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Then seemeth this earth, with its joys and fears,
Like some faded dream of our boyhood years;
And the bliss that we taste in such moments of thought
Breathes peace to the soul, and is never forgot.
There is a mystic thread of life
So dearly wreathed with mine alone,
That destiny's relentless knife
At once must sever both or none.
There is a form on which these eyes
Have often gazed with fond delight;
By day that form their joy supplies,
And dreams restore it through the night.
There is a voice whose tones inspire
Such thrills of rapture through my breast;
I would not hear a seraph choir
Unless that voice could join the rest.
There is a face whose blushes tell
Affection's tale upon the cheek;
But pallid at one fond farewell,
Proclaims more love than words can speak.
There is a lip which mine hath prest,
And none had ever prest before,
It vowed to make me sweetly blest,
And mine-mine only, prest it more.
There is a bosom—all my own
Hath pillowed oft this aching head:
A mouth which smiles on me alone,
An eye whose tears with mine are shed.
There are two hearts whose movements thrill
In unison so closely sweet!
That, pulse to pulse responsive still,
They both must heave-or cease to beat.
There are two souls whose equal flow,
In gentle streams so calmly run,
That when they part-they part !—ah, no
They cannot part-those souls are one.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal,
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
Roll on, thou deep and dark-blue ocean, roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin-his control
Stops with the shore;-upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined and unknown.
His steps are not upon thy paths,-thy fields
Are not a spoil for him,-thou dost arise
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
For earth's destruction thou dost all despise,
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And send'st him, shivering on thy playful spray,
And howling to his Gods, where haply lies
His petty hope in some near port or bay,
And dashest him again to earth :-there let him lay.
The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
And monarchs tremble in their capitals,
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee and arbiter of war;
These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake, They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee-
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
Thy waters wasted them while they were free,
And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
Has dried up realms to deserts ;-not so thou,
Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' playTime writes no wrinkle in thine azure browSuch as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
Thou glorious mirror, where th' Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,
Calm or convulsed-in breeze, or gale, or storm
Icing the pole; or in the torrid clime
Dark-heaving; boundless, endless, and sublime,
The image of eternity-the throne
Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
I wantoned with thy breakers-they to me
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
Made them a terror-'twas a pleasing fear,
For I was as it were a child of thee,
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane, as I do here.