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"Weak is the will of Man, his judgment blind; "Remembrance persecutes, and-Hope betrays; "Heavy is woe;—and joy, for human-kind, "A mournful thing,—so transient is the blaze!" Thus might he paint our lot of mortal days Who wants the glorious faculty assigned To elevate the more-than-reasoning Mind, And colour life's dark cloud with orient rays. Imagination is that sacred power, Imagination lofty and refined: 'Tis hers to pluck the amaranthine Flower Of Faith, and round the Sufferer's temples bind Wreaths that endure affliction's heaviest shower, And do not shrink from sorrow's keenest wind.
Hail Twilight,—sovereign of one peaceful hour!
The Shepherd, looking eastward, softly said,
How sweet it is, when mother Fancy rocks
The wayward brain, to saunter through a wood!
An old place, full of many a lovely brood,
Tall trees, green arbours, and ground-flowers in flocks;
And wild rose tip-toe upon hawthorn stocks,
Like to a bonny Lass, who plays her pranks
At Wakes and Fairs with wandering Mountebanks,—
When she stands cresting the Clown's head, and mocks
The crowd beneath her. Verily, I think,
Such place to me is sometimes like a dream
Or map of the whole world: thoughts, link by link,
Enter through ears and eyesight, with such gleam
Of all things, that at last in fear I shrink,
And leap at once from the delicious stream.
Where lies the Land to which yon Ship must go?
Festively she puts forth in trim array;
As vigorous as a Lark at break of day:
Is she for tropic suns, or polar snow?
What boots the enquiry?—Neither friend nor foe
She cares for; let her travel where she may,
She finds familiar names, a beaten way
Ever before her, and a wind to blow.
Yet still I ask, what Haven is her mark?
And, almost as it was when ships were rare,
(From time to time, like Pilgrims, here and there
Crossing the waters) doubt, and something dark,
Of the old Sea some reverential fear,
Is with me at thy farewell, joyous Bark!