OFTEN rebuked, yet always back returning
To those first feelings that were born with me,
leaving busy chase of wealth and learning
For idle dreams of things which cannot be:
To-day I will seek not the shadowy region;
Its unsustaining vastness waxes drear;
rising, legion after legion,
Bring the unreal world too strangely near.
Ill walk, but not in old heroic traces,
And not in paths of high morality,
And not among the
The clouded forms of long-past history.
Ill walk where my own nature would be leading:
It vexes me to choose another guide:
the grey flocks in ferny glens are feeding,
Where the wild wind blows on the mountain side.
STILL let my tyrants know, I am not doomd to wear
Year after year in gloom and desolate
A messenger of Hope comes every night to me,
And offers for short life, eternal liberty.
He comes with Western winds, with evenings wandering airs,
With that clear dusk of heaven
that brings the thickest stars:
Winds take a pensive tone, and stars a tender fire,
And visions rise, and
change, that kill me with desire.
Desire for nothing known in my maturer years,
When Joy grew mad with awe, at counting
When, if my spirits sky was full of flashes warm,
I knew not whence they came, from sun or
But first, a hush of peacea soundless calm descends;
The struggle of distress and fierce
Mute music soothes my breastunutterd harmony
That I could never dream, till Earth
was lost to me.
Then dawns the Invisible; the Unseen its truth reveals;
My outward sense is gone, my inward
Its wings are almost freeits home, its harbour found,
Measuring the gulf, it stoops, and
dares the final bound.
O dreadful is the checkintense the agony
When the ear begins to hear, and the eye begins
When the pulse begins to throbthe brain to think again
The soul to feel the flesh, and the
flesh to feel the chain.
Yet I would lose no sting, would wish no torture less;
The more that anguish racks, the earlier
it will bless;
And robed in fires of hell, or bright with heavenly shine,
If it but herald Death, the vision is
RICHES I hold in light esteem,
And Love I laugh to scorn;
And lust of fame was but a dream
vanishd with the morn:
And, if I pray, the only prayer
That moves my lips for me
Is, Leave the heart that now I bear,
give me liberty!
Yea, as my swift days near their goal,
Tis all that I implore:
In life and death a chainless soul,
courage to endure.
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