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Influence of Natural Objects in Calling Forth and Strengthening the Imagination in Boyhood and Early Youth
Wisdom and Spirit of the universe!Thou Soul, that art the Eternity of thought!And giv'st to forms and images a breathAnd everlasting motion! not in vain,By day or star-light, thus from my first dawnOf childhood didst thou intertwine for meThe passions that build up our human soul;Not with the mean and vulgar works of Man;But with high objects, with enduring things,With life and nature; purifying thusThe elements of feeling and of thought,And sanctifying by such disciplineBoth pain and fear,--until we recogniseA grandeur in the beatings of the heart
Ye Virgins, ye from Cupid's tents do bear away the foil,Whose hearts as yet with raging love most painfully do boil.
When my hand closed upon thee, worn and spentWith idly dashing on the window-pane,Or clinging to the cornice -- I, that meantAt once to free thee, could not but detain;I dropt my pen, I left th' unfinished lay,To give thee back to freedom; but I took --Oh, charm of sweet occasion! -- one brief lookAt thy bright eyes and innocent dismay;Then forth I sent thee on thy homeward quest,My lesson learnt -- thy beauty got by heart:And if, at times, my sonnet-muse would restShort of her topmost skill, her little best,The memory of thy delicate gold crestShall plead for one last touch, -- the crown of Art