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They screen the cuckoo when he sings; and teach

The mother blackbird how to lead astray

The unformed spirit of the foolish boy

From thick to thick, from hedge to bay or beach,

When he would steal the huddled nest away

Of yellow bills upgaping for their food,

And spoil the song of the free solitude.

And they, at sound of the brute, insolent horn,

Hurry the deer out of the dewy morn;

And take into their sudden laps with joy

The startled hare that did but peep abroad;

And from the trodden road

Help the bruised hedgehog. And at rest, they love

The back-turned pheasant, hanging from the tree

His sunny drapery;

And handy squirrel, nibbling hastily;

And fragrant hiving bee,

So happy that he will not move, not he,

Without a song; and hidden, loving dove,

With his deep breath; and bird of wakeful glen,

Whose louder song is like the voice of life,

Triumphant o'er death's image, but whose deep,

Low, lovelier note is like a gentle wife,

A poor, a pensive, yet a happy one,

Stealing, when daylight's common tasks are done,

An hour for mother's work, and singing low

While her tired husband and her children sleep*


MAN. — Herbert,

My God, I heard this day,
That none doth build a stately habitation,
But he that means to dwell therein.
What house more stately hath there been,
Or can be, than is Man? to whose creation
All things are in decay.

For Man is every thing,
And more. He is a tree, yet bears no fruit;
A beast, yet is, or should be, more.
Reason and speech we only bring.
Parrots may thank us, if they are not mute;
They go upon the score.

Man is all symmetry,
Full of proportions, one limb to another,
And all to all the world besides.
Each part may call the farthest brother:
For head with foot hath private amity;
And both with moons and tides.

Nothing hath got so far,
But Man hath caught and kept it, as his prey.
His eyes dismount the highest star;
He is, in little, all the sphere.
Herbs gladly cure our flesh, because that they
Find their acquaintance there.

For us the winds do blow, The earth doth rest, heaven move, and fountains flow.


372 MAN.

Nothing we see but means our good,
As our delight, or as our treasure;
The whole is either our cupboard of food,
Or cabinet of pleasure.

The stars have us to bed;
Night draws the curtain, which the sun withdraws.
Music and light attend our head.
All things unto our flesh are kind,
In their descent and being; to our mind,
In their ascent and cause.

Each thing is full of duty: Waters united are our navigation; Distinguished, our habitation; Below, our drink; above, our meat; Both are our cleanliness. Hath one such beauty? Then how all things are neat!

More servants wait on Man Than he 511 take notice of. In every path He treads down that which doth befriend him When sickness makes him pale and wan. O, mighty love! Man is one world, and hath Another to attend him.

Since, then, my God, thou hast So brave a palace built, O, dwell in it, That it may dwell with thee at last! Till then, afford us so much wit, That, as the world serves us, we may serve thee; And both thy servants be.


Hail to thee, blithe spirit!

Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it, Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher

From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;

The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden lightning

Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are brightening, Thou dost float and run;
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of heaven, In the broad daylight
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.

Keen as are the arrows Of that silver sphere
Whose intense lamp narrows In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.


All the earth and air

With thy voice is loud, As, when night is bare, From one lonely cloud The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.

What thou art we know not;

What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,

Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not 5

Like a highborn maiden

In a palace tower, Soothing her love-laden Soul in secret hour With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower;

Like a glowworm golden

In a dell of dew, Scattering unbeholden Its aerial hue Among the flowers and grass which screen it from the view;

Like a rose embowered

In its own green leaves, By warm winds deflowered, Till the scent it gives Makes faint with too much sweet those heavy-winged thieves.

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