BARDS of Passion and of Mirth, Ye have left your souls on earth! Have ye souls in heaven too, Doubled-lived in regions new? Yes, and those of heaven commune With the spheres of sun and moon; With the noise of fountains wondrous, And the parle of voices thund'rous; With the whisper of heaven's trees And one another, in soft ease Seated on Elysian lawns Browsed by none but Dian's fawns; Underneath large blue-bells tented, Where the daisies are rose-scented, And the rose herself has got Perfume which on earth is not; Where the nightingale doth sing Not a senseless, tranced thing, But divine melodious truth; Philosophic numbers smooth; Tales and golden histories Of heaven and its mysteries.
Thus ye live on high, and then On the earth ye live again; And the souls ye left behind you Teach us, here, the way to find you, Where your other souls are joying, Never slumber'd, never cloying. Here, your earth-born souls still speak To mortals, of their little week; Of their sorrows and delights; Of their passions and their spites; Of their glory and their shame; What doth strengthen and what maim. Thus ye teach us, every day, Wisdom, though fled far away.
Bards of Passion and of Mirth, Ye have left your souls on earth! Ye have souls in heaven too, Double-lived in regions new!
Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite, The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores, Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors— No--yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast, To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, And so live ever—or else swoon to death.
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