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IV.

"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.

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Hail Twilight,—sovereign of one peaceful hour!
Not dull art Thou as undiscerning Night;
But studious only to remove from sight
Day's mutable distinctions.—Ancient Power!
Thus did the waters gleam, the mountains lower
To the rude Briton, when, in wolf-skin vest
Here roving wild, he laid him down to rest
On the bare rock, or through a leafy bower
Looked ere his eyes were closed. By him was seen
The self-same Vision which we now behold,
At thy meek bidding, shadowy Power, brought forth
These mighty barriers, and the gulph between;
The floods,—the stars,—a spectacle as old
As the beginning of the heavens and earth!

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The Shepherd, looking eastward, softly said,
"Bright is thy veil, O Moon, as thou art bright
Forthwith, that little Cloud, in ether spread,
And penetrated all with tender light,
She cast away, and shewed her fulgent head
Uncover'd;—dazzling the Beholder's sight
As if to vindicate her beauty's right,
Her beauty thoughtlessly disparaged.
Meanwhile that Veil, removed or thrown aside,
Went, floating from her, darkening as it went;
And a huge Mass, to bury or to hide,
Approached this glory of the firmament;
Who meekly yields, and is obscur'd;—content
With one calm triumph of a modest pride.

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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.

VIII.

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!

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