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And kissed the babe, and blessed the day, And prayed as mothers use to pray.
“Vouchsafe him health, O God! and give
gave him reverence of laws, Yet stirring blood in Freedom's causeA spirit to his rocks akin, The eye
of the hawk, and the fire therein!
To Nature and to Holy Writ
The straining oar and chamois chase
He knew not that his chosen hand,
A CHRISTMAS CAROL.
THE shepherds went their hasty way,
And found the lowly stable-shed
And now they checked their eager tread,
They told her how a glorious light,
Streaming from a heavenly throng,
Blest Mother! thou shalt sing the song
She listened to the tale divine,
And closer still the Babe she prest;
The milk rushed faster to her breast;
Poor, simple, and of low estate!
O why should this thy soul elate ?
And is not War a youthful king,
A stately hero clad in mail?
Him Earth's majestic monarchs hail
“Tell this in some more courtly scene,
To maids and youths in robes of state !
And therefore is my soul elate.
“A murderous fiend, by fiends adored,
He kills the sire and starves the son;
Steals all his widow's toil had won ;
“Then wisely is my soul elate,
That strife should vanish, battle cease:
and of a low estate,
ON THE DENIAL OF IMMORTALITY.
IF dead, we cease to be; if total gloom
life's brief flash for aye, we fare As summer-guests, of sudden birth and doom,
Whose sound and motion not alone declare,
Be life itself, and not its task and tent,
O Man! thou vessel purposeless, unmeant,
Surplus of Nature's dread activity,
She formed with restless hands unconsciously! Blank accident! nothing's anomaly !
If rootless thus, thus substanceless thy state, Go, weigh thy dreams, and be thy hopes, thy fears, The counter-weights !—Thy laughter and thy tears
Mean but themselves, each fittest to create, And to repay the other! Why rejoices
Thy heart with hollow joy for hollow good ? Why cowl thy face beneath the mourner's hood ? Why waste thy sighs, and thy lamenting voices,
Image of image, ghost of ghostly elf, That such a thing as thou feel’st warm or cold ? Yet what and whence thy gain, if thou withhold
These costless shadows of thy shadowy self? Be sad! be glad! be neither! seek, or shun! Thou hast no reason why! Thou can’st have none; Thy being's being is a contradiction.
- They shrink in, as Moles (Nature's mute monks, live mandrakes of the
ground) Creep back from Light—then listen for its sound; See but to dread, and dread they know not whyThe natural alien of their negative eye.
THE VISIT OF THE GODS.
IMITATED FROM SCHILLER.
NEVER, believe me,
Appear the Immortals,
Never alone : Scarce had I welcomed the sorrow-beguiler, Iacchus ! but in came boy Cupid the smiler: Lo! Phoebus the inglorious descends from his
throne ! They advance, they float in, the Olympians all !
With divinities fills my
Terrestrial hall !
How shall I yield you
Celestial quire ?
buoyance, Bear aloft to your homes, to your banquets of
joyance, That the roofs of Olympus may echo my lyre! Hah! we mount ! on their pinions they waft up my