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We call our Country, visionary shape,
Loved more than woman, fuller of fire than wine,
Whose charm can none define,

Nor any, though he fee it, can escape!
130 All party-colored threads the weaver Time

Sets in his web, now trivial, now sublime,
All memories, all forebodings, hopes and fears,
Mountain and river, forest, prairie, sea,

A hill, a rock, a homestead, field, or tree, 135 The casual gleanings of unreckoned years,

Take goddess-shape at last and there is She,
Old at our birth, new as the springing hours,
Shrine of our weakness, fortress of our powers,

Consoler, kindler, peerless 'mid her peers,
140 A force that 'neath our conscious being stirs,

A life to give ours permanence, when we
Are borne to mingle our poor earth with hers,
And all this glowing world goes with us on our


2. Nations are long results, by ruder ways 145 Gathering the might that warrants length of days:

They may be pieced of half-reluctant shares
Welded by hammer-strokes of broad-brained kings,
Or from a doughty people grow, the heirs

Of wise traditions widening cautious rings; 50 At best they are computable things,

A strength behind us making us feel bold
In right, or, as may chance, in wrong;
Whose force by figures may be summed and told

So many soldiers, ships, and dollars strong, 155 And we but drops that bear compulsory part

In the dumb throb of a mechanic heart;
But Country is a shape of each man's mind


Sacred from definition, unconfined
By the cramped walls where daily drudgeries

160 An inward vision, yet an outward birth

Of sweet familiar heaven and earth;
A brooding Presence that stirs motions blind
Of wings within our embryo being's shell

That wait but her completer spell
165 To make us eagle-natured, fit to dare

Life's nobler spaces and untarnished air.


You, who hold dear this self-conceived ideal,
Whose faith and works alone can make it real,

Bring all your fairest gifts to deck her shrine 170 Who lifts our lives away from Thine and Mine

· And feeds the lamp of manhood more divine
With fragrant oils of quenchless constancy.
When all have done their utmost, surely he

Hath given the best who gives a character 175 Erect and constant, which nor any shock

Of loosened elements, nor the forceful sea
Of flowing or of ebbing fates, can stir
From its deep bases in the living rock

Of ancient manhood's sweet security:
180 And this he gave, serenely far from pride

As baseness, boon with prosperous stars allied,
Part of what nobler seed shall in our loins abide

No bond of men as common pride so strong,

In names time-filtered for the lips of song, 85 Still operant, with the primal Forces bound,

Whose currents, on their spiritual round,
Transfuse our mortal will nor are gainsaid:

These are their arsenals, these the exhaustless

mines That give a constant heart in great designs; 190 These are the stuff whereof such dreams are made

As make heroic men: thus surely he
Still holds in place the massy blocks he laid
'Neath our new frame, enforcing soberly
The self-control that makes and keeps & people



195 Oh for a drop of that Cornelian ink

Which gave Agricola dateless length of days,
To celebrate him fitly, neither swerve
To phrase unkempt, nor pass discretion's brink

With him so statue-like in sad reserve,
200 So diffident to claim, so forward to deserve!

Nor need I shun due influence of his fame
Who, mortal among mortals, seemed as now
The equestrian shape with unimpassioned brow,

paces silent on through vistas of acclaim.


205 What figure more immovably august

Than that grave strength so patient and so pure,
Calm in good fortune, when it wavered, sure,

That mind serene, impenetrably just, 190. A reminiscence of Shakspere's lines, –

We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

The Tempest, Act IV. Soene 1. 195. It was Caius Cornelius Tacitus who wrote in imperish. able words the life of Agricola.

Modelled on classic lines so simple they endure? llo That soul so softly radiant and so white

The track it left seems less of fire than light,
Cold but to such as love distemperature ?
And if pure light, as some deem, be the force

That drives rejoicing planets on their course, 215 Why for his power benign seek an impurer source?

His was the true enthusiasm that burns long,
Domestically bright
Fed from itself and shy of human sight,

The hidden force that makes a lifetime strong, 220 And not the short-lived fuel of a song.

Passionless, say you? What is passion for
But to sublime our natures and control
To front heroic toils with late return,

Or none, or such as shames the conqueror ? 225 That fire was fed with substance of the soul

And not with holiday stubble, that could burn,
Unpraised of men who after bonfires run,
Through seven slow years of unadvancing war,

Equal when fields were lost or fields were won, 230 With breath of popular applause or blame,

Nor fanned nor damped, unquenchably the same,
Too inward to be reached by flaws of idle fame.


Soldier and statesman, rarest unison;

High-poised examp.e of great duties done 335 Simply as breathing, a world's honors worn

As life's indifferent gifts to all men born;
Dumb for himself, unless it were to God,
But for his barefoot soldiers eloquent,

Tramping the snow to coral where they trod, 240 Held by his awe in hollow-eyed content;

239. At Valley Forge.

Modest, yet firm as Nature's self; unblamed
Save by the men his nobler temper shamed;
Never seduced through show of present good

By other than unsetting lights to steer 245 New-trimmed in Heaven, nor than his steadfast

More steadfast, far from rashness as from fear;
Rigid, but with himself first, grasping still
In swerveless poise the wave-beat helm of will:

Not honored then or now because he wooed 250 The popular voice, but that he still withstood ;

Broad-minded, higher-souled, there is but one
Who was all this and ours, and all men's,-



Minds strong by fits, irregularly great,

That flash and darken like revolving lights, 255 Catch more the vulgar eye unschooled to wait

On the long curve of patient days and nights
Rounding a whole life to the circle fair
Of orbed fulfilment; and this balanced soul,

So simple in its grandeur, coldly bare 260 Of draperies theatric, standing there

In perfect symmetry of self-control,
Seems not so great at first, but greater grows
Still as we look, and by experience learn

How grand this quiet is, how nobly stern 265 The discipline that wrought through life-long

That energetic passion of repose.

A nature too decorous and severe,
Too self-respectful in its griefs and joys,

267. See note to The School-Boy, p. 336, 1. 71.

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