The Conduct of Life (1860)

Fate

The Conduct of Life (1860) Fate Delicate omens traced in airTo the lone bard true witness bare;Birds with auguries on their wingsChanted undeceiving thingsHim to beckon, him to warn;Well might then the poet scornTo learn of scribe or courierHints writ in vaster character;And on his mind, at dawn of day,Soft shadows of the evening lay.For…

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Power

The Conduct of Life (1860) Fate His tongue was framed to music, And his hand was armed with skill, His face was the mould of beauty, And his heart the throne of will. There is not yet any inventory of a man’s faculties, any more than a bible of his opinions. Who shall set a…

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Wealth

The Conduct of Life (1860) Wealth Who shall tell what did befall, Far away in time, when once, Over the lifeless ball, Hung idle stars and suns? What god the element obeyed? Wings of what wind the lichen bore, Wafting the puny seeds of power, Which, lodged in rock, the rock abrade? And well the…

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Culture

The Conduct of Life (1860) Culture Can rules or tutors educate The semigod whom we await? He must be musical, Tremulous, impressional, Alive to gentle influence Of landscape and of sky, And tender to the spirit-touch Of man’s or maiden’s eye: But, to his native centre fast, Shall into Future fuse the Past, And the…

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Behavior

The Conduct of Life (1860) Behavior Grace, Beauty, and Caprice Build this golden portal; Graceful women, chosen men Dazzle every mortal: Their sweet and lofty countenance His enchanting food; He need not go to them, their forms Beset his solitude. He looketh seldom in their face, His eyes explore the ground, The green grass is…

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Worship

The Conduct of Life (1860) Worship This is he, who, felled by foes, Sprung harmless up, refreshed by blows: He to captivity was sold, But him no prison-bars would hold: Though they sealed him in a rock, Mountain chains he can unlock: Thrown to lions for their meat, The crouching lion kissed his feet: Bound…

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Considerations

The Conduct of Life (1860) Considerations Hear what British Merlin sung, Of keenest eye and truest tongue. Say not, the chiefs who first arrive Usurp the seats for which all strive; The forefathers this land who found Failed to plant the vantage-ground; Ever from one who comes to-morrow Men wait their good and truth to…

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Beauty

The Conduct of Life (1860) Beauty Was never form and never face So sweet to SEYD as only grace Which did not slumber like a stone But hovered gleaming and was gone. Beauty chased he everywhere, In flame, in storm, in clouds of air. He smote the lake to feed his eye With the beryl…

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Illusions

The Conduct of Life (1860) Illusions Flow, flow the waves hated, Accursed, adored, The waves of mutation: No anchorage is. Sleep is not, death is not; Who seem to die live. House you were born in, Friends of your spring-time, Old man and young maid, Day’s toil and its guerdon, They are all vanishing, Fleeing…

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