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Poem by Richard Monckton Milnes

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Back again, back again!
We are passing back again;
We are ceasing to be men!
Without the strife
Of waning life,
Or weary fears
Of loveless years,--
Without the darkened eye,
Without the paling brow,
Without a pulse of pain,
Out of our maturity,
We are passing now
Back again!
Clap your hands! clap your hands!
Now are broken all the bands
Of dull forms and phantom power,
That could prevent us doing
What joy would wish to do,--
For out of manhood's ruin,
We are growing, hour by hour,
Happy children too!--
From out the din
And storm of sin,
From out the fight
Of wrong and right,
Where the wrong
Is all too strong,
We glide our backward course along:
From out the chilly weather,
In which we laid, of old,
Our hearts so close together,
To keep them from the cold:--
From the folly of the wise,
From the petty war of gain,
From Pleasure's painèd votaries,
We are hasting back again,
Into other, healthier, lands,--
Clap your hands,--
Back again!
Faery fruit! faery fruit!
Can our charmèd hearts be mute,
When they feel at work within
Thine almighty medicine?
Joy through all our hearts is tingling,--
Joy with our life--blood is mingling,--
Before us rise
The dancing eyes,
That cannot speak
Of aught but light,
Unknowing gloom,--
The rounded cheek,
For ever bright
With cool, red, bloom;--
Our faded leaves are closing,
Our petals are reposing
Within their undeveloped stem;--
It is beautiful to see
Archetypes of infancy,
For we are growing like to them.
The wisdom of the common earth,
And reason's servile royalty,
Dust to dust,--the nothing--worth,--
Tread it down triumphantly,
To a just oblivion,--
Freely--springing hearts and pure,
Who are putting on
Consecrated vestiture
Of a new, old, communion!--

Our home! our home!
Our native air,--our brothers' song,
That we have lost so long!
We are worthy now to come,
Where dwelleth the Divine;--
Through the narrow door of Death
Pass;--we breathe eternal breath,--
Father! father! we are thine!

Richard Monckton Milnes

Richard Monckton Milnes's other poems:
  1. The Subterranean River, At Cong
  2. Switzerland and Italy
  3. To the Moon of the South
  4. London Churches
  5. Valentia

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