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and yet ;
XLII. I WATCH, and long have watched, with calm regret Yon slowly-sinking star immortal Sire (So might he seem) of all the glittering quire! Blue ether still surrounds him — yet. But now the horizon's rocky parapet Is reached, where, forfeiting his bright attire, He burns transmuted to a sullen fire, That droops and dwindles, — and, the appointed debt To the flying moments paid, is seen no more. Angels and gods! we struggle with our fate, While health, power, glory, pitiably decline, Depressed and then extinguished: and our state, In this, how different, lost star, from thine, That no to-morrow shall our beams restore!'
High is our calling, Friend! - Creative Art
From the dark chambers of dejection freed,
XLV. Fair Prime of life! were it enough to gild With ready sunbeams every straggling shower; And, if an unexpected cloud should lower, Swiftly thereon a rainbow arch to build For Fancy's errands, — then, from fields half-tilled Gathering green weeds to mix with poppy flower, Thee might thy Minions crown, and chant thy power, Unpitied by the wise, all censure stilled. Ah! show that worthier honours are thy due; Fair Prime of Life! arouse the deeper heart; Confirm the Spirit glorying to pursue Some path of steep ascent and lofty aim; And, if there be a joy that slights the claim Of grateful memory, bid that joy depart.
XLVI. I HEARD (alas! 'twas only in a dream) Strains which, as sage Antiquity believed, By waking ears have sometimes been received Wafted adown the wind from lake or stream; A most melodious requiem, a supreme And perfect harmony of notes, achieved By a fair Swan on drowsy billows heaved, O’er which her pinions shed a silver gleam. For is she not the votary of Apollo? And knows she not, singing as he inspires, That bliss awaits her which the ungenial hollow* Of the dull earth partakes not, nor desires ? Mount, tuneful Bird, and join the immortal quires ! She soared — and I awoke, struggling in vain to follow.
* See the Phedo of Plato, by which this Sonnet was suggested.
TO THE MEMORY OF RAISLEY CALVERT. CALVERT! it must not be unheard by them Who may respect my name, that I to thee Owed many years of early liberty. This care was thine when sickness did condemn Thy youth to hopeless wasting, root and stem: That I, if frugal and severe, might stray Where'er I liked; and finally array My temples with the Muse’s diadem, Hence, if in freedom I have loved the truth, If there be aught of pure, or good, or great, In my past verse; or shall be, in the lays Of higher mood, which now I meditate, It gladdens me, O worthy, short-lived Youth! To think how much of this will be thy praise.