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Illumes the by-ways of the earth,
ADDRESS TO LIGHT.
From Milton's Paradise Lost. Hail holy Light, offspring of Heaven first-born, Or of th’ Eternal co-eternal beam May I express thee unblamed ? since God is light, And never but in unapproached light Dwelt from Eternity, dwelt then in thee, Bright effluence of bright essence increate. Or hearest thou rather, pure ethereal stream, Whose fountain who shall tell ? Before the sun, Before the heavens thou wert, and at the voice Of God as with a mantle didst invest The rising world of waters dark and deep, Won from the void and formless infinite. Thee I revisit now with bolder wing, Escaped the Stygian pool, though long detained In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight Through utter and through middle darkness borne, With other notes than to th' Orphean lyre I sung of Chaos and eternal Night, Taught by the heavenly Muse to venture down The dark descent, and up to reascend, Though bard and rare : thee I revisit safe, And feel thy sovran vital lamp; but thou Revisitest not these eyes, that roll in vain To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn; So thick a drop serene hath quench'd their orbs, Or dim suffusion veiled. Yet not the more Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt, Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill, Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath That wash thy hallow'd feet, and warbling flow,
Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget
THE PALE QUE E N.
By BARRY CORNWALL.
But pale, all pale !
But pale, still pale !
But pale, all pale!
My words ne'er fail :
I wither the bud, and the passion bloom;
And trumpets wail
And hill and dale
Hard rocks, and mountains cold and hoar From all their echoing peaks cry out for ever,
“ Hail! hail! hail ?"
And now, pale youth, I come to thee,
But, arise! arise !
Day after day!
So, ne'er delay :
Who reign for aye !
Lie on the landscape green,
And silver white the river gleams,
Had dropt her silver bow
On such a tranquil night as this,
When; sleeping in the grove,
Like Dian's kiss, unask'd, unsought,
Nor voice, nor sound betrays
It comes, the beautiful, the free,
In silence and alone,
It lifts the boughs, whose shadows deep
And kisses the closed eyes
O weary hearts ! O slumbering eyes !
Are fraught with fear and pain,
No one is so accursed by fate,
But some heart, though unknown,
Responds,—as if, with unseen wings,
And whispers, in its song,
Where hast thou stay'd so long ?”
Bare winter suddenly was changed to spring,
Mix'd with a sound of waters murmuring Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay
Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling Its green arms round the bosom of the stream, But kiss'd it and then fled, as thou mightest in a dream.
There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,
Daisies, those pearl'd arcturi of the earth,
Faint oxlips; tender blue bells, at whose birth
Green cow-bind, and the moonlight-colourd May,
Was the bright dew yet drain'd not by the day ; And wild roses, and ivy serpentine,
With its dark buds and leaves, wandering astray ; And flowers azure, black, and streak'd with gold, Fairer than any waken'd eyes behold.
And nearer to the river's trembling edge
There grew broad flag-flowers, purple prankt with white, And starry river buds among the sedge,
And floating water-lilies, broad and bright,
With moonlight beams of their own watery light;