True—time will seam and blanch my brow—
Well—I shall sit with aged men,
And my good glass will tell me how
A grizzly beard becomes me then.
And then should no dishonour lie
Upon my head, when I am gray,
Love yet shall watch my fading eye,
And smooth the path of my decay.
Then haste thee, Time—’tis kindness
That speeds thy winged feet so fast:
Thy pleasures stay not till they pall,
And all thy pains are quickly past.
Thou fliest and bear’st away our woes,
And as thy shadowy train depart,
The memory of sorrow grows
A lighter burden on the heart.
When the radiant morn of creation broke,
And the world in the smile of God awoke,
And the empty realms of darkness and death
Were moved through their depths by his mighty breath,
And orbs of beauty and spheres of flame
From the void abyss by myriads came,—
In the joy of youth as they darted away,
Through the widening wastes of space to play,
Their silver voices in chorus rang,
And this was the song the bright ones sang:
“Away, away, through the wide, wide sky,
The fair blue fields that before us lie,—
Each sun with the worlds that round him roll,
Each planet, poised on her turning pole;
With her isles of green, and her clouds of white,
And her waters that lie like fluid light.
“For the source of glory uncovers his face,
And the brightness o’erflows unbounded space;
And we drink as we go the luminous tides
In our ruddy air and our blooming sides:
Lo, yonder the living splendours play;
Away, on our joyous path, away!
“Look, look, through our glittering ranks afar,
In the infinite azure, star after star,
How they brighten and bloom as they swiftly pass!
How the verdure runs o’er each rolling mass!
And the path of the gentle winds is seen,
Where the small waves dance, and the young woods lean.
“And see where the brighter day-beams pour,
How the rainbows hang in the sunny shower;
And the morn and eve, with their pomp of hues,
Shift o’er the bright planets and shed their dews;
And ’twixt them both, o’er the teeming ground,
With her shadowy cone the night goes round!
“Away, away! in our blossoming bowers,
In the soft air wrapping these spheres of ours,
In the seas and fountains that shine with morn,
See, Love is brooding, and Life is born,
And breathing myriads are breaking from night,
To rejoice, like us, in motion and light.
“Glide on in your beauty, ye youthful spheres,
To weave the dance that measures the years;
Glide on, in the glory and gladness sent,
To the farthest wall of the firmament,—
The boundless visible smile of Him,
To the veil of whose brow your lamps are dim.”