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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
Grief more. '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, While the stars burn, the moons increase,
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 at ease,
Within this region I subsist,
Whose spirits fail within the mist, And languish for the purple seas ?
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 fullness 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 harbour-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 feet : Above her shook the starry lights :
She heard the torrents meet.
Within 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 fullness 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 !