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And unto this he frames his song:
Then will he fit his tongue
But it will not be long
And with new joy and pride
As if his whole vocation
Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
Thy Soul's immensity; Thou best Philosopher, who yet dost keep Thy heritage, thou Eye among the blind, That, deaf and silent, read’st the eternal deep, Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,
Mighty Prophet! Seer blest!
On whom those truths do rest, Which we are toiling all our lives to find, In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave; Thou, over whom thy Immortality Broods like the Day, a Master o'er a Slave, A Presence which is not to be put by ; Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might Of heaven-born freedom on thy Being's height, Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke The Years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
O joy! that in our embers
What was so fugitive!
Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise ;
Blank misgivings of a Creature
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may,
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
To perish never ;
Nor Man nor Boy,
Hence, in a season of calm weather,
Though inland far we be,
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither, And see the Children sport upon the shore, And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.
Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song !
And let the young Lambs bound
As to the tabor's sound !
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Feel the gladness of the May!
Though nothing can bring back the hour
We will grieve not, rather find
In the faith that looks through death,
And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Is lovely yet;
TO THE SECOND EDITION OF SEVERAL OF THE FOREGOING
POEMS, PUBLISHED, WITH AN ADDITIONAL VOLUME, UNDER THE TITLE OF “ LYRICAL BALLADS.”
The first Volume of these Poems has already been submitted to general perusal. It was published, as an experiment, which, I hoped, might be of some use to ascertain, how far, by fitting to metrical arrangement a selection of the real language of men in a state of vivid sensation, that sort of pleasure and that quantity of pleasure may be imparted, which a Poet may rationally endeavour to impart.
I had formed no very inaccurate estimate of the probable effect of those Poems: I flattered myself that they who should be pleased with them would read them with more than common pleasure : and, on the other hand, I was well aware, that by those who should dislike them, they would be read with more than common dislike. The result has differed from my expectation in this only, that I have pleased a greater number than I ventured to hope I should please.