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Mystery! Mystery!

All is a mystery, Fain would we drink of the immortal dew;

We are all weary,

The night's long and dreary, Without hope of morning, O what would we THE SEER.

The temple was a ruined heap,

With moss and weeds o'ergrown,
And there the old Seer stood entranced,

Beside the altar stone;
Time's broken hour-glass at his feet,

In mouldering fragments lay;
And tombstones, whose old epitaphs

Were eaten all away.
He pointed ever and anon,

His eye fixed upon air,
While thus he talked to shadowy forms,

Which seemed to hover there.

"On, on, to the regions lone,

The generations go, They march along to the mingled song

Of hope, of joy, and woe. On, on, to the regions lone,

For there's no tarrying here,

And the hoary past is joined at last,
By all it held so dear.

"There, there, on the edge of air,

How fleetly, they do pass,
I see them all, both great and small,

Like pictures in a glass.
Long, long, is the motley throng,

Of every creed and clime,
With the hopes and fears, the smiles and tears,

Of the young and the olden time.

"Round, round, on their earthly mound,

The laden ages reel,
No creak, no sound, to the ceaseless round,

Of Time's eternal wheel.

"There, there, with their long gray hair,

Are the patriarchs of our race, A glory's shed on each hoary head,

As they pass with solemn pace;
Earth, earth, there were men of worth,

When they were in their prime,
There was less of art, and more of heart,

In that happy golden time.

"There, there, are the ladies fair,

Who danced in the lordly hall,
And the minstrels gray, whose simple lay,

Was a joy to one and all;
Fleet, fleet, were your fairy feet,

And ye knew the joy of tears,
While the minstrels wove the tale of love,

With its hopes, its doubts and fears.

"There, there, still fresh and fair,

I see them march along,
The bowmen good, in the gay green wood,

And I hear their jocund song;
See, see, how the green oak tree,

With shouts they circle in, And the stakes are set, and the champions met,

And the merry games begin.

"Round, round, on their earthly mound,

The laden ages reel,
No creak, no sound to the ceaseless round,

Of Time's eternal wheel.

"Hold! hold! ye were barons bold, I know by the garb ye wear,

The lofty head and the stately tread,

And the trusty blades ye bear; Where, where, are your mansions rare,

And the lordly halls ye built; Gone, gone, and how little's known

Of your glory or your guilt.

"Away, away, as if to the fray,

Ah, there they madly rush,
And in their path of woe and wrath,

There's a dark deep purple blush;
Here, here, like the Autumn sere,

The hoary Palmers come,
Their tales they tell, of what befell,

And the listening groups are dumb.

"Round, round on their earthly mounds

The laden ages reel,
No creak, no sound, to the ceaseless round,

Of Time's eternal wheel.

"Lo! lo! what a splendid woe,

Yon rearward host reveals,
It marches there with its golden care,

To the sound of steam and wheels;

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