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HAIL, holy Light, offspring of Heaven first-born
Or of the Eternal coeternal beam
May I express thee unblamed ! since God is light,
And never but in unapproachéd light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
Or hear'st thou rather pure ethereal stream,
Whose fountain who shall tell ? before the sun,
Before the heavens, thou wert, and at the voice
Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest
The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.
Thee I revisit now with bolder wing,
Escaped the Stygian pool, though long detained
In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight
Through utter and through middle darkness borne,
With other notes than to the Orphean lyre,
I sung of Chaos and eternal Night,
Taught by the heavenly Muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to reascend,
Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe,
And feel thy sovereign vital lamp ; but thou
Revisitest not these eyes, that roll in vain
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn ;
So thick a drop serene hath quenched their orbs,
Or dim suffusion veiled. Yet not the more
Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill,
Smit with the love of sacred song ; but chief
Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath,
That wash thy hallowed feet, and warbling slow,
Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget
Those other two equalled with me in fate,
So were I equalled with them in renown,
Blind Thamyris and blind Maeonides,
And Tiresias and Phineus, prophets old :
Then feed on thoughts that voluntary move
Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird
Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid
Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year
Seasons return, but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,

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With silent awe I hail the sacred morn,
That slowly wakes while all the fields are still !
A soothing calm on every breeze is borne;
A graver murmur gurgles from the rill;
And echo answers softer from the hill;
And softer sings the linnet from the thorn :
The skylark warbles in a tone less shrill.
Hail, light serene ! hail, sacred Sabbath morn
The rooks float silent by in airy drove ;
The sun a placid yellow lustre throws;
The gales that lately sighed along the grove
Have hushed their downy wings in dead repose;
The hovering rack of clouds forgets to move, –

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BFNEATH a shivering canopy reclined,
Of aspen-leaves that wave without a wind,
I love to lie, when lulling breezes stir
The spiry cones that tremble on the fir;
Or wander mid the dark-green fields of broom,
When peers in scattered tufts the yellow bloom ;
Or trace the path with tangling furze o'errun,
When bursting seed-bells crackle in the sun,
And pittering grasshoppers, confus'dly shrill,
Pipe giddily along the glowing hill :
Sweet grasshopper, who lov'st at noon to lie
Serenely in the green-ribbed clover's eye,
To sun thy filmy wings and emerald vest,
Unseen thy form, and undisturbed thy rest,
Oft have I listening mused the sultry day,
And wondered what thy chirping song might say,
When naught was heard along the blossomed lea,
To join thy music, save the listless bee.

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SPIRIt that breathest through my lattice, thou That cool'st the twilight of the sultry day ! Gratefully flows thy freshness round my brow; Thou hast been out upon the deep at play, Riding all day the wild blue waves till now, Roughening their crests, and scattering high their spray,

And swelling the white sail. I welcome thee

To the scorched land, thou wanderer of the sea 1

Nor I alone, – a thousand bosoms round
Inhale thee in the fulness of delight;

And languid forms rise up, and pulses bound
Livelier, at coming of the wind of night;


And languishing to hear thy welcome sound, Lies the vast inland, stretched beyond the sight.

Go forth into the gathering shade ; go forth, –

God's blessing breathed upon the fainting earth !

Go, rock the little wood-bird in his nest;
Curl the still waters, bright with stars; and rouse

The wide old wood from his majestic rest,
Summoning, from the innumerable boughs,

The strange deep harmonies that haunt his breast. Pleasant shall be thy way where meekly bows

The shutting flower, and darkling waters pass,

And where the o'ershadowing branches sweep the


Stoop o'er the place of graves, and softly sway The sighing herbage by the gleaming stone That they who near the churchyard willows stray, And listen in the deepening gloom, alone, May think of gentle souls that passed away, Like thy pure breath, into the vast unknown, Sent forth from heaven among the sons of men, And gone into the boundless heaven again.

The faint old man shall lean his silver head
To feel thee; thou shalt kiss the child asleep,
And dry the moistened curls that overspread
His temples, while his breathing grows more
deep ;
And they who stand about the sick man's bed
Shall joy to listen to thy distant sweep,
And softly part his curtains to allow
Thy visit, grateful to his burning brow.

Go, - but the circle of eternal change,
Which is the life of nature, shall restore,
With sounds and scents from all thy mighty range,
Thee to thy birthplace of the deep once more.
Sweet odors in the sea air, sweet and strange,
Shall tell the homesick mariner of the shore;
And, listening to thy murmur, he shall deem

He hears the rustling leaf and running stream. WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.


STAR that bringest home the bee,
And sett'st the weary laborer free
If any star shed peace, 'tis thou,
That send'st it from above,
Appearing when heaven's breath and brow
Are sweet as hers we love.

Come to the luxuriant skies,
Whilst the landscape's odors rise,
Whilst far-off lowing herds are heard,
And songs, when toil is done,
From cottages whose smoke unstirred
Curls yellow in the sun.

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IF solitude hath ever led thy steps
To the wild ocean's echoing shore, -
And thou hast lingered there
Until the sun's broad orb
Seemed resting on the burnished wave,
Thou must have marked the lines
Of purple gold, that motionless
Hung o'er the sinking sphere :
Thou must have marked the billowy clouds,
Edged with intolerable radiancy,
Towering like rocks of jet
Crowned with a diamond wreath.
And yet there is a mement,
When the sun's highest point
Peeps like a star o'er ocean's western edge,
When those far clouds of feathery gold,
Shaded with deepest purple, gleam
Like islands on a dark-blue sea;
Then has thy fancy soared above the earth,

Within the Fairy's fame.

And furled its wearied wing

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