8. The Trance of Time

"Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas,
Atque metus omnes, et inexorabile fatum
Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari!"

IN childhood, when with eager eyes
    The season-measured year I view'd,
       All garb'd in fairy guise,
          Pledged constancy of good.

Spring sang of heaven; the summer flowers
    Bade me gaze on, and did not fade;
       Even suns o'er autumn's bowers
          Heard my strong wish, and stay'd.

They came and went, the short-lived four;
    Yet, as their varying dance they wove,
       To my young heart each bore
          Its own sure claim of love. {25}

Far different now;—the whirling year
    Vainly my dizzy eyes pursue;
       And its fair tints appear
          All blent in one dusk hue.

Why dwell on rich autumnal lights,
    Spring-time, or winter's social ring?
       Long days are fire-side nights,
          Brown autumn is fresh spring.

Then what this world to thee, my heart?
    Its gifts nor feed thee nor can bless.
       Thou hast no owner's part
          In all its fleetingness.

The flame, the storm, the quaking ground,
    Earth's joy, earth's terror, nought is thine,
       Thou must but hear the sound
          Of the still voice divine.

O priceless art! O princely state!
    E'en while by sense of change opprest,
       Within to antedate
          Heaven's Age of fearless rest.

, 1827.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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