Words are deeds. The words we hear
May revolutionize or rear
A mighty state. The words we read
May be a spiritual deed
Excelling any fleshly one,
As much as the celestial sun
Transcends a bonfire, made to throw
A light upon some raree-show.
A simple proverb tagged with rhyme
May colour half the course of time;
The pregnant saying of a sage
May influence every coming age;
A song in its effects may be
More glorious than Thermopylae,
And many a lay that schoolboys scan
A nobler feat than Inkerman.
She loves me! From her own bliss-breathing lips
The live confession came, like rich perfume
From crimson petals bursting into bloom!
And still my heart at the remembrance skips
Like a young lion, and my tongue, too, trips
As drunk with joy! while every object seen
In life's diurnal round wears in its mien
A clear assurance that no doubts eclipse.
And if the common things of nature now
Are like old faces flushed with new delight,
Much more the consciousness of that rich vow
Deepens the beauteous, and refines the bright,
While throned I seem on love's divinest height
'Mid all the glories glowing round its brow.
A Coast View
High 'mid the shelves of a grey cliff, that yet
Riseth in Babylonian mass above,
In a benched cleft, as in the mouldered chair
Of grey-beard Time himself, I sit alone,
And gaze with a keen wondering happiness
Out o'er the sea. Unto the circling bend
That verges Heaven, a vast luminous plain
It stretches, changeful as a lover's dream --
Into great spaces mapped by light and shade
In constant interchange -- either 'neath clouds
The billows darken, or they shimmer bright
In sunny scopes of measureless expanse.
'Tis Ocean dreamless of a stormy hour,
Calm, or but gently heaving; -- yet, O God!
What a blind fate-like mightiness lies coiled
In slumber, under that wide-shining face!
While o'er the watery gleam -- there where its edge
Banks the dim vacancy, the topmost sails
Of some tall ship, whose hull is yet unseen,
Hang as if clinging to a cloud that still
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Celestial poesy! whose genial sway
Earth's furthest habitable shores obey;
Whose inspirations shed their sacred light,
Far as the regions of the Arctic night,
And to the Laplander his Boreal gleam
Endear not less than Phoebus' brighter beam, --
Descend thou also on my native land,
And on some mountain-summit take thy stand;
Thence issuing soon a purer font be seen
Than charmed Castalia or famed Hippocrene;
And there a richer, nobler fane arise,
Than on Parnassus met the adoring eyes.
And tho', bright goddess, on the far blue hills,
That pour their thousand swift pellucid rills
Where Warragamba's rage has rent in twain
Opposing mountains, thundering to the plain,
No child of song has yet invoked thy aid
'Neath their primeval solitary shade, --
Still, gracious Pow'r, some kindling soul inspire,
To wake to life my country's unknown lyre,
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