Poets of the Olden Time
The brave old Poets sing of nobler themes
Than the weak griefs which haunt men's coward souls.
The torrent of their lusty music rolls
Not through dark valleys of distempered dreams,
But murmurous pastures lit by sunny streams;
Or, rushing from some mountain height of Thought,
Swells to strange music, that our minds have sought
Vainly to gather from the doubtful gleams
Of our more gross perceptions. Oh, their strains
Nerve and ennoble Manhood!--no shrill cry,
Set to a treble, tells of querulous woe;
Yet numbers deep-voiced as the mighty Main's
Merge in the ringdove's plaining, or the sigh
Of lovers whispering where sweet streamlets flow.