How often we forget all time, when lone
Admiring Nature’s universal throne;
Her woods – her wilds – her mountains – the intense
Reply of HERS to OUR intelligence! –
In youth have I known one with whom the Earth
In secret communing held – as he with it,
In day light, and in beauty from his birth:
Whose fervid, flick’ring torch of life was lit –
From the sun and stars, whence he had drawn forth
A passionate light-such for his spirit was fit –
And yet that spirit knew – not in the hour
Of its own fervor – what had o’er it power.
Perhaps it may be that my mind is wrought
To a fever
by the moon beam that hangs o’er,
But I will half believe that wild light fraught
With more of sov’reignty than ancient lore
Hath ever told – or is it of a thought
The unembodied essence, and no more
That with a quick’ning spell doth o’er us pass
As dew of the night-time, o’er the summer grass.
Doth o’er us pass, when, as th’ expanding eye
To the lov’d object – so the tear to the lid
Will start, which lately slept in apathy?
And yet it need not be – (that object) hid
From us in life – but common – which doth lie
Each hour before us – but then only bid
With a strange sound, as of a harp-string broken
T’ awake us – ‘Tis a symbol and a token.
Of what in other worlds shall be – and giv’n
In beauty by our God, to those alone –
Who otherwise would fall from life and Heav’n
Drawn by their heart’s passion, and that tone,
That high tone of the spirit which hath striv’n
Tho’ not with Faith – with godliness – whose throne
With desp’rate energy ‘t hath beaten down;
Wearing its own deep feeling as a crown.