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Of old sat Freedom on the heights,
The thunders breaking at her feet : Above her shook the starry lights :
She heard the torrents meet.
Within her place she did rejoice,
Self-gather'd in her prophet-mind, But fragments of her mighty voice
Came rolling on the wind.
Then stept she down thro' town and field
To mingle with the human race, And part by part to men reveald
The fullness of her face
Grave mother of majestic works,
From her isle-altar gazing down, Who, God-like, grasps the triple forks,
And, King-like, wears the crown :
Her open eyes desire the truth.
The wisdom of a thousand years Is in them. May perpetual youth
Keep dry their light from tears;
That her fair form may stand and shine,
Make bright our days and light our dreams, Turning to scorn with lips divine
The falsehood of extremes !
Love thou thy land, with love far-brought
From out the storied Past, and used
Within the Present, but transfused Thro' future time by power of thought.
True love turn'd round on fixed poles,
Love, that endures not sordid ends,
For English natures, freemen, friends, Thy brothers and immortal souls.
But pamper not a hasty time,
Nor feed with crude imaginings
The herd, wild hearts and feeble wings, That every sophister can lime.
Deliver not the tasks of might
To weakness, neither hide the ray From those, not blind, who wait for day, Though sitting girt with doubtful light.
Make knowledge circle with the winds ;
But let her herald, Reverence, fly
Before her to whatever sky
Watch what main-currents draw the years :
Cut Prejudice against the grain :
But gentle words are always gain : Regard the weakness of thy peers :
Nor toil for title, place, or touch
Of pension, neither count on praise :
It grows to guerdon after-days : Nor deal in watchwords overmuch ;
Not clinging to some ancient saw ;
Not master'd by some modern term ;
Not swift nor slow to change, but firm : And in its season bring the law ;
That from Discussion's lip may fall
Set in all lights by many minds,
For Nature also, cold and warm,
And moist and dry, devising long,
Thro' many agents making strong, Matures the individual form.
Meet is it changes should control
Our being, lest we rust in ease.