I TOLD ye, since the prophet Milton's day
Heroic song hath never swept the earth
To soar in flaming chariot up to Heaven.
Taunt, little children! taunt ye while ye may.
Natural your wonder, natural is your mirth,
Natural your weakness. Ye are all forgiven.


One man above all other men is great,
Even on this globe, where dust obscures the signs.
God closed his eyes to pour into his heart
His own pure wisdom. In chill house he sate,
Fed only on those fruits the hand divine
Disdain'd not, thro' his angels, to impart.


He was despised of those he would have spilt
His blood to ransom. How much happier we,
Altho' so small and feeble! We are taught
There may be national, not royal guilt,
And, if there has been, then there ought to be,
But 'tis the illusion of a mind distraught.


This with a tiny hand of ductile lead
Shows me the way; this takes me down his slate,
Draws me a line and teaches me to write;
Another pats me kindly on the head,
But finds one letter here and there too great,
One passable, one pretty well, one quite.


No wonder I am proud. At such award
The Muse most virginal would raise her chin
Forth from her collar-bone. What inward fire
Must swell the bosom of that favored bard
And wake to vigorous life the germ within,
On whom such judges look with such regard!
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