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Who, with a natural instinct to discern
What knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn;
Abides by this resolve, and stops not there,
But makes his moral being his prime care;
Who, doomed to go in company with Pain,
And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable train!
Turns his necessity to glorious gain;
In face of these doth exercise a power
Which is our human nature's highest dower;
Controls them and subdues, transmutes, bereaves
Of their bad influence, and their good receives:
By objects, which might force the soul to abate
Her feeling, rendered more compassionate;
Is placable because occasions rise
So often that demand such sacrifice;
More skilful in self-knowledge, even more pure,
As tempted more; more able to endure,
As more exposed to suffering and distress;
Thenee, also, more alive to tenderness.
-Tis he whose law is reason; who depends
Upon that law as on the best of friends;
Whence, in a state where men are tempted still
To evil for a guard against worse ill,
And what in quality or act is best
Doth seldom on a right foundation rest,
He fixes good on good alone, and owes
To virtue every triumph that he knows:
And in himself possess his own desire;
Who comprehends his trust, and to the same
Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim;
And therefore does not stoop, nor lie in wait
For wealth, or honours, or for worldly state;
Whom they must follow; on whose head must fall,
Like showers of manna, if they come at all:
Whose powers shed round him in the common strife,
Or mild concerns of ordinary life,
A constant influence, a peculiar grace;
But who, if he be called upon to face
'Tis, finally, the Man, who, lifted high,
Conspicuous object in a Nation's eye,
Or left unthought-of in obscurity, -
Who, with a toward or untoward lot,
Prosperous or adverse, to his wish or not,
Plays, in the many games of life, that one
Where what he most doth value must be won:
Whom neither shape of danger can dismay,
Nor thought of tender happiness betray that undojan.
Who, not content that former worth stand fast,
Looks forward, persevering to the last,
From well to better, daily self-surpast:
Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth
For ever, and to noble deeds give birth,
Or He must go to dust without his fame,
And leave a dead unprofitable name,
Finds comfort in himself and in his cause;
And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws
His breath in confidence of Heaven's applause: ✔
This is the happy Warrior; this is He
Whom every Man in arms should wish to be.
Scyprior art thou one of gallant pride,
A POET'S EPITAPH.
ART thou a Statesman, in the van
Of public business trained and bred?
-First learn to love one living man;
Then may'st thou think upon the dead.
A Lawyer art thou? - draw not nigh:
Go, carry to some fitter place
The keenness of that practised eye,
The hardness of that sallow face.
Art thou a Man of purple cheer?
A rosy Man, right plump to see?
Approach; yet, Doctor, not too near:
This grave no cushion is for thee.
A Soldier, and no man of chaff? Welcome! - but lay thy sword aside, And lean upon a Peasant's staff,
Love, now an universal birth,
From heart to heart is stealing,
From earth to man, from man to earth: -It is the hour of feeling.
One moment now may give us more Than fifty years of reason:
Our minds shall drink at every pore The spirit of the season.
Some silent laws our hearts will make,
Which they shall long obey:
We for the year to come may take
Our temper from to-day.
And from the blessed power that rolls About, below, above,
We'll frame the measure of our souls: They shall be tuned to love.
Then come, my Sister! come, I pray, With speed put on your woodland dress; -And bring no book: for this one day We'll give to idleness.
TO A YOUNG LADY,
WHO HAD BEEN REPROACHED FOR TAKING LONG
WALKS IN THE COUNTRY.
DEAR Child of Nature, let them rail!
-There is a nest in a green dale,
A harbour and a hold,
Where thou, a Wife and Friend, shalt see
Thy own delightful days, and be
A light to young and old.
There, healthy as a Shepherd-boy, And treading among flowers of joy, That at no season fade,
Thou, while thy Babes around thee cling,
Shalt show us how divine a thing
A Woman may be made.
Thy thoughts and feelings shall not die, Nor leave thee when gray hairs are nigh A melancholy slave;
But an old age serene and bright,
And lovely as a Lapland night,
Shall lead thee to thy grave.
WRITTEN IN EARLY SPRING.
I HEARD a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And 't is my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played;
Their thoughts I cannot measure: —
But the least motion which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan, To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
From Heaven if this belief be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?
THE OLD HUNTSMAN,
WITH AN INCIDENT IN WHICH HE WAS CONCERNED.
In the sweet shire of Cardigan,
Not far from pleasant Ivor-hall,
An Old Man dwells, a little man,
"T is said he once was tall.
Full five-and-thirty years he lived
A running Huntsman merry;
And still the centre of his cheek
Is blooming as a cherry.
No man like him the horn could sound, And hill and valley rang with glee When Echo bandied, round and round, The halloo of Simon Lee.
In those proud days, he little cared For husbandry or tillage;
To blither tasks did Simon rouse The sleepers of the village.
He all the country could outrun,
Could leave both man and horse behind;
And often, ere the chase was done,
He reeled and was stone-blind.
And still there's something in the world At which his heart rejoices;
For when the chiming hounds are out, He dearly loves their voices!