Poets and Poesy.

Few chance-breathed syllables! ye bring to me1
A joy full deep, though voiceless it must be.2
How many thoughts an idly-spoken word3
Doth oft awaken !  even as when a bird4
Lights on a flowery spray—in some sweet spot,5
Quiet and shady, where winds wanton not6
Amid the young green leaves, nor ever creep7
To kiss the bright buds from their balmy sleep8
The fair flowers then all nod and dance, and fling9
Their treasured odour o’er that gay bird’s wing !10
And scarcely can our slumbering thoughts be stirred11
By the soft breathing of a dearer word12
Than this one—poesy.13
Oh glorious light,14
That with thy splendour makest all things bright !15
Thou loving angel !  on whose brow the flowers16
Still keep the bloom they wore in Eden’s bowers !17
Can there be those upon whose spirit all18
Thy fair creations unreflected fall ?19
Alas !  although in every soul doth rest20
The capability of being blessed ;21
Aud each must have the latent power to prize22
What it was formed to love, yet oft it lies23
Self-shadowed ’mid the sunshine, with no thirst24
For fadeless light, no deep desire to burst25
Its weary bondage, and to rise above26
The cloud that shuts out beauty, truth, and love :27
The elements of Heaven, where not one tear28
May dim the joy so faintly dreamed of here.29
But few although her worshippers may be,30
And only maskers some who bend the knee,31
Yet beauty is eternal !  though on earth32
Made visible in things of mortal birth.33
Thus though some lyre which hymns her praise be flung34
To drear decay, unlaurelled and unstrung ;35
Though the deep music of some minstrel’s lay,36
With his own life, unhonoured pass away ;37
The soul of poesy still lives !  still breathes38
Its melodies to gentle hearts, and wreathes39
For them its fairy flowers ; still hath its spell40
The power to wake the lovely things that dwell,41
Unseen, around us in the mystic air,42
Yea, even as Music liveth ever there !43
Though silent oft the spirit-voice must be,44
Till, with a trembling hand, man sets it free ;45
By genius, almost divinely, taught46
To vocalise his heart’s unworded thought.47
Oh priest of Beauty !  dweller ’mid the blaze48
Of that eternal light, whose faintest rays49
Can, even on earth’s most perishable things,50
Shed bloom like that an angel’s pinion flings !51
Rejoice ! rejoice ! that thus to thee are given52
The splendours of an intellectual heaven.53
Yet, poet! when from thine unclouded skies54
Recalled a while by still unbroken ties,55
Thou, with thy fellow-man, again dost tread56
The common earth, let no vain tears be shed,57
That thus thy human heart must often share58
The weary lot which others always bear,59
But strive thou rather ever to reveal60
To all the glories thou hast power to feel ;61
Nor deem thou that the blessings of thy God62
Are for thyself alone on thee bestowed.63
Fear not, and faint not ! though too oft thy strain64
Seem breathed, like winds o’er desert wastes, in vain ;65
Hearts yet shall feel the magic of thy lay,66
And own that in thy soul is shrined a ray67
Divine, though tinged ever with the hue68
Of thine own thought—the urn it streameth through69
Oh ! never till life’s ‘ silver cord’ is broken,70
May poets’ words to me be vainly spoken !71
Aye to earth’s crownless kings my spirit bends,72
And owns the.sceptre whose mild sway extends73
Wide as humanity can spread its love,74
Or as its wandering fancies e’er can rove ;75
Far as its chainless thought can reach, and high76
As its most soaring hope may dare to fly.77
We all owe homage to the mighty few,78
Who—since the days when human life was new,79
And Time’s broad flood was but an infant stream,80
Bright with the radiance of the sun’s first beam81
Hlave, as they floated down its tide, flung in82
The gems they toiled from their own thoughts to win ;83
And scattered o’er the waters leaves and flowers,84
That by the river bloomed; those wreaths are ours,85
Ours every sparkling jewel ! for true thought86
Is deathless : ’twere too sad to deem that aught87
Had perished utterly !  Though many a name88
Was breathed too faintly by the lip of Fame89
For us to catch its tone; though many a lay,90
Heart echoed oft, hath seemed to pass away ;91
Ere it grew silent, all its soul it gave92
To those whose name and words outlive the grave,93
A spirit-life have thoughts by poets breathed ;94
Oh ! let us prize the wealth they have bequeathed ;95
Nor idly murmur, though it be not ours96
To give to after-times bright gems or flowers.97