by many minds, To close the interests of all.
For Nature also, cold and warm,
And moist and dry, devising long,
Thro' many agents making strong, Matures the individual form.
Meet is it changes should control
Our being, lest we rust in ease.
We all are changed by still degrees, All but the basis of the soul.
So, let the change which comes be free
To ingroove itself with that, which flies,
And work, a joint of state, that plies Its office, moved with sympathy.
A saying, hard to shape in act;
For all the past of Time reveals
A bridal dawn of thunder-peals, Wherever Thought hath wedded Fact.
Ev'n now we hear with inward strife
A motion toiling in the gloom –
The Spirit of the years to come Yearning to mix himself with Life.
A slow-develop'd strength awaits
Completion in a painful school ;
Phantoms of other forms of rule, New Majesties of mighty States
The warders of the growing hour,
hard to mark; And round them sea and air are dark With great contrivances of Power.
Of many changes, aptly join'd,
Is bodied forth the second whole.
Regard gradation, lest the soul Of Discord race the rising wind;
A wind to puff your idol-fires,
And heap their ashes on the head;
To shame the boast so often made, That we are wiser than our sires.
Oh yet, if Nature's evil star
Drive men in manhood, as in youth,
To follow flying steps of Truth Across the brazen bridge of war
If New and Old, disastrous feud,
Must ever shock, like armed foes,
And this be true, till Time shall close, That Principles are rain'd in blood ;
Not yet the wise of heart would cease
To hold his hope thro' shame and guilt,
But with his hand against the hilt, Would pace the troubled land, like Peace;
Not less, tho' dogs of Faction bay,
Would serve his kind in deed and word,
Certain, if knowledge bring the sword, That knowledge takes the sword away
Would love the gleams of good that broke
From either side, nor veil his eyes :
And if some dreadful need should rise Would strike, and firmly, and one stroke:
'To-morrow yet would reap to-day,
As we bear blossoms of the dead;
Earn well the thrifty months, nor wed Raw Haste, half-sister to Delay:
I KNEW an old wife lean and poor,
rags scarce held together; There strode a stranger to the door,
And it was windy weather.
He held a goose upon his arm,
He utter'd rhyme and reason, “ Here, take the goose, and keep you warm,
It is a stormy season."
She caught the white goose by the leg,
- 't was no great matter. The goose let fall a golden egg
With cackle and with clatter.
She dropt the goose, and caught the pelf,
And ran to tell her neighbors ;
And rested from her labors.
And feeding high, and living soft,
Grew plump and able-bodied ;
The parson smirk'd and nodded.
So sitting, served by man and maid,
She felt her heart grow prouder: But ah! the more the white goose laid
It clack'd and cackled louder.
It clutter'd here, it chuckled there;
It stirr'd the old wife's mettle: She shifted in her elbow-chair,
And hurl'd the pan and kettle.