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I walk'd the other day, (to spend my hour),

Into a field,

Where I sometimes had seen the soil to yield

A gallant flower;

But Winter now had ruffled all the bower

And curious store,

I knew there heretofore.


Yet I, whose search loved not to peep and peer

I' th' face of things,

Thought with myself, there might be other springs

Besides this here,

Which, like cold friends, sees us but once a year;

And so the flower

Might have some other bower.

Then taking up what I could nearest spy,

I digg'd about

That place where I had seen him to grow out;

And by and by

I saw the warm Recluse alone to lie,

Where fresh and green

He lived of us unseen.

Many a question intricate and rare

Did I there strow132132strow, put;

But all I could extort was, that he now

Did there repair

Such losses as befell him in this air,

And would ere long

Come forth most fair and young.

This past, I threw the clothes quite o'er his head;

And stung with fear

Of my own frailty, dropp'd down many a tear

Upon his bed;

Then sighing whisper'd 'Happy are the dead!

What peace doth now

Rock him asleep below!'

And yet, how few believe such doctrine springs

From a poor root,

Which all the Winter sleeps here underfoot,

And hath no wings

To raise it to the truth and light of things;

But is still trod

By every wandering clod133133clod, countryman.

--O Thou! Whose Spirit did at first inflame

And warm the dead,

And by a sacred incubation, fed

With life this frame,

Which once had neither being, form, nor name;

Giant I may so

Thy steps track here below,


That in these Masques and shadows, I may see

Thy sacred way;

And by those hid ascents climb to that day,

Which breaks from Thee,

Who art in all things, though invisibly:--

Shew me Thy peace,

Thy mercy, love, and ease.

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