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220 Ode; To Duty.
And oft, when in my heart was heard
Thy timely mandate, I deferred
The task, in smoother walks to stray;
But thee I now would serve more strictly, if I may.
Through no disturbance of my soul,
Or strong compunction in me wrought,
I supplicate for thy control;
But in the quietness of thought:
Me this unchartered freedom tires;
I feel the weight of chance desires:
My hopes no more must change their name,
I long for a repose that ever is the same.
Stern Lawgiver! yet thou dost wear
To humbler functions, awful Power!
I call thee; I myself commend
Unto thy guidance, from this hour;
O, let my weakness have an end!
Give unto me, made lowly, wise,
The spirit of self-sacrifice;
The confidence of reason give;
And in the light of truth thy bondman let me live! FAMILIAR LOYE.—Milnes.
We read together, reading the same book,
Our heads bent forward in a half embrace,
So that each shade that either spirit took
Was straight reflected in the other's face;
We read, not silent, nor aloud, but each
Followed the eye that passed the page along,
With a low murmuring sound, that was not speech,
Yet with so much monotony
In its half slumbering harmony,
You might not call it song;
More like a bee, that in the noon rejoices,
DEATH'S FINAL CONQUEST. — Shirley.
The glories of our birth and state
There is no armor against fate;
222 THE WIDOW TO HER HOUR-GLASS.
Sceptre and crown
Must tumble down,
Some men with swords may reap the field,
The garlands wither on your brow;
Then boast no more your mighty deeds;
THE WIDOW TO HER HOUR-GLASS. — Bloomfield.
Come, friend, I '11 turn thee up again;
Since thou hast stood,
In frame of wood,
And when my husband died.
I Ve often watched thy streaming sand,
Its conic crown
Still sliding down, Again heaped up, then down again; The sand above more hollow grew, Like days and years still filtering through,
And mingling joy and pain.
While thus I spin and sometimes sing, (For now and then my heart will glow,) Thou measur'st Time's expanding wing; By thee the noontide hour I know;
Though silent thou,
Still shalt thou flow,
Thou gett'st a holiday.
Steady as truth, on either end
Come, lovely May!
Thy lengthened day Shall gild once more my native plain; Curl inward here, sweet woodbine-flower; Companion of the lonely hour,
I '11 turn thee up again.
224 TiiE MEN OF OLD.
HYMN TO DIANA. — Jonson, born in 1574.
Qiteene, and huntrcsse, chaste, and faire5
Earth, let not thy impious shade
Lay thy bow of pearle apart,
THE MEN OP OLD. — Milnes.
I know not that the men of old
Were better than men now,
Of heart more kind, of hand more bold,
Of more ingenuous brow;
I heed not those who pine perforce
A ghost of Time to raise,
As if they could check the course
Of these appointed days.