Hey, its a beautiful Tuesday night here in P-Town. This is just a quick note to let you know that it goes on, and continues. It turns out that some of the illustrations for the magazine are not up to snuff, awaiting new ones. Found a new publisher, and they are pretty sharp and all. I can smell the finish line for this issue, oh it has been a bit to long in the making for yours truly…
Hope this finds you and yours well. Today is my friend Tom’s Birthday. We have known each other some 43 years this summer. He is just as good looking and full of good humour as when I met him. If anything, Tom has improved with age… 80) Now the trick is get him to come back to Portland!
Bright Blessings, and I hope you enjoy this edition!
On The Menu:
Into The Zone Part II
Quotes On Life
Errico Malatesta Extraction..
Steve Hillage – Four Ever Rainbow
Cosmic Consciousness: William Blake
Poetry: Intimations Of Immortality …. William Wordsworth
Steve Hillage & Evan Marc – Hypnopomp
Art: Edmund Dulac
Into The Zone Part II:
In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd. – Miguel de Cervantes
Pray look better, Sir… those things yonder are no giants, but windmills. – Miguel de Cervantes
So, perhaps I have a Cervantes turn to my make up. I have been tilting at windmills trying to figure out the way for the day when we walk over the threshold together into another vision of how life could be, you know… that Utopian thing.
Mary of course being more pragmatic reminds me that Utopias don’t exist. Well, maybe not, but the possibility has always been there. When I was a young man, I became infected with the meme, and I thought it was about to burst out! It seemed utterly possible, and would occur most certainly within the next year, then the next decade, or at least in my lifetime…. As the years have lengthened since then, I have come to realize that it is not perhaps the existence, but perhaps the striving for which is the important bit to the puzzle. Every act, for a better world carries a momentum with it. Every piece of art, every commune that is formed, every cooperative is a part of a beautiful beast. In my thinking , every party, every act of love hastens the day. Where there are visions, there are possibilities. We need the visions, we all do.
Each new day has a tinge of promise in my POV… I mean, what a glorious start with the sun rising and all. It gets me right up on that metaphysical treadmill running for that event horizon with UTOPIA! blazing in neon. By noon if things go a bit odd, meh. Then onto the final of the day! That Sunset to get lost in, contemplating the beauty of it all… followed by sleep and those Technicolor Dreams ™ that whisper away. I awake, refreshed, and I am back into the fray. It is a routine yes, but its mine…. 80)
So everyday, I am still looking at the entrails, throwing the bones, holding my finger up trying to suss out which way the utopian wind blows. Sometimes I’ll hear a hint in a song, see it in a poem, a beautiful child, a random smile on the street. Just behind the scenery, she lurks, waiting to burst forth. I see her in my friends eyes, when we take the time to be fully with each other, and I see it in the young with their aspirations.
I still see utopias emerging in the new social movements, and every year I am gifted with the rumours from Black Rock City. Even in these supposedly random and disparate series of events, if I pay close attention to the stream of happenings around me, I perceive that the change is moving and with its own purpose. Surely we know that the ground has shifted and we are heading off willy-nilly to All Of Tomorrow’s Parties.
In all that we do, we carry the seeds of this divine contagion. It may not break out when or how we have expected it to, but it will come forth in its own way, that is what I would call the promise of possibility.
So to hurry this along, this is where we call forth the fools, the clowns, the lovers, and let’s not forget the poets and visionaries. They are always the first into the fray known as celebration… but which we really know is change. 80)
Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be. – Miguel de Cervantes
Quotes On Life:
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
“God pours life into death and death into life without a drop being spilled.” ~ Author Unknown
“Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.” ~Grandma Moses
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” ~ Jim Carrey
“The great business of life is to be, to do, to do without, and to depart.” ~ John, Viscount Morley, Address on Aphorisms
“Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.” ~ Erich Fromm
There is a disease of the human mind, called the metaphysical tendency, that causes man, after he has by a logical process abstracted the quality from an object, to be subject to a kind of hallucination that makes him take the abstraction for the real thing. This metaphysical tendency, in spite of the blows of positive science, has still strong root in the minds of the majority of our contemporary fellowmen. It has such influence that many consider government an actual entity, with certain given attributes of reason, justice, equity, independent of the people who compose the government.
For those who think in this way, government, or the State, is the abstract social power, and it represents, always in the abstract, the general interest. It is the expression of the rights of all and is considered as limited by the rights of each. This way of understanding government is supported by those interested, to whom it is an urgent necessity that the principle of authority should be maintained and should always survive the faults and errors of the persons who exercise power.
— Errico Malatesta
Steve Hillage – Four Ever Rainbow
Extract: Cosmic Consciousness, by Richard Maurice Bucke, 
William Blake Born 1757; died 1827.
If Blake had Cosmic Consciousness the words written above as to the vastly greater scope and variety of this than of self consciousness will receive from his case illustration. The few short extracts from his writings, below quoted, almost prove that he had the Cosmic Sense, which he called “Imaginative Vision” [95: 166], and he must have attained to it within a very few years after reaching the thirtieth of his age. There do not appear to be any details extant of his entrance into it, but his writings may fairly be allowed to prove the fact of possession.
W. M. Rossetti, in the “Prefatory Memoir” to “The Poetical Works of William Blake” , gives an admirable sketch of Blake’s actual life and apparently a fair estimate of his abilities and defects. The following extracts therefrom will materially assist us in the inquiry now before us; that is: Had Blake Cosmic Consciousness?
* The difficulty of Blake’s biographers, subsequent to 1863, the date of Mr. Gilchrist’s book, is of a different kind altogether. It is the difficulty of stating sufficiently high the extraordinary claims of Blake to admiration and reverence, without slurring over those other considerations which need to be plainly and fully set forth if we would obtain any real idea of the man as he was—of his total unlikeness to his contemporaries, of his amazing genius and noble performances in two arts, of the height by which he transcended other men, and the incapacity which he always evinced for performing at all what others accomplish easily. He could do vastly more than they, but he could seldom do the like. By some unknown process he had soared to the top of a cloud-capped Alp, while they were crouching in the valley: But to reach a middle station on the mountain was what they could readily manage step by step, while Blake found that ordinary achievement impracticable. He could not and he would not do it; the want of will, or rather the utter alienation of will, the resolve to soar (which was natural to him), and not to walk (which was unnatural and repulsive), constituted or counted instead of an actual want of power [139:9].
Rapt in a passionate yearning, he realized, even on this earth and in his mortal body, a species of Nirvâna:* his whole faculty, his whole personality, the very essence of his mind and mould, attained to absorption into his ideal ultimate, into that which Dante’s profound phrase designates “il Ben dell’ intelletto” [139: 11].
* William Blake’s education was of the scantiest, being confined to reading p. 193 and writing; arithmetic may also be guessed at, but is not recorded, and very probably his capacity for acquiring or retaining that item of knowledge was far below the average [139:14].
* In the fact that Blake soared beyond, and far beyond, men of self consciousness merely, but could not see or do many things that these saw clearly and could do easily, we see a relationship between him and the great illuminati. For surely the very same thing could be said of all these. In worldly matters they are all, or nearly all, as little children, while in spiritual things they are as gods. Note Balzac contracting enormous debts for want of ordinary business common sense and laboring vainly for years to pay them while in the full exercise of enough genius to equip a regiment of Rothschilds. Bacon showered upon the human race intellectual and spiritual riches beyond all computation, but with every apparent advantage (position at court, hereditary prestige, influential friends) he labors in vain for years for position in the self conscious sphere, and after getting it cannot hold it. Buddha, Jesus, Paul, Las Casas, Yepes, Behmen and Whitman were wise: They saw that the things of the Cosmic Sense were enough, and they simply put by the things of self consciousness, but had they tried for these the chances are they would have failed to obtain them.
* Blake, too, found the world of the Cosmic Sense enough, and wisely did not waste time and energy seeking for the so-called goods and riches of the self-conscious life.
* These men are independent of education, and most of them—like Blake himself—p. 193 think it useless or worse. Blake says of it: “There is no use in education: I hold it to be wrong. It is the great sin; it is eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This was the fault of Plato. He knew of nothing but the virtues and vices, and good and evil. There is nothing in all that. Everything is good in God’s eyes” [139: 80]. This reminds us of what Hawley said of Bacon: “He had not his knowledge from books, but from some grounds within himself” [141: 47], and of Whitman’s “You shall no longer feed on the spectres in books” [193: 30].
* In the preface to “The Jerusalem” Blake speaks of that composition as paving been “dictated” to him, and other expressions of his prove that he regarded it rather as a revelation of which he was the scribe than as the product of his own inventing and fashioning brain. Blake considered it “the grandest poem that this world contains;” adding, “I may praise it, since I dare not pretend to be any other than the secretary—the authors are in eternity.” In an earlier letter (April 25th, 1803) he had said: “I have written this poem from immediate dictation, twelve or sometimes twenty or thirty lines at a time, without premeditation, and even against my will” [139:41].
* Blake had a mental intuition, inspiration, or revelation—call it what we will; it was as real to his spiritual eye as a material object could be to his bodily eye; and no doubt his bodily eye, the eye of a designer or painter with a great gift of invention and composition, was far more than normally ready at following the dictate of the spiritual eye, and seeing, with an almost instantaneously creative and fashioning act, the visual semblance of a visionary essence [139:62].
* His unworldliness, extreme as it was, did not degenerate into ineptitude. He apprehended the requirements of practical life, was prepared to meet them in a resolute and diligent spirit from day to day, and could on occasions display a full share of sagacity. He was of lofty and independent spirit, not caring to refute any odd stories that were current regarding his conduct or demeanor, neither parading nor concealing his poverty, and seldom accepting any sort of aid for which he could not and did not supply a full equivalent [139:69].
* This is the declaration of each possessor of the Cosmic Sense. It is not I, the visible man who speaks, but (as Jesus says) “As the Father hath said unto me so I speak” [14: 12: 50]; or as Paul writes: “I will not dare to speak of any things save those which Christ wrought through me” [16: 15:18]. “Loose the stop from your throat” [193: 32] says Whitman to the Cosmic Sense. And so universally.
* “O I am sure,” says Whitman, “they really came from Thee—the urge, the ardor, the potent, felt, interior, command, a message from the heavens” [193: 324]. “The noble truths,” Gautama said, ”were not among the doctrines banded down, but there arose within him the eye to perceive them” [159: 150].
* Each word of this passage is strictly true of Whitman, and allowing for difference of manners and customs in other times and countries, the paragraph could be read into the life of any one of the men discussed in this book. He knows that what he does is not inferior to the grandest antiques. Superior it cannot be, for human power cannot go beyond either what he does or what they have done. It is the gift of God, it is inspiration and vision [139:72].*
It must be allowed that in many instances Blake spoke of himself with measureless and rather provoking self-applause. This is in truth one conspicuous outcome of that very simplicity of character of which I have just spoken; egotism it is, but not worldly, self-seeking [139: 71].*
That he was on the whole and in the best sense happy is*, considering all his trials and crosses, one of the very highest evidences in his praise. “If asked,” writes Mr. Palmer, “whether I ever knew among the intellectual a happy man, Blake would be the only one who would immediately occur to me.” Visionary and ideal aspirations of the intensest kind; the imaginative life wholly predominating over the corporeal and mundane life, and almost swallowing it up; and a child-like simplicity of personal character, free from self-interest, and ignorant or careless of any policy of self-control, though habitually guided and regulated by noble emotions and a resolute loyalty to duty—these are the main lines which we trace throughout the entire career of Blake, in his life and death, in his writings and his art. This it is which makes him so peculiarly lovable and admirable as a man, and invests his works, especially his poems, with so delightful a charm. We feel that he is truly “of the kingdom of heaven”: above the firmament, his soul holds converse with archangels; on the earth, he is as the little child whom Jesus “sat in the midst of them” [139:70].
* The essence of Blake’s faculty, the power by which he achieved his work, was intuition: this holds good of his artistic productions, and still more so of his poems. Intuition reigns supreme in them; and even the reader has to apprehend them intuitively, or else to leave them aside altogether [139:74].
Ample evidence exists to satisfy us that Blake had real conceptions In the metaphysical or supersensual regions of thought—conceptions which might have been termed speculations in other people, but in him rather intuitions; and that the “Prophetic Books” embody these in some sort of way cannot be disputed [139: 120].
* “Divine am I,” says Whitman, “inside and out” [193: 49].
* “I conned old times,” says Whitman; “I sat studying at the feet of the great masters, now if eligible O that the great masters might return and study me” [193: 20].
* Happiness is one of the marks of the Cosmic Sense.
* It is too bad that these “Prophetic Books” are not published. It seems almost certain that they embody (behind thick veils, doubtless) revelations of extraordinary value—news from “the kingdom of heaven”—from the better world—the world of the Cosmic Sense. As to his religious belief,* it should be understood that Blake was a Christian in a certain way, and a truly fervent Christian; but it was a way of his own, exceedingly different from that of any of the churches. For the last forty years of his life he never entered a place of worship [139:76].
He believed—with a great profundity and ardor of faith—in God; but he believed also that men are gods, or that collective man is God. He believed in Christ; but exactly what he believed him to be is a separate question. “Jesus Christ,” he said, conversing with Mr. Robinson, “is the only God, and so am I, and so are you” [139:77].
In immortality Blake seems to have believed implicitly,* and (in some main essentials) without much deviation from other people’s credence. When he heard of Flaxman’s death (December 7th, 1826), he observes, “I cannot think of death as more than the going out of one room into another.” In one of his writings he says: “The world of imagination is the world of eternity. It is the divine bosom into which we shall all go after the death of the vegetated body” [139:79].
Blake had in all probability read in his youth some of the mystical or cabalistic writers*—Paracelsus, Jacob Böhme, Cornelius Agrippa; and there is a good deal in his speculations, in substance and tone, and sometimes in detail, which can be traced back to authors of this class [139: 80].
* Blake’s religion—his attitude toward the Church—toward God—toward immortality—is the characteristic attitude of the man who has attained to Cosmic Consciousness—as shown in each life and in all the writings of these men.
*His attitude toward death is that of all the illuminati. He does not believe in “another life.” He does not think he will be immortal. He has eternal life.
*So writes George Frederic Parsons about Balzac [6: 11]. Thoreau makes a similar suggestion as to Whitman [38: 143], and generally it is constantly being hinted or intimated that some of these men have been reading others of them. This may of course sometimes happen, but, speaking generally, it does not, for many of them are quite illiterate, and the studies of others, as, for instance, Bacon, do not lie in that direction. Blake, Balzac, Yepes, Behmen, Whitman, Carpenter and the rest has each seen for himself that other world of which he tells us. No one can tell of it at second hand, for no one who has not seen something of it can conceive it.
Blake’s death was as noble and characteristic as his life. Gilchrist [94: 360–1] gives us the following simple and touching account of it:
“His illness was not violent, but a gradual and gentle failure of physical powers which nowise affected the mind. The speedy end was not foreseen by his friends. It came on a Sunday, August 12, 1827, nearly three months before completion of his seventieth year. ‘On the day of his death,’ writes Smith, who had his account from the widow, ‘he composed and uttered songs to his Maker so sweetly to the ear of his Catharine that when she stood to hear him he, looking upon her most affectionately, said: “My beloved, they are not mine—no, they are not mine!” He told her they would not be parted; he should always be about her to take care of her. To the pious songs followed, about six in the summer evening, a calm and painless withdrawal of breath; the exact moment almost unperceived by his wife, who sat by his side. A humble female neighbor, her only other companion, said afterwards: “I have been at the death, not of a man, but of a blessed angel.”‘”
It remains to quote certain declarations emanating from Blake and which seem to bear upon the point under consideration—viz., upon the question, Was Blake a case of Cosmic Consciousness?
The world of imagination is the world of eternity.* It is the divine bosom into which we shall all go after the death of the vegetated body. This world of imagination is infinite and eternal, whereas the world of generation, of vegetation, is finite and temporal. There exist in that eternal world the permanent realities of everything which we see reflected in this vegetable glass of nature [95: 163].
We are in a world of generation and death,* and this world we must cast off if we would be artists such as Raphael, Michael Angelo and the ancient sculptors. If we do not cast off this world we shall be only Venetian painters, who will be cast off and lost from art [95:172].
The player is a liar when he says: Angels are happier than men because they are better!* Angels are happier than men and devils because they are not always prying after good and evil in one another and eating the tree of knowledge for Satan’s gratification [95:176].
* Blake’s name for Cosmic Consciousness. With this paragraph compare Whitman’s “I swear I think now that everything without exception has an eternal soul! The trees have rooted in the ground! The weeds of the sea have! The animals” [193: 337].
* The world of self consciousness. Balzac says: (Self conscious) “man judges all things by his abstractions—good, evil, virtue, crime. His formulas of right are his scales, and his justice is blind; the justice of God [i.e., of the Cosmic Sense] sees—in that is everything” [5: 142].
* “Showing the best and dividing it from the worst age vexes age. Knowing the perfect fitness and equanimity of things, while they discuss I am silent” [193: 31].
The last judgment is an overwhelming of bad art and science [95: 176].*
Some people flatter themselves that there will be no last judgment. . . .* I will not flatter them. Error is created; truth is eternal. Error or creation will be burned up, and then, and not till then, truth or eternity will appear. It [error] is burned up the moment men cease to behold it. I assert for myself that I do not behold outward creation, and that to me it is hindrance and not action. “What!” it will be questioned, “when the sun rises do you not see a round disc of fire somewhat like a guinea?” “Oh, no, no! I see an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!’” I question not my corporeal eye* any more than I would question a window concerning a sight. I look through it and not with it [95: 176].
Beneath the figures of Adam and Eve (descending the generative stream from there) is the seat of the harlot, named mystery [self conscious life], in the Revelations. She (mystery) is seized by two beings (life and death), each with three heads; they represent vegetative existence. As it is written in Revelations, they strip her naked and burn her with fire [i.e., death strips her naked, and the passions of the self conscious life burn it as with fire]. It represents the eternal consumption of vegetable life and death [the life and death of the merely self conscious] with its lusts. The wreathed torches in their hands [in the hands of life and death] represent eternal fire, which is the fire of generation or vegetation; it is an eternal consummation. Those who are blessed with imaginative vision [Cosmic Consciousness]* see this eternal female [mystery—the self conscious life] and tremble at what others fear not; while they despise and laugh* at what others fear [95:166].
*I am not ashamed, afraid or averse to tell you what ought to be told—that I am under the direction of messengers from heaven, daily and nightly. But p. 198 the nature of such things is not, as some suppose, without trouble or care [95: 185].*
* I.e., it is the advent of universal Cosmic Consciousness. “Specialism [the Cosmic Sense] opens to man,” says Balzac, “his true career; the infinite dawns upon him” [5: 144]. “The audit of nature, though delayed, must be answered, and her quietus is to render thee” [Cosmic Consciousness] [176: 126].
* Blake says his self conscious faculties are a hindrance to him, not a help. So Balzac: “Baneful, it [self consciousness] exempts man from entering the path of specialism [Cosmic Consciousness], which leads to the infinite” [5: 142]. So the Hindoo experts teach and have always taught, that suppression and effacement of many of the self conscious faculties are necessary conditions to illumination [56: 166 et seq.].
* So Carpenter asks (knowing well the answer): ”Does there not exist in truth . . an inner illumination . . . by which we can ultimately see things as they are, beholding all creation . . . in its true being and order [57:98].
* “Their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched” [12: 9: 48], said by Jesus of the self conscious life, which (also) is the hell of Dante.
* So Whitman: “I laugh at what you call dissolution.”
* “He [my other self], nor that affable, familiar ghost [the Cosmic Sense] which nightly gulls him with intelligence” [176: 86].
p. 198 * “A message from the Heavens whispering to me even in sleep” [193: 324].
a. Blake seems to have entered into Cosmic Consciousness when a little more than thirty years of age.
b. The present editor does not know anything of the occurrence of subjective light in his case.
c. The fact of great intellectual illumination seems clear.
d. His moral elevation was very marked.
e. He seems to have had the sense of immortality that belongs to Cosmic Consciousness.
f. Specific details of proof are in this case, as they must inevitably often be, largely wanting, but a study of Blake’s life, writings (he is not in a position nor is he competent to judge Blake from his drawings) and death convinces the writer that he was a genuine and even probably a great case.
Pan’s Syrinx was a girl indeed,
Though now she’s turned into a reed;
From that dear reed Pan’s pipe does come,
A pipe that strikes Apollo dumb;
Nor flute, nor lute, nor gittern can
So chant it as the pipe of Pan:
Cross-gartered swains and dairy girls,
With faces smug and round as pearls,
When Pan’s shrill pipe begins to play,
With dancing wear out night and day;
The bagpipe’s drone his hum lays by,
When Pan sounds up his minstrelsy;
His minstrelsy! O base! this quill,
Which at my mouth with wind I fill,
Puts me in mind, though her I miss,
That still my Syrinx’ lips I kiss.
John Lyly (1553-1606)
Poetry: Intimations Of Immortality From Recollections Of Early Childhood
– William Wordsworth
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;–
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
The Rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the Rose,
The Moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare,
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
I hear the Echoes through the mountains throng,
The Winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
And all the earth is gay;
Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,
And with the heart of May
Doth every Beast keep holiday;–
Thou Child of Joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy
Ye blessed Creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival,
My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel–I feel it all.
Oh evil day! if I were sullen
While Earth herself is adorning,
This sweet May-morning,
And the Children are culling
On every side,
In a thousand valleys far and wide,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
And the Babe leaps up on his Mother’s arm:–
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
–But there’s a Tree, of many, one,
A single Field which I have looked upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone:
The Pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s Priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even with something of a Mother’s mind,
And no unworthy aim,
The homely Nurse doth all she can
To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man,
Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.
Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years’ Darling of a pigmy size!
See, where ‘mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother’s kisses,
With light upon him from his father’s eyes!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learned art;
A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral;
And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song:
Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
But it will not be long
Ere this be thrown aside,
And with new joy and pride
The little Actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his “humorous stage”
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,
That Life brings with her in her equipage;
As if his whole vocation
Were endless imitation.
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?
Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!
O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
That nature yet remembers
What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest–
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:–
Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise;
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realised,
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty Thing surprised:
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain light of all our day,
Are yet a master light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
Hence in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be,
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea
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!
We in thought will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Forebode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquished one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the Brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripped lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born Day
Is lovely yet;
The Clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.