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Lifting the yoke-encumbered head,
With their dilated nostrils spread,
They silently inhale
The clover-scented gale,
And the vapours that arise
From the well-watered and smoking soil.
For this rest in the furrow after toil
Their large and lustrous eyes
Seem to thank the Lord,
More than man's spoken word.
Near at hand,
From under the sheltering trees,
The farmer sees
His pastures, and his fields of grain,
As they bend their tops
To the numberless beating drops
Of the incessant rain.
He counts it as no sin
That he sees therein
Only his own thrift and gain.
These, and far more than these,
The Poet sees!
He can behold
Aquarius old

Walking the fenceless fields of air;
And from each ample fold
Of the clouds about him rolled,
Scattering everywhere
The showery rain,
As the farmer scatters his grain.

· He can behold

Things manifold,
That have not yet been wholly told,
Have not been wholly sung or said.
For his thought, that never stops,
Follows the water-drops
Down to the graves of the dead,
Down through chasms and gulfs profound,
To the dreary fountain-head
Of lakes and rivers under ground;
And sees them, when the rain is done,
On the bridge of colours seven
Climbing up once more to heaven,
Opposite the setting sun.
Thus the Seer,
With vision clear,
Sees forms appear and disappear,

In the perpetual round of strange,
Mysterious change
From birth to death, from death to birth,
From earth to heaven, from heaven to earth;
Till glimpses more sublime
Of things, unseen before,
Unto his wondering eyes reveal
The Universe, as an immeasurable wheel,
Turning for evermore
In the rapid and rushing river of Time.

AFTERNOON IN FEBRUARY.

The day is ending,
The night is descending,
The marsh is frozen,

The river dead;

Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows,

That glimmer red.

The snow recommences,
The buried fences
Mark no longer

The road o'er the plain ;
While through the meadows,
Like fearful shadows,
Slowly passes

A funeral train.

The bell is pealing,
And every feeling
Within me responds

To the dismal knell ;

Shadows are trailing,
My heart is bewailing,
And tolling within

Like a funeral bell.

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