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I hope --what hope I not ?vague things
Of wondrous possible good ; I dread-as vague imaginings,
A very viper's brood : Fame's sunshine, fortune's golden dews
May now be hovering o’er,Or the pale shadow of ill news
Be cowering at my door!
O Mystery, master-key to life,
Thou spring of every hour, I love to wrestle in thy strife,
And tempt thy perilous power ; I love to know that none can know
What this day may bring forth, What bliss for me, for me what woe
Is travailing in birth!
See, on my neighbour's threshold stands
Yon careless common man, Bearing, perchance, in those coarse hands
- My Being's altered plan! My germs of pleasure, or of pain,
Of trouble, or of peace,
Distilled from Gideon's fleeee !
Who knoweth ? may not loves be dead,
Or those we loved laid low,-
And all the world my foe?
(Which once on all doth shine) Be not within this morning's dower,
A prosperous morn of mine ?
Ah, cold Reality !-in spite
Of hopes, and endless chance, That bitter postman, ruthless wight, Has cheated
Another day forlorn :-
To watch another morn.
Cease, babbler !—let those doubtings cease :
What? should a son of heaven
this faithless leaven? Not so !—for in the hands of God,
And in none earthly will, Abides alike my staff, and rod,
My good, and seeming ill.
ALAS, we do but act; we are not free :
The presence of another is a chain
My trammelled spirit strives to break, in vain : How strangely different myself from me!
Thoughtful in solitude, serenely blest, Crown'd and enthroned in mental majesty, Equal to all things great, and daring all,
I muse of mysteries, and am at rest :
But, in the midst, some dull intruded guest Topples me from my heights, holding in thrall With his hard eye the traitor in my
breast, That before humbler intellects is cow'd, Silently shrinking from the common crowd, And only with the highest self-possest.
ON AN INFANT.
Look on this babe ; and let thy pride take heed,
Thy pride of manhood, intellect, or fame, That thou despise him not : for he indeed,
And such as he, in spirit and heart the same, Are God's own children in that kingdom bright
Where purity is praise, and where before
The Father's throne, triumphant evermore, The ministering angels, sons of light,
Stand unreproved ; because they offer there,
Mix'd with the Mediator's hallowing pray'r, The innocence of babes in Christ like this:
O guardian Spirit, be my child thy care,
Are there no sympathies, no loves between us ?
Is my hope vain ?—I have not vext thee long, Nor lent thee thoughts from God and good that wean
us, Nor given thee words that warp from right to wrong:
And if, at times, my too triumphant song Hath seem'd self-praise,-doth it indeed demean us That when a man feels hotly at his heart
The quick spontaneous fire of thoughts and words, He will not play the hypocrite's ill part,
Flinging aside the meed his Mind affords?
No! with all gratitude and humbleness I claim mine own; nor can affect to scorn A gift, of my Creator's goodness born,
Which is my grace and glory to possess.