Here you will find the Long Poem To - of poet Charles Harpur
?Who would not be a poet?? thus I read In thy proud sonnet, my poetic friend; And unto this my full assent was given: ?There is not, cannot be, under all heaven, Aught happier in itself than the witch, poetry.? But ?Who?d not be a poet?? here I pause Forebodingly, my poet-friend,?because ?To see all beauty with his gifted sight,? To love, like him, with all the soul, To be, when life is morning-bright The very creature of delight,? Delight beyond control,? Is still to be, in like degree, Too sensible of misery And loss and slight, and all the weeping shapes of dole. And this is truth too, that with saddened heart Oft must he from his fellows live apart; For how can men whose every breath of life Is drawn in the hot air, and mid the strife Of pettiest interest, have a kindred heart With him who hath built heavenward and apart The structures of his mind, and looking thence Over this world-thronged universe immense, Is wont all such embroilments to deplore As light-obscuring vapours?nothing more? What ladder of experience can they build, To mount with?up, into a nature filled With beauty, or by mighty truths inspired, Or one even with a bold ambition fired? But least of all in such men can there be Devotions chiming into sympathy With some pure soul, unsuccoured and alone, Struggled in weariness unwearied on? Unwearied, day and night, and night and day, Towards the far Mecca of its faith always. Yet thus the poet, armed only with the right, To life?s dishonest battle oft must come, To front instead of valour, mean despite, With envy aye in emulation?s room, Blotting heaven?s sacred light! To see unblushing fortune?s minions doom To obloguy, through some repute unholy, Or to some vile and miserable estate, All such as would not trample on the lowly, And basely glorify the falsely great. Yet if a thought like this Should mar at times they tuneful bliss, Stronger within thine earnest will Be the spirit of sone, that still Thou mayest sing of eloquent eyes That are of sunny thoughts the every sunny skies; Sweet dreams that swarm round honeyed lips, Like honey-loving bees; Glad birds, fresh flowers, clear streams, and trees All starry bright with golden pips; Or with a loud bold chime, Sing of that braver time, When world-wide justice from her Alpine chair Shall read at length in the rich reddening skies The gospel of her advent, and declare The sacred sign of her epiphany there, Amid the purple dyes; While all true men, the bravely wise, Shall seek her there with fearless feet and free Where the prophet-peaks arise Out of the shattering mist, the phantom sea Of old iniquity! Through dense and rare, shall seek her there, Breathing with lion-lungs the clear keen mountain air Of a supreme up-climbing, God-great liberty. Then envy not the splendid wretchedness Of Mammon?s dupes! Sing thy great rhymes For those diviner spiritual times Our country yet shall know, and, wisely knowing, bless. Downward, through the blooming roofage Of a lonely forest bower, Come the yellow sunbeams,?falling Like a burning shower: So through heaven?s starry ceiling To the hermit soul?s abode, Comes the Holy Spirit,?earthward Raying down from God.