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Blend, with strange mysterious power,
In the transport of this hour.

But such rapture will not last :
Milder joys are flowing in,
Calmer thoughts returning fast;

While, above earth's stir and din,

Heaven seems shedding, from the pole,
Starry influence on the soul.

Lights are round me, clear reflected

From the glittering hosts on high;

At my feet their rays collected
In this mimic nether sky;
While afar, on evening's brow,
Dian's crest hangs sparkling now.

Fast and far I sweep along;

Faster far can fancy stray,
Borne on pinions swift as strong;
Till, above yon milky way,
Wide expanding thought would soar,

Man and nature to explore.

Whence this strange mysterious being,

Riddle of the wondering world? Eyes, now blind, and now far-seeing, Thoughts now clear, now madly hurled, In confusion vast as vain,

Through this vortex of the brain.

Hopes that fire, and fears that chill,

Grief with pleasure, joy with pain,

Good that alternates with ill,

Restless thoughts and wishes vain, Here too little, there too much;

Such is life, its impulse such.

Would these steel-shod feet could rise,
Swifter far than here they move,
Winning way, o'er crystal skies,
To the source of truth above:
Then might wandering reason know
Whence this joy, this doubt, this wo.

Vain the wish; as vain to send
Anxious thought o'er land and sea :
Wiser far the hour to spend
In rejoicing revelry;
Happier sure, if youth allow
Joy's bright cup to sparkle now.

Why o'ershadow present bliss,

With forebodings sad as strange;

Or imbitter hours like this,

With dark dreams of future change?

Ills to come may age annoy,
Youth but asks for present joy;

Joy like mine, while, sweeping by, Rapture swells each thrilling nerve. Not yon bird can swifter fly,

Lighter move, or truer swerve, Or in gayer transports fling Mirth in music from his wing.

Light, and warbling, like that bird,
Joy inspires my every thought;

Nerves high strung, and feelings stirred,
Health from northern breezes caught,
These are mine, where'er I stray,
Swamscot! o'er thine ice bound way.


For nature, crescent, doth not grow alone
In thews and bulk; but as this temple waxes,
The inward service of the mind and soul
Grows wide withal.

How heedless is the school boy! yet how fraught
With deep instruction! heedless in the joy
That comes too fast, his eager hopes to cloy,
Or fears excite; yet filled with earnest thought
And just reflection; truths by nature taught,

That new as strange, with ever fresh delight
His growing powers to welcome toil invite.
What change in form and look, unknown before,
In tone and gesture, manners, in the glance
Of sparkling eyes, that beam intelligence!
Much hath the school room taught him, but far more
His youthful playmates; rich in free exchange
Of teeming fancies, wild at will to range,

Unchecked, through nature, and her paths explore.


If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work.


Enough of boisterous sports, of joys that spring
To hasty birth, in pleasure's noisy ring:

Lo! Study comes, sedate, of thoughtful brow
And tranquil mien: with her, come toils that please,
And tasks that quicken; following close on these,
See, Knowledge comes, responsive to the vow
Of studious youth, whose generous thoughts allow
No base remission, no inglorious ease.

Turn then delighted to thy books again:
Play sends thee bounding back to study now,
Like steed, high strung, curvetting on the rein.
Blest pliancy of youth! that still can range
From sport to toil, rejoicing in each change,
Sport free from care, and study void of pain.


No nourishment to feed his growing mind,
But conjugated verbs, and nouns declined.


Three years of hard ungenial toil are past,
Chiefly the elements of speech to gain,
The Greek and Latin; they are won at last,

Though slowly, and with effort oft in vain ;

And scant the scholarship I gathered thence
In niceties of language, that belong

To masters of the Greek and Roman song.
What matters it, if something of their sense
I gained, and learned, at times, somewhat to feel
The Mantuan music, and poetic zeal ;
The pregnant brevity of Sallust won,
Anacreon's warmth, the ease of Xenophon;
Nor wanted thoughts and feelings that dispense
Some glow of Ciceronian eloquence.


The Past! the Past! O turn thine eye,
Where scenes of distant years unfold;
And forms, long lost, come floating by,
Life-like, on History's page unrolled.

If forms of grammar, and the classic page,
Too coldly follow, thence ill understood,
Gave less enjoyment, than of right they should,
Works more inviting failed not to engage

My youthful ardour, tasked, but unsubdued. Books were my playmates then; and oft could win From all associates, and the cheerful din

Of sports, else grateful, hours that others use
For sleep, amusement, or the tasks assigned
Of classic study. Pleasure more refined

Than ought else known, the grave historic muse
Of Greece, of Rome, of England could diffuse,

In rich abundance still, of use combined
With high enjoyment, to the thoughtful mind.

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