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Stirred by the faint gale of departing May,
Send their loose blossoms slanting o'er our heads !
Nor dost not thou sometimes recall those hours, When with the joy of hope thou gavest thine ear To my wild firstling-lays. Since then my song Hath sounded deeper notes, such as beseem Or that sad wisdom folly leaves behind, Or such as, tuned to these tumultuous times, Cope with the tempest's swell!
These various strains, Which I have framed in many a various mood, Accept, my Brother! and (for some perchance Will strike discordant on thy milder mind) If aught of Error or intemperate Truth Should meet thine ear, think thou that riper age Will calm it down, and let thy Love forgive it!
INSCRIPTION FOR A FOUNTAIN ON
This Sycamore, oft musical with Bees,
Such Tents the Patriarchs loved! O long unharmed
May all its aged Boughs o'er-canopy
The small round Basin, which this jutting stone
Keeps pure from falling leaves! Long may the Spring,
Quietly as a sleeping Infant's breath,
Send up cold waters to the Traveller
With soft and even Pulse ! Nor ever cease
Yon tiny Cone of Sand its soundless Dance,
Which at the Bottom, like a Fairy's Page,
As merry and no taller, dances still,
Nor wrinkles the smooth Surface of the Fount.
Here Twilight is and Coolness: here is Moss,
A soft Seat, and a deep and ample Shade,
Thou may'st toil far and find no second Tree.
Drink, Pilgrim, here! Here rest! and if thy Heart
Be innocent, here too shalt thou refresh
Thy Spirit, listening to some gentle Sound,
Or passing Gale or Hum of murmuring Bees:
"TIs true, Idoloclastes Satyrane !
(So call him, for so mingling Blame with Praise
And smiles with anxious looks, his earliest friends,
Masking his birth-name, wont to character
His wild-wood fancy and impetuous zeal,)
'Tis true that, passionate for ancient truths
And honouring with religious love the Great
Of elder times, he hated to excess,
With an unquiet and intolerant scorn,
The hollow puppets of an hollow Age,
Ever idolatrous, and changing ever
Its worthless Idols! Learning, Power, and Time,
(Too much of all) thus wasting in vain war
Of fervid colloquy. Sickness, 'tis true,
Whole years of weary days, besieged him close,
Even to the gates and inlets of his lifel
But it is true, no less, that strenuous, firm,
And with a natural gladness, he maintained
The Citadel unconquered, and in joy
Was strong to follow the delightful Muse.
For not a hidden Path, that to the Shades
Of the beloved Parnassian forest leads,
Lurked undiscovered by him; not a rill
There issues from the fount of Hippocrene,
But he had traced it upward to its source,
Through open glade, dark glen, and secret dell,
Knew the gay wild flowers on its banks, and culled
Its med'cinable herbs. Yea, oft alone,
Piercing the long-neglected holy cave,
The haunt obscure of old Philosophy,
He bade with lifted torch its starry walls
Sparkle, as erst they sparkled to the flame -
Of odorous Lamps tended by Saint and Sage.
O framed for calmer times and nobler hearts!
O studious Poet, eloquent for truth 1 . .
Philosophers contemning wealth and death,
Yet docile, childlike, full of Life and Lovel
Here, rather than on monumental stone,
This record of thy worth thy Friend inscribes,
Thoughtful, with quiet tears upon his cheek.