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Outdid the sparkling waves in glee;
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company;
I gazed and gazed, but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant, or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.



DEATH, thou’rt a cordial old and rare; Look how compounded, with what care! Time got his wrinkles reaping thee Sweet herbs from all antiquity.

David to thy distillage went,
Keats and Gautama excellent,
Omar Khayyam and Chaucer bright
And Shakespeare for a king delight.

Then, Time, let not a drop be spilt;
Hand me the cup whene'er thou wilt;
'Tis thy rich stirrup-cup to me;
I'll drink it down right smilingly.



How little fades from earth when sink to rest
The hours and cares that move a great man's breast!
Though nought of all we saw the grave may spare,
His life pervades the world's impregnate air;
Though Shakespeare's dust beneath our foot-steps lies,
His spirit breathes amid his native skies.

With meaning won from him forever glows
Each air that England feels, and star it knows;
His whispered words from many a mother's voice
Can make her sleeping child in dreams rejoice;
And gleams from spheres he first conjoined to earth
Are blent with rays of each new morning's birth.

Amid the sights and tales of common things,
Leaf, flower, and bird, and wars and deaths of kings —
Of shore and sea, and Nature's daily round,
Of life that tills, and tombs that load the ground,
His visions mingle, swell, command, pass by,
And haunt with living presence, ear, and eye.

And tones from him by other bosoms caught
Awaken flush and stir of mounting thought;
And the long sigh, and deep, impassioned thrill
Rouse custom's trance and spur the faltering will.
Above the goodly land, more his than ours,
He sits supreme, enthroned in skyey towers.

And sees the heroic brood of his creation
Teach larger life to his ennobled nation.
O shaping brain ! O flashing fancy's hues !
O boundless heart kept fresh by pity's dews.
O wit humane and blithe! O sense sublime !
For each dim oracle of mantled time!

Transcendent form of man! in whom we read
Mankind's whole tale of impulse, thought, and deed !
Amid the expanse of years, beholding thee,

We know how vast our world of life may be,
Wherein, perchance, with aims as pure as thine
Small tasks and strengths may be no less divine.



Of Florence and of Beatrice

Servant and singer from of old,

O'er Dante's heart in youth had tolled The knell that gave his lady peace;

And now in manhood flew the dart

Wherewith his city pierced his heart. Yet if his lady's home above

Was heaven, on earth she filled his soul ;

And if his city held control
To cast the body forth to rove,

The soul could soar from earth’s vain throng,
And heaven and hell fulfil the song.


Follow his feet's appointed way,

But little light we find that clears

The darkness of the exiled years. Follow his spirit's journey, — nay,

What fires are blent, what winds are blown

On paths his feet may tread alone ? Yet of the twofold life he led

In chainless thought and fettered will

Some glimpses reach us, - somewhat still Of the steep stairs and bitter bread,

Of the soul's quest whose stern avow

For years had made him haggard now. Alas! the sacred song whereto

Both heaven and earth had set their hand

Not only at fame's gate did stand
Knocking to claim the passage through,

But toiled to ope that heavier door
Which Florence shut forevermore.

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Shall not his birth's baptismal town

One last high presage yet fulfil,

And at that font in Florence still His forehead take the laurel-crown?

O God! or shall dead souls deny

The undying soul its prophecy? Ay, 'tis their hour. Not yet forgot

The bitter words he spoke that day

When for some great charge far away Her rulers his acceptance sought;

“ And if I go, who stays ?” so rose
His scorn ;
“and if I stay, who goes

?“Lo! thou art gone now, and we stay,”

The curled lips mutter; "and no star

Is from thy mortal path so far
As streets where childhood knew the way.

To heaven and hell thy feet may win,

But thine own house they come not in.” Therefore, the loftier rose the song

To touch the secret things of God,

The deeper pierced the hate that trod On base men's track who wrought the wrong;

Till the soul's effluence came to be

Its own exceeding agony. Arriving only to depart,

From court to court, from land to land,

Like flame within the naked hand
His body bore his burning heart,

That still on Florence strove to bring
God's fire for a burnt-offering.





The worldly hope men set their hearts upon Turns ashes — or it prospers; and anon

Like snow upon the desert's dusty face, Lighting a little hour or two — is


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