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TRIUMPHAL arch, that fill'st the sky

When storms prepare to part, I ask not proud philosophy

To teach me what thou art- ,

Still seem as to my childhood's sight,

A midway station given For happy spirits to alight

Betwixt the earth and heaven.

Can all that optics teach, unfold

Thy form to please me so, As when I dreamt of gems and gold

Hid in thy radiant bow?

When Science from Creation's face

Enchantment's veil withdraws, .

What lovely visions yield their place

To cold material laws !

And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,

But words of the Most High, Have told why first thy robe of beams

Was woven in the sky.

When o'er the green undeluged earth

Heaven's covenant thou didst shine, How came the world's grey fathers forth

To watch thy sacred sign.

And when its yellow lustre smiled

O'er mountains yet untrod, Each mother held aloft her child

To bless the bow of God.

Methinks, thy jubilee to keep,

The first-made anthem rang
On earth deliver'd from the deep,

And the first poet sang.

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