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"Wassail for the kingly stranger
And the lightning showed the sainted
In that hour of deep contrition,
All the pomp of earth had vanished,
Every vassal of his banner,
All those wronged and wretched creatures,
And as, on the sacred missal,
And the monk replied, "Amen!
Many centuries have been numbered
Mingling with the common dust:
But the good deed, through the ages
RAIN IN SUMMER.
How beautiful is the rain!
How beautiful is the rain!
How it clatters along the roofs,
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout! Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!
The sick man from his chamber looks
At the twisted brooks;
He can feel the cool
Breath of each little pool;
His fevered brain
Grows calm again,
And he breathes á blessing on the rain.
From the neighbouring school
Come the boys,
With more than their wonted noise
And down the wet streets
Sail their mimic fleets,
Till the treacherous pool
Engulfs them in its whirling
In the country, on every side,
Like a leopard's tawny and spotted hide,
Stretches the plain,
To the dry grass and the drier grain
In the furrowed land
The toilsome and patient oxen stand;
Lifting the yoke-encumbered head,
The clover-scented gale,
And the vapours that arise
From the well-watered and smoking soil.
For this rest in the furrow after toil
Their large and lustrous eyes
Seem to thank the Lord,
More than man's spoken word.
Of the incessant rain.
He counts it as no sin
That he sees therein
Only his own thrift and gain.
These, and far more than these,
Walking the fenceless fields of air;
Of the clouds about him rolled
The showery rain,
As the faimer scatters his grain.
He can behold
That have not yet been wholly told,-
Down to the graves of the dead,
Down through chasms and gulfs profound,
To the dreary fountain-head
Of lakes and rivers underground;
And sees them, when the rain is done,
Climbing up once more to heaven,
Thus the Seer,
With vision clear,
Sees forms appear and disappear,
In the perpetual round of strange,
From birth to death, from death to birth,
From earth to heaven, from heaven to earth;
Till glimpses more sublime
Of things, unseen before,
Unto his wondering eyes reveal
The Universe, as an immeasurable wheel
Turning for evermore
In the rapid and rushing river of Time.
TO A CHILD.
DEAR child! how radiant on thy mother's knee, With merry-making eyes and jocund smiles, Thou gazest at the painted tiles,
Whose figures grace,
With many a grotesque form and face,
With what a look of proud command
Thousands of years in Indian seas
Reposed of yore,
Far down in the deep-sunken wells
In some obscure and sunless place,
The Indian peasant, chasing the wild goat,
In falling, clutched the frail arbute,
The fibres of whose shallow root,
Uplifted from the soil, betrayed
The silver veins beneath it laid,
The buried treasures of the miser, Time.
But, lo, thy door is left ajar!
Thou hearest footsteps from afar!
And, at the sound,
Thou turnest round
With quick and questioning eyes,
Like one, who, in a foreign land,
Beholds on every hand
Some source of wonder and surprise!
And, restlessly, impatiently,
Thou strivest, strugglest to be free.
The four walls of thy nursery
Are now like prison-walls to thee.
No more thy mother's smiles,
Delight thee, nor the playthings on the floor,
That won thy little beating heart before;
Through these once solitary halls
Jubilant, and they rejoice
With the joy of thy young heart,
No shadows of sadness
From the sombre background of memory start.
Once, ah, once, within these walls,
One whom memory oft recalls,
But what are these grave thoughts to thee?
Out, out, into the open air!
Thy only dream is liberty,
Thou carest little how or where.
I see thee eager at thy play,
Now shouting to the apples on the tree,
And now among the yellow stalks,
Among the flowering shrubs and plants,
Along the garden-walks,
The tracks of thy small carriage-wheels I trace;
And see at every turn how they efface
Whole villages of sand-roofed tents,
That rise like golden domes
Above the cavernous and secret homes
Of wandering and nomadic tribes of ants.
Ah, cruel little Tamerlane,
Who, with thy dreadful reign,
Dost persecute and overwhelm
These hapless Troglodytes of thy realm!
What! tired already! with those suppliant looks,