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(1870-1944 / England)

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Renaissance

O happy soul, forget thy self!
This that has haunted all the past,
That conjured disappointments fast,
That never could let well alone;
That, climbing to achievement's throne,
Slipped on the last step; this that wove
Dissatisfaction's clinging net,
And ran through life like squandered pelf:--
This that till now has been thy self
Forget, O happy soul, forget.

If ever thou didst aught commence,--
Set'st forth in springtide woods to rove,--
Or, when the sun in July throve,
Didst plunge into calm bay of ocean
With fine felicity in motion,--
Or, having climbed some high hill's brow,
Thy toil behind thee like the night,
Stoodst in the chill dawn's air intense;--
Commence thus now, thus recommence:

Take to the future as to light.
Not as a bather on the shore
Strips of his clothes, glad soul, strip thou:
He throws them off, but folds them now;
Although he for the billows yearns,
To weight them down with stones he turns;
To mark the spot he scans the shore;
Of his return he thinks before.
Do thou forget


All that, until this joy franchised thee,
Tainted thee, stained thee, or disguised thee;
For gladness, henceforth without let,
Be thou a body, naked, fair;
And be thy kingdom all the air
Which the noon fills with light;
And be thine actions every one,
Like to a dawn or set of sun,
Robed in an ample glory's peace;
Since thou hast tasted this great glee
Whose virtue prophesies in thee
That wrong is wholly doomed, is doomed and bound to cease.

Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010


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