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The helmsman steered, the ship moved on,
The mariners all 'gan work the ropes
To walk together to the kirk,
Farewell, farewell; but this I tell
He prayeth best who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all.
The mariner, whose eye is bright, Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone and now the wedding-guest Turned from the bridegroom's door.
He went like one that hath been stunned, And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man
He rose the morrow morn.
Ode to the Departing Year [1795.]
Spirit who sweepest the wild harp of time!
With inward stillness, and submitted mind;
Ere yet the entered cloud foreclosed my sight,
I raised the impetuous song, and solemnised his flight.
From every private bower,
And each domestic hearth,
And with a loud and yet a louder voice, O'er Nature struggling in portentous birth Weep and rejoice!
Still echoes the dread name that o'er the earth
I marked Ambition in his war-array!
I heard the mailed monarch's troublous cry— "Ah! wherefore does the northern conqueress stay! Groans not her chariot on its onward way?'
Fly, mailed monarch, fly!
Stunned by Death's twice mortal mace,
The insatiate hag shall gloat with drunken eye!
Manes of the unnumbered slain!
'Mid women's shrieks and infants' screams!
Rush around her narrow dwelling!
(Foul her life, and dark her doom) Mighty armies of the dead
Dance like death-fires round her tomb! Then with prophetic song relate Each some tyrant-murderer's fate !
Throughout the blissful throng
Till wheeling round the throne the Lampads seven
The fervent Spirit bowed, then spread his wings and spake:
'Thou in stormy blackness throning
By the Earth's unsolaced groaning,
And Hunger's bosom to the frost-winds bared!
Strange, horrible, and foul!
To the deaf Synod, " full of gifts and lies By Wealth's insensate laugh! by Torture's howl!
For ever shall the thankless island scowl, Her quiver full, and with unbroken bow? Speak! from thy storm-black heaven, O speak aloud! And on the darkling foe Open thine eye of fire from some uncertain cloud! O dart the flash! O rise and deal the blow! The past to thee, to thee the future cries! Hark! how wide Nature joins her groans below! Rise, God of Nature! rise.'
The voice had ceased, the vision fled;