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I wrote I know not what. In truth,
How should I soothe you anyway, Who miss the brother of your youth ?
Yet something I did wish to say:
For he too was a friend to me:
Both are my friends, and my true breast Bleedeth for both; yet it may be
That only silence suiteth best.
Words weaker than your grief would make
'Twere better I should cease Although myself could almost take
The place of him that sleeps in peace :
Sleep sweetly, tender heart, in peace :
Sleep, holy spirit, blessed soul,
And the great ages onward roll.
Sleep till the end, true soul and sweet.
Nothing comes to thee new or strange. Sleep full of rest from head to feet;
Lie still, dry dust, secure of change.
* YOU ASK ME, WHY, THOUGH ILL
You ask me, why, though ill at ease,
Within this region I subsist,
Whose spirits falter in the mist,
It is the land that freemen till,
That sober-suited Freedom chose,
The land where, girt with friends or foes, A man may speak the thing he will ;
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 Hath time and space to work and spread.
Should banded unions persecute
Opinion, and induce a time
When single thought is civil crime, And individual freedom mute;
Though Power should make from land to land
The name of Britain trebly great
Though 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
56 OF OLD SAT FREEDOM ON THE
OF old sat Freedom on the heights,
The thunders breaking at her feet: Above her shook the starry lights:
She heard the torrents meet.
There in her place she did rejoice,
Self-gathered in her prophet-mind,
Came rolling on the wind.
Then stept she down through town and field
To mingle with the human race,
The fulness of her face
Grave mother of majestic works,
From her isle-altar gazing down,
And, King-like, wears the crown:
The wisdom of a thousand years
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
LOVE thou thy land, with love far brought
From out the storied Past, and used
Within the Present, but transfused
True love turned round on fixéd poles,
Love that endures not sordid ends,
For English natures, freemen, friends,
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, Though sitting girt with doubtful light.
Make knowledge circle with the winds;
But let her herald, 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 :
Not clinging to some ancient saw :
Not mastered 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, Through 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;
A bridal dawn of thunder-peals,
Even 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-developed strength awaits
Completion in a painful school;
Phantoms of other forms of rule, New Majesties of mighty States
The warders of the growing hour,
But vague in vapor, hard to mark;
And round them sea and air are dark With great contrivances of Power.
Of many changes, aptly joined,
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.