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Then is the Age of Admiration—Then
Gods walk the earth, or beings more than men;
Who breathe the soul of Inspiration round,
Whose very shadows consecrate the ground!

Ah, then comes

thronging many a wild desire,

And high imagining and thought of fire! Then from within a voice exclaims "Aspire!" Phantoms, that upward point, before him pass, As in the Cave athwart the Wizard's glass; They, that on Youth a grace, a lustre shed, Of every Age-the living and the dead! Thou, all-accomplished SURREY, thou art known; The flower of Knighthood, nipt as soon as blown! Melting all hearts but Geraldine's alone! And, with his beaver up, discovering there One who loved less to conquer than to spare, Lo, the Black Warrior, he, who, battle-spent, Bare-headed served the Captive in his tent! Young B in the groves of Academe, Or where Ilyssus winds his whispering stream; Or where the wild bees swarm with ceaseless hum, Dreaming old dreams-a joy for years to come; Or on the Rock within the sacred Fane;Scenes such as MILTON sought, but sought in vain: *

* He had arrived at Naples; and was preparing to visit Sicily and Greece, when, hearing of the troubles in England, he thought



to hasten home.


And MILTON's self (at that thrice-honoured name
Well may we glow-as men, we share his fame)
And MILTON's self, apart with beaming eye,
Planning he knows not what-that shall not die!

Oh in thy truth secure, thy virtue bold,
Beware the poison in the cup of gold,

The asp among the flowers. Thy heart beats high,
As bright and brighter breaks the distant sky!
But every step is on enchanted ground.

Danger thou lov'st, and Danger haunts thee round.
Who spurs his horse against the mountain-side;
Then, plunging, slakes his fury in the tide?
Draws, and cries ho; and, where the sun-beams fall,
At his own shadow thrusts along the wall?
Who dances without music; and anon

Sings like the lark-then sighs as woe begone,
And folds his arms, and, where the willows wave,
Glides in the moon-shine by a maiden's grave?
Come hither, boy, and clear thy open brow.
Yon summer-clouds, now like the Alps, and now
A ship, a whale, change not so fast as thou.


He hears me not-Those sighs were from the heart. Too, too well taught, he plays the lover's part. He who at masques, nor feigning nor sincere, With sweet discourse would win a lady's ear, Lie at her feet and on her slipper swear That none were half so faultless, half so fair,

Now through the forest hies, a stricken deer, A banished man, flying when none are near; And writes on every tree, and lingers long Where most the nightingale repeats her song; Where most the nymph, that haunts the silent grove, Delights to syllable the names we love.

Two on his steps attend, in motley clad; One woeful-wan, one merrier yet as mad; Called Hope and Fear. Hope shakes his cap and bells, And flowers spring up among the woodland dells. To Hope he listens, wandering without measure Thro' sun and shade, lost in a trance of pleasure ; And, if to Fear but for a weary mile, Hope follows fast and wins him with a smile. At length he goes-a Pilgrim to the Shrine, And for a relic would a world resign! A glove, a shoe-tye, or a flower let fallWhat though the least, Love consecrates them all! And now he breathes in many a plaintive verse; Now wins the dull ear of the wily nurse At early matins ('twas at matin-time That first he saw and sickened in his prime) And soon the Sibyl, in her thirst for gold,

Plays with young hearts that will not be controlled.

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Absence from Thee-as self from self it seems!"

Scaled is the garden-wall; and lo, her beams
Silvering the east, the moon comes up, revealing
His well-known form along the terrace stealing.

-Oh, ere in sight he came, 'twas his to thrill A heart that loved him though in secret still. "Am I awake? or is it...can it be

"An idle dream? Nightly it visits me!

"That strain," she cries, " as from the water rose. "Now near and nearer through the shade it flows!— "Now sinks departing-sweetest in its close!" No casement gleams; no Juliet, like the day, Comes forth and speaks and bids her lover stay. Still, like aërial music heard from far, Nightly it rises with the evening-star.

"She loves another! Love was in that sigh!"
On the cold ground he throws himself to die.
Fond Youth, beware. Thy heart is most deceiving.
Who wish are fearful; who suspect, believing.
-And soon her looks the rapturous truth avow.
Lovely before, oh, say how lovely now!

She flies not, frowns not, though he pleads his cause;
Nor yet-nor yet her hand from his withdraws;
But by some secret Power surprised, subdued,
(Ah how resist? And would she if she could?)
Falls on his neck as half unconscious where,
Glad to conceal her tears, her blushes there.

Then come those full confidings of the past;
All sunshine now, where all was overcast.
Then do they wander till the day is gone,
Lost in each other; and when Night steals on,

Covering them round, how sweet her accents are! Oh when she turns and speaks, her voice is far, Far above singing!-But soon nothing stirs To break the silence-Joy like his, like hers, Deals not in words; and now the shadows close, Now in the glimmering, dying light she g Less and less earthly! As departs the day, All that was mortal seems to melt away,


Till, like a gift resumed as soon as given,
She fades at last into a Spirit from Heaven!

Then are they blest indeed; and swift the hours
Till her young Sisters wreathe her hair in flowers,
Kindling her beauty-while, unseen, the least
Twitches her robe, then runs behind the rest,
Known by her laugh that will not be suppressed.
Then before All they stand-the holy vow
And ring of gold, no fond illusions now,
Bind her as his. Across the threshold led,



tear kissed off as soon as shed,

His house she enters-there to be a light,

Shining within, when all without is night;


guardian-angel o'er his life presiding, Doubling his pleasures, and his cares dividing; Winning him back, when mingling in the throng, Back from a world we love, alas, too long, To fire-side happiness, to hours of ease, Blest with that charm, the certainty to please.

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