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[120] The simple tastes, the kindly traits,
     The tranquil air, and gentle speech,
The silence of the soul that waits
     For more than man to teach.

The cant of party, school, and sect,
     Provoked at times his honest scorn,
And Folly, in its gray respect,
     He tossed on satire's horn.

But still his heart was full of awe
     And reverence for all sacred things;
And, brooding over form and law,
     He saw the Spirit's wings!

Life's mystery wrapt him like a cloud;
     He heard far voices mock his own,
The sweep of wings unseen, the loud,
     Long roll of waves unknown.

The arrows of his straining sight
     Fell quenched in darkness; priest and sage,
Like lost guides calling left and right,
     Perplexed his doubtful age.

Like childhood, listening for the sound
     Of its dropped pebbles in the well,
All vainly down the dark profound
     His brief-lined plummet fell.

So, scattering flowers with pious pains
     On old beliefs, of later creeds,
Which claimed a place in Truth's domains,
     He asked the title-deeds.

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