The Eld

Oh! blessèd, blessèd be the Eld,
Its echoes and its shades,--
The tones that from all time outswelled,
The light that never fades;--
The silver--pinion'd memories,
The symbol and the tale,--
The soul--enchasèd melodies
Of merriment or bale.

Oh, glory! that we wrestle
So valiantly with Time,
And do not alway nestle
In listlessness or crime:
We do not live and die
Irrevocably blind,
But raise our hands and sigh
For' the might we left behind.

Each goodly sign and mystic letter,
That angel--haunted books unfold,--
We cherish more,--we know them better,
When we remember they are old;
And friends, though fresh, and hale, and cheerly,
And young, as annals hold,
Yet, if we prize them very dearly,
We love to call them old.

Yon scented shrub,--I passed it by,
The youngling of the breeze;
I sat me, sad and soberly,
Beneath those ancient trees,
Whose branches, dight in summer pall,
Their gloom in moaning wore;
For' they told me of the Eld and all
The mystery of yore.

And in the gusts, I thought they pitied
The falling of the young,--
The fair, the subtle--witted,
Fine limb, and honeyed tongue;--
As man, from birth to funeral,
Were but a tragic mime,--
And, they the kinsman lineal
Of the good and olden prime.

I saw the hoary bulk of ocean
A' couching on the shore,
With a ripple for its motion,
And a murmur for its roar;
I gazed, but not as on the dead,
But as if Death were held
In awe, by a thing that slumberèd
In the deep and silent Eld.

The golden school of Eld is rife
With many a God--sent ray,
And jewel--gleams of perfect life,
Hereditary day!
Alas! we cannot quite awake,--
But when we feel we dream,
That hour, our heart is strong to shake
The falsities that seem.

For our bark is on the angle
Of a wide and bending stream,
Whose bosky banks entangle
The eye's divergent beam;--
The ridgy steeps hide in the way,
Whither the stream is quest,
As on a lake, the mirror'd day
Repeats its waveless rest.

How know we, when so clearly still,
Where its nether fountains be?
That it welleth in a viewless hill,
And passeth to the sea?
The tide beneath us,--where it welled
Dull sense regardeth not,--
But it was once the tide of Eld,
And we have not all forgot.

Great Art hath bound a diadem,
Upon his front serene,
Whose every pure and charmèd gem
Bedews him with its sheen;
And thus,--nor deem it wildly new,
Nor slur of idle tongue,--
But true, as God's own words are true,
The Eld is alway young;--

Young as the flush of all--blue light,
Or eve's imperial eyes,
And he who worshippeth aright,
Shall aye be young and wise,
And gentle as the virgin dove
That primal chaos quelled,
With Nature for his ladie--love,
The daughter of the Eld.

Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.