Rise, heir of fresh eternity,
From thy virgin-tomb;
Rise, mighty man of wonders, and thy world with thee;
Thy tomb, the universal East--
Nature's new womb;
Thy tomb--fair Immortality's perfumed nest.
Of all the glories make noon gay
This is the morn;
This rock buds forth the fountain of the streams of day;
In joy's white annals lives this hour,
When life was born,
No cloud-scowl on his radiant lids, no tempest-lower.
Life, by this light's nativity,
All creatures have;
Death only by this day's just doom is forced to die.
Nor is death forced; for, may he lie
Throned in thy grave,
Death will on this condition be content to die.
When we come, in the writings of one who has revealed masterdom, upon any
passage that seems commonplace, or any figure that suggests nothing true,
the part of wisdom is to brood over that point; for the probability is
that the barrenness lies in us, two factors being necessary for the
result of sight--the thing to be seen and the eye to see it. No doubt the
expression may be inadequate, but if we can compensate the deficiency by
adding more vision, so much the better for us.
In the second stanza there is a strange combination of images: the rock
buds; and buds a fountain; the fountain is light. But the images are so
much one at the root, that they slide gracefully into each other, and
there is no confusion or incongruity: the result is an inclined plane of
I now come to the most musical and most graceful, therefore most lyrical,
of his poems. I have left out just three stanzas, because of the
sentimentalism of which I have spoken: I would have left out more if I
could have done so without spoiling the symmetry of the poem. My reader
must be friendly enough to one who is so friendly to him, to let his
peculiarities pass unquestioned--amongst the rest his conceits, as well
as the trifling discord that the shepherds should be called, after the
classical fashion--ill agreeing, from its associations, with Christian
song--Tityrus and Thyrsis.