There is a world of mind, which few can know

There is a world of mind, which few can know,
High raised above the sensual crowd below,
Where thought is pure and free, and fancy fires
In rapture, where the mounting soul aspires,
And sails on wings untiring,—heaven is there,
And all is grand and beautiful, and fair.
How the heart swells beneath the living tide,
That rolls in kindling effluence, deep and wide!
How man drinks in the clear, untainted ray,
And dwells delighted in meridian day!
The mists that dimmed him, and the crimes that sunk,
When blind with folly and with pleasure drunk,
Are all dispersed, and o'er his august head
Heaven's purest light in streams of love is shed:
As when an eagle, from the mountain's height,
Lifts to the god of day his towering flight,
Spurns with strong wing the fields of nether air,
And soars where ether girds him, pure and rare,
With keen eye fixed upon the burning ball,
He feels no more this cold and earthly thrall,
But, ever mounting with intense desire,
Seeks with untiring flight the fount of fire.
O that my soul had always been thus high,
Had found no joy, no home beneath the sky!
O had perfection been my only aim,
My spirit kindled with a purest flame,
Its energies all active, all awake,
A thirst that heaven, and heaven alone, could slake,—
O had this boundless, quenchless fire been mine,
My soul might still in all its brightness shine:
But sense has poured around its inky streams,
And in its Stygian current quenched the beams;
It cannot rise, it will not sink, it must
Waste with this mortal body into dust;
It has one wish, one only,—in the grave
To find for all its sorrows Lethe's wave,
And there in deep forgetfulness to lie,
And know that body, feeling, thought, must die,
That all the glories of our heaven will fade,
And hell be but a formless phantom's shade.
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