John Bowring

(1792-1872 / England)

Morning Thoughts - Poem by John Bowring

Come, let us leave the vain, the proud,
The ambitious, and the worldly wise;
Pomp's revels, turbulent and loud,
And pleasure's tempting vanities;

And let us mount the mantled hill,
Or wander in the waving wood;
Or trace the melancholy rill
Thro' its own haunts of solitude;

Or seek the little tufts of flowers,
Hid 'neath the turf from sultry beams:
Nor waste life's swift and smiling hours
In senseless joys or idle dreams.

Or let us tread the ocean shore;
And, while its surges rise and roll,
Their voice sublime, their blended roar,
Shall fall like music on the soul.

Or watch the busy clouds that sail
Along the heavens like living things;
Soar on the spirit-rousing gale-
Or take the gentler zephyr's wings.

And then our hallow'd talk shall be
Of Him who rear'd the mountains high,
Pour'd out the waters of the sea,
Painted the flowers, and arch'd the sky.

'Tis in the silence, in the shade,
That light from heaven illumes our road;
And man, even mortal man, is made,
If not a god-almost a god.

'Tis then he feels and hears and sees
Thoughts, hopes and joys to angels given;
Those chains of towering sympathies
Which link the earthly soul to heaven.

Beyond or moon, or sun, or star,
The enfranchised spirit soars-the ray
Of morning is its glorious car,
And comets light it on its way.

It travels o'er the vast abyss
Of space and time, and joys to see
The pregnant future bright with bliss,
And love, and joy, and liberty.

Then bending down to earth again,
Full of glad hope,-'tis train'd to bear
The lighten'd weight of mortal pain;
The passing storm of earthly care.

And every stream more gently flows,
And every flower more freshly smells,
And every breeze more gaily blows,
And every note more sweetly swells.

The light that shines within, is shed
O'er all above, around, below;
The stars are brighter o'er our head,
And brighter is the sunny glow.

E'en darkness has a cheering smile,
And twilight kindles into day;
And the heart rests untroubled-while
Visions of Eden round it play.

And, journeying onwards, peace and hope
And holy memory gild the gloom,
While man descends the gentle slope
Which brings him to the quiet tomb.

There shall he rest;-till, ages gone,-
When, summon'd to a higher sphere,
He shall enjoy that blissful sun
Whose distant rays consoled him here.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

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