How often we forget all time, when lone Admiring Nature’s universal throne; Her woods—her wilds—her mountains-the intense Reply of Hers to Our intelligence! I IN youth I have known one with whom the Earth In secret communing held-as he with it, In daylight, and in beauty, from his birth: Whose fervid, flickering torch of life was lit From the sun and stars, whence he had drawn forth A passionate light such for his spirit was fit And yet that spirit knew-not in the hour Of its own fervor-what had o’er it power. II Perhaps it may be that my mind is wrought To a fever* by the moonbeam that hangs o’er, But I will half believe that wild light fraught With more of sovereignty than ancient lore Hath ever told-or is it of a thought The unembodied essence, and no more That with a quickening spell doth o’er us pass As dew of the night-time, o’er the summer grass? III Doth o’er us pass, when, as th’ expanding eye To the loved object-so the tear to the lid Will start, which lately slept in apathy? And yet it need not be—(that object) hid From us in life-but common-which doth lie Each hour before us—but then only bid With a strange sound, as of a harp-string broken T’ awake us—‘Tis a symbol and a token IV Of what in other worlds shall be—and given In beauty by our God, to those alone Who otherwise would fall from life and Heaven Drawn by their heart’s passion, and that tone, That high tone of the spirit which hath striven Though not with Faith-with godliness—whose throne With desperate energy ‘t hath beaten down; Wearing its own deep feeling as a crown. * Query “fervor”?—ED.
I. How shall the burial rite be read? The solemn song be sung? The requiem for the loveliest dead, That ever died so young? II. Her friends are gazing on her, And on her gaudy bier, And weep!—oh! to dishonor Dead beauty with a tear! III. They loved her for her wealth— And they hated her for her pride— But she grew in feeble health, And they love her—that she died. IV. They tell me (while they speak Of her “costly broider’d pall”) That my voice is growing weak— That I should not sing at all— V. Or that my tone should be Tun’d to such solemn song So mournfully—so mournfully, That the dead may feel no wrong. VI. But she is gone above, With young Hope at her side, And I am drunk with love Of the dead, who is my bride.— VII. Of the dead—dead who lies All perfum’d there, With the death upon her eyes, And the life upon her hair. VIII. Thus on the coffin loud and long I strike—the murmur sent Through the grey chambers to my song, Shall be the accompaniment. IX. Thou died’st in thy life’s June— But thou did’st not die too fair: Thou did’st not die too soon, Nor with too calm an air. X. From more than fiends on earth, Thy life and love are riven, To join the untainted mirth Of more than thrones in heaven— XII. Therefore, to thee this night I will no requiem raise, But waft thee on thy flight, With a P?an of old days.