What hours, O what black hours we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light’s delay.
With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.
What? shall I ever sigh and pine?
My lines and life are free; free as the road,
Loose as the wind, as large as store.
Have I no harvest but a thorn
To let me blood, and not restore
What I have lost with cordial fruit?
Before my sighs did dry it: there was corn
Is the year only lost to me?
No flowers, no garlands gay? all blasted?
Call in thy death’s-head there: tie up thy fears.
To suit and serve his [own] need,
But as I rav’d and grew more fierce and wild
Methought I heard one calling, Child:
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For that which is most worthy to be blest—
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast: —