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Henry Alford

Law is king of all.

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I know not if the dark or bright shall be by lot; if that wherein my hopes delight be best or not.

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Sonnet C. In dreamy days of boyhood and of youth

In dreamy days of boyhood and of youth
Sweet Poesy whispered often in mine ear;
And I could then with voice distinct and clear
Repeat her ditties: but of late, in sooth,
The sterner mandates of unflattering Truth
Have filled my hearing, making not less dear
High strains of verse; but hallowing with fear
My thoughts and keen remorse, and backward ruth.

Therefore farewell, ye pleasant melodies
Of song, heroic, holy or pastoral:
Farewell, ye shades and voiceful forests all;
No more along your sward--paths dark with trees
Shall wander he, who, lightly skilled to please,
Could yet from leaf and rock poetic numbers call.

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Sonnet IV. Out, palsied soul, that dost but tremble ever

Out, palsied soul, that dost but tremble ever
In sight of the bright sunshine;--mine be joy,
And the full heart, and eye that faileth never
In the glad morning:--I am yet a boy;--
I have not wandered from the crystal river
That flowed by me in childhood: my employ
Hath been to take the gift and praise the Giver;
To love the flowers thy heedless steps destroy.
I wonder if the bliss that flows to me
In youth, shall be exhaled and scorched up dry
By the noonday glare of life; I must not lie
For ever in the shade of childhood's tree;
But I must venture forth and make advance
Along the toilèd path of human circumstance.

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Written In Aid Of The Leicester Lunatic Asylum.

Light ye the torch,--
The torch that hath expired;
The light with which was fired
Chamber and hall and porch:
But now the house is dark,
Its inmates rove in vain,
There shines but a bewildering spark:
Light ye the torch again!

Light ye the torch,--
It was a sacred flame,
From God in heaven it came:
All nature ye may search
To find a fire so bright,
And ye shall search in vain:
But quenched is all its glorious light:--
Light ye the torch again!

Light ye the torch,--
The ruthless winds have blown

[...] Read more

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The Epitaph Of Bion.

Dolefully sound, ye groves and Dorian waters,
Lament, ye rivers, our beloved Bion;
Mourn, all ye plants, and whisper low, ye forests;
Ye flowers, breathe sadly from your drooping petals;
Put on deep red, anemones and roses;
Wail thine own letters, hyacinth, and ai ai
Write double on thy leaves for our sweet poet.

Begin the grief, begin, Sicilian Muses.
Ye nightingales, in the thick leafage sobbing,
Tell the Sicilian streams of Arethusa
Bion is dead, the shepherd--boy, and with him
Song too is dead, and all the Dorian music.

Begin the grief, begin, Sicilian Muses.
Strymonian swans, sing sadly by your waters;
Warble a funeral elegy, in ditties
Such as he sung, the rival of your voices.
Tell the Œagrian Nymphs, and tell the damsels
That play in Thrace, Dead is the Dorian Orpheus.

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