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Titanic forces taking birth
In divers seasons, divers climes; For we are Ancients of the earth,
And in the morning of the times.
So sleeping, so aroused from sleep
Thro' sunny decads new and strange, Or gay quinquenniads would we reap
The flower and quintessence of change.
Ah, yet would I — and would I might!
So much your eyes my fancy take Be still the first to leap to light
That I might kiss those eyes awake! For, am I right or am I wrong,
To choose your own you did not care; You'd have my moral from the song,
And I will take my pleasure there : And, am I right or am I wrong,
My fancy, ranging thro' and thro', To search a meaning for the song,
Perforce will still revert to you;
Nor finds a closer truth than this
All-graceful head, so richly curl’d, And evermore a costly kiss
The prelude to some brighter world.
For since the time when Adam first
Embraced his Eve in happy hour, And every bird of Eden burst
In carol, every bud to flower, What eyes, like thine, have waken'd hopes ?
What lips, like thine, so sweetly join'd ? Where on the double rosebud droops
The fullness of the pensive mind; The pensive mind that, self-involved,
Yet sleeps a dreamless sleep to me ; A sleep by kisses undissolved,
Which lets thee neither hear nor see : But break it. In the name of wife,
And in the rights that name may give, Are clasp'd the moral of thy life,
And that for which I care to live.
So, Lady Flora, take my lay,
And, if you find a meaning there, O whisper to your glass, and say,
“What wonder, if he thinks me fair ?” What wonder I was all unwise,
To shape the song for your delight Like long-tail'd birds of Paradise,
That float thro’ Heaven, and cannot light? Or old-world trains, upheld at court
By Cupid-boys of blooming hue – But take it — earnest wed with sport,
And either sacred unto you.
My father left a park to me,
But it was wild and barren,
And waster than a warren:
It is not bad but good land, And in it is the germ of all · That grows within the woodland.
O had I lived when song was great
In days of old Amphion,
Nor cared for seed or scion !
And had I lived when song was great,
And legs of trees were limber, And ta'en my fiddle to the gate,
And fiddled in the timber!
'Tis said he had a tuneful tongue,
Such happy intonation, Wherever he sat down and sung
He left a small plantation ; Wherever in a lonely grove
He set up his forlorn pipes, The gouty oak began to move,
And flounder into hornpipes.
The mountain stirr'd its bushy crown,
And, as tradition teaches, Young ashes pirouetted down
Coquetting with young beeches; And briony-vine and ivy-wreath
Ran forward to his rhyming, And from the valleys underneath
Came little copses climbing.