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I kiss it twice, I kiss it thrice,

The warmth it thence shall win To riper life may magnetise

The baby-oak within.


But thou, while kingdoms overset,

Or lapse from hand to hand, Thy leaf shall never fail, nor yet

Thine acorn in the land.


May never saw dismember thee,

Nor wielded axe disjoint, That art the fairest-spoken tree

From here to Lizard-point.


O rock upon thy towery top

All throats that gurgle sweet! All starry culmination drop

Balm-dews to bathe thy feet!



grass of silky feather growAnd while he sinks or swells

The full south-breeze around thee blow

The sound of minster bells.


The fat earth feed thy branchy root,

That under deeply strikes !
The northern morning o'er thee shoot,

High up, in silver spikes !


Nor ever lightning char thy grain,

But, rolling as in sleep,
Low thunders bring the mellow rain,

That makes thee broad and deep!


And hear me swear a solemn oath,

That only by thy side
Will I to Olive plight my troth,

And gain her for my bride.

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And when my marriage-morn may fall,

She, Dryad-like, shall wear Alternate leaf and acorn-ball

In wreath about her hair.


And I will work in prose and rhyme,

And praise thee more in both Than bard has honour'd beech or lime,

Or that Thessalian growth,


In which the swarthy ringdove sat,

And mystic sentence spoke; And more than England honours that,

Thy famous brother-oak,


Wherein the younger Charles abode

Till all the paths were dim, And far below the Roundhead rode,

And humm'd a surly hymn.


Of love that never found his earthly close,
What sequel ? Streaming eyes and breaking hearts?
Or all the same as if he had not been?

Not so.

Shall Error in the round of time

Still father Truth? O shall the braggart shout
For some blind glimpse of freedom work itself
Thro' madness, hated by the wise, to law
System and empire? Sin itself be found
The cloudy porch oft opening on the Sun?
And only he, this wonder, dead, become
Mere highway dust? or year by year alone
Sit brooding in the ruins of a life,
Nightmare of youth, the spectre of himself?

If this were thus, if this, indeed, were all,
Better the narrow brain, the stony heart,

The staring eye glazed o'er with sapless days,
The long mechanic pacings to and fro,
The set gray life, and apathetic end.
But am I not the nobler thro’ thy love?
O three times less unworthy! likewise thou
Art more thro’ Love, and greater than thy years.
The Sun will run his orbit, and the Moon
Her circle. Wait, and Love himself will bring
The drooping flower of knowledge changed to fruit
Of wisdom. Wait: my faith is large in Time,
And that which shapes it to some perfect end.

Will some one say, then why not ill for good ?
Why took ye not your pastime? To that man
My work shall answer, since I knew the right
And did it; for a man is not as God,
But then most Godlike being most a man.

-So let me think 'tis well for thee and me-
Ill-fated that I am, what lot is mine
Whose foresight preaches peace, my heart so slow
To feel it! for how hard it seem'd to me,
When eyes, love-languid thro' half-tears, would dwell
One earnest, earnest moment upon mine,

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