Charles Harpur


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In vain, when music’s seraph-fire
Runs kindling through the air,
Making it such as gods respire,
(And gods perhaps are there!)
In vain would words of subtlest wit
Reveal, as on they roll,
The clouds of glory it hath lit
Like sunrise in the soul!

Like sunrise when its conquering glow
Smites through the vapours cold,
Till all their ragged inlets flow
With floods of burning gold.


Like him who great reports of tilth rejects,
Because his own is a most barren field,
Is he who man’s divinity suspects,
Because his own soul doth so little yield.
Better is one who through himself can see
How good, how lovely, all mankind might be,
Though mere experience give his faith the lie,
And all his hopes breathe the world’s breath—to die!

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Charles Harpur