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.