The Vision of Sir Launfal eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 124 pages of information about The Vision of Sir Launfal.
    And hang my wreath on his world-honored urn. 
          Nature, they say, doth dote,
          And cannot make a man
          Save on some worn-out plan,
          Repeating us by rote:  160
    For him her Old-World moulds aside she threw,
        And, choosing sweet clay from the breast
          Of the unexhausted West,
    With stuff untainted shaped a hero new,
    Wise, steadfast in the strength of God, and true. 165
            How beautiful to see
    Once more a shepherd of mankind indeed,
    Who loved his charge, but never loved to lead;
    One whose meek flock the people joyed to be,
        Not lured by any cheat of birth, 170
        But by his clear-grained human worth,
    And brave old wisdom of sincerity! 
        They knew that outward grace is dust;
        They could not choose but trust
    In that sure-footed mind’s unfaltering skill, 175
            And supple-tempered will
    That bent like perfect steel to spring again and thrust. 
        His was no lonely mountain-peak of mind,
        Thrusting to thin air o’er our cloudy bars,
        A sea-mark now, now lost in vapors blind; 180
        Broad prairie rather, genial, level-lined,
        Fruitful and friendly for all human-kind,
    Yet also nigh to heaven and loved of loftiest stars. 
            Nothing of Europe here,
    Or, then, of Europe fronting mornward still, 185
            Ere any names of Serf and Peer
        Could Nature’s equal scheme deface
            And thwart her genial will;
        Here was a type of the true elder race,
    And one of Plutarch’s men talked with us face to face. 190
      I praise him not; it were too late;
    And some innative weakness there must be
    In him who condescends to victory
    Such as the Present gives, and cannot wait,
      Safe in himself as in a fate. 195
            So always firmly he: 
            He knew to bide his time,
            And can his fame abide,
    Still patient in his simple faith sublime,
            Till the wise years decide. 200
      Great captains, with their guns and drums,
        Disturb our judgment for the hour,
            But at last silence comes;
      These all are gone, and, standing like a tower,
      Our children shall behold his fame, 205
        The kindly-earnest, brave, foreseeing man,
    Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame,
      New birth of our new soil, the first American.


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The Vision of Sir Launfal from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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