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The Youth Of Nature
by [?]

“More than the singer are these.
Weak is the tremor of pain
That thrills in his mournfullest chord
To that which once ran through his soul.
Cold the elation of joy
In his gladdest, airiest song,
To that which of old in his youth
Fill’d him and made him divine.
Hardly his voice at its best
Gives us a sense of the awe,
The vastness, the grandeur, the gloom
Of the unlit gulph of himself.

“Ye know not yourselves; and your bards–
The clearest, the best, who have read
Most in themselves–have beheld
Less than they left unreveal’d.
Ye express not yourselves;–can you make
With marble, with colour, with word,
What charm’d you in others re-live?
Can thy pencil, O artist! restore
The figure, the bloom of thy love,
As she was in her morning of spring?
Canst thou paint the ineffable smile
Of her eyes as they rested on thine?
Can the image of life have the glow,
The motion of life itself?

“Yourselves and your fellows ye know not; and me,
The mateless, the one, will ye know?
Will ye scan me, and read me, and tell
Of the thoughts that ferment in my breast,
My longing, my sadness, my joy?
Will ye claim for your great ones the gift
To have render’d the gleam of my skies,
To have echoed the moan of my seas,
Utter’d the voice of my hills?
When your great ones depart, will ye say:
All things have suffer’d a loss,
Nature is hid in their grave?

“Race after race, man after man,
Have thought that my secret was theirs,
Have dream’d that I lived but for them,
That they were my glory and joy.
–They are dust, they are changed, they are gone!
I remain.”