Do you ask what the birds say? The sparrow, the dove,
The linnet, and thrush say, 'I love and I love!'
Where true Love burns Desire is Love's pure flame;
It is the reflex of our earthly frame,
That takes its meaning from the nobler part,
'Tis true, Idoloclastes Satyrane !
(So call him, for so mingling blame with praise,
And smiles with anxious looks, his earliest friends,
Masking his birth-name, wont to character
His wild-wood fancy and impetuous zeal,)
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.
Now as Heaven is my Lot, they're the Pests of the Nation!
Wherever they can come
With clankum and blankum
'Tis all Botheration, & Hell & Damnation,
With fun, jeering
Resembles Life what once was held of Light,
Too ample in itself for human sight ?
An absolute Self--an element ungrounded--
All, that we see, all colours of all shade
The shepherds went their hasty way,
And found the lowly stable-shed
Where the Virgin-Mother lay:
Friend of the Wise ! and Teacher of the Good !
Into my heart have I received that Lay
More than historic, that prophetic Lay
Wherein (high theme by thee first sung aright)
Of the foundations and the building up
My pensive SARA ! thy soft cheek reclined
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is
To sit beside our Cot, our Cot o'ergrown
With white-flower'd Jasmin, and the broad-leav'd Myrtle,
The sole true Something--This ! In Limbo Den
It frightens Ghosts as Ghosts here frighten men--
For skimming in the wake it mock'd the care
Of the old Boat-God for his Farthing Fare ;