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And the children are pulling
On every side
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm And the babe leaps up on his mother's arm :
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear !
-But there's a tree, of many, one,
The pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat : Whither is fled the visionary gleam? Where is it now, the glory and the dream ? Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting ; The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting
And cometh from afar;
And not in utter nakedness
From God, who is our home:
Upon the growing boy,
He sees it in his joy ;
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended ;
Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
And no unworthy aim,
The homely nurse doth all she can To make her foster-child, her inmate, Man,
Forget the glories he hath known And that imperial palace whence he came.
Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A wedding or a festival,
And this hath now his heart,
Then will he fit his tongue
But it will not be long
And with new joy and pride
As if his whole vocation
Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
Thy soul's immensity; Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep Thy heritage, thou eye among the blind, That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal deep, Haunted for ever by the eternal Mind,
Mighty Prophet ! Seer blest !
On whom those truths do rest Which we are toiling all our lives to find ; Thou, over whom thy immortality Broods like the day, a master o'er a slave, A presence which is not to be put by ; Thou little child, yet glorious in the might Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's height, Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke The years to bring the inevitable yoke, Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strise ? Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight
() joy! that in our embers
What was so fugitive!
-Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise;
Blank misgivings of a creature,
But for those first affections,
Which, be they what they may,
Uphold us--cherish-and have power to make
To perish never;
Nor man nor boy
Though inland far we be,
Which brought us hither ;
Can in a moment travel thitherAnd see the children sport upon the shore, And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.
Then, sing ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young lambs bound
As to the tabor's sound !
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Feel the gladness of the May !
Though nothing can bring back the hour
We will grieve not, rather find
In the faith that looks through death,
Is lovely yet ; The clouds that gather round the setting sun Do take a sober colouring from an eye That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality ; Another race hath been, and other palms are won. Thanks to the human heart by which we live, Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears, To me the meanest flower that blows can give Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
Music, when soft voices die,
P. B. Shelley
End of the Golden Treasury