Songs with Preludes: Dominion

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When found the rose delight in her fair hue?
Color is nothing to this world; ’tis I
That see it.  Farther, I have found, my soul,
That trees are nothing to their fellow trees;
It is but I that love their stateliness,
And I that, comforting my heart, do sit
At noon beneath their shadow.  I will step
On the ledges of this world, for it is mine;
But the other world ye wot of, shall go too;
I will carry it in my bosom.  O my world,
That was not built with clay!
  Consider it
(This outer world we tread on) as a harp,—­
A gracious instrument on whose fair strings
We learn those airs we shall be set to play
When mortal hours are ended.  Let the wings,
Man, of thy spirit move on it as wind,
And draw forth melody.  Why shouldst thou yet
Lie grovelling?  More is won than e’er was lost:
Inherit.  Let thy day be to thy night
A teller of good tidings.  Let thy praise
Go up as birds go up that, when they wake,
Shake off the dew and soar.
  So take Joy home,
And make a place in thy great heart for her,
And give her time to grow, and cherish her;
Then will she come, and oft will sing to thee,
When thou art working in the furrows; ay,
Or weeding in the sacred hour of dawn.
It is a comely fashion to be glad,—­
Joy is the grace we say to God.
  Art tired?
There is a rest remaining.  Hast thou sinned?
There is a Sacrifice.  Lift up thy head,
The lovely world, and the over-world alike,
Ring with a song eterne, a happy rede,

Yon mooréd mackerel fleet
  Hangs thick as a swarm of bees,
Or a clustering village street
  Foundationless built on the seas.

The mariners ply their craft,
  Each set in his castle frail;
His care is all for the draught,
  And he dries the rain-beaten sail.

For rain came down in the night,
  And thunder muttered full oft,
But now the azure is bright.
  And hawks are wheeling aloft.

I take the land to my breast,
  In her coat with daisies fine;
For me are the hills in their best,
  And all that’s made is mine.

Sing high!  “Though the red sun dip,
  There yet is a day for me;
Nor youth I count for a ship
  That long ago foundered at sea.

“Did the lost love die and depart?
  Many times since we have met;
For I hold the years in my heart,
  And all that was—­is yet.

“I grant to the king his reign;
  Let us yield him homage due;
But over the lands there are twain,
  O king, I must rule as you.

“I grant to the wise his meed,
  But his yoke I will not brook,
For God taught ME to read,—­
  He lent me the world for a book."

© Jean Ingelow