A rock there is whose homely front
The passing traveller slights;
Yet there the glow-worms hang their lamps
Like stars, at various heights;
And one coy Primrose to that Rock
The vernal breeze invites.
What hideous warfare hath been waged,
What kingdoms overthrown,
Since first I spied that Primrose-tuft
And mark'd it for my own;
A lasting link in Nature's chain
From highest Heaven let down.
The flowers, still faithful to the stems,
Their fellowship renew;
The stems are faithful to the root,
That worketh out of view;
And to the rock the root adheres
In every fibre true.
Close clings to earth the living rock,
Though threatening still to fall;
The earth is constant to her sphere;
And GOD upholds them all;
So blooms this lonely Plant, nor dreads
Her annual funeral.
--Here closed the meditative strain;
But air breathed soft that day,
The hoary mountain-heights were cheer'd,
The sunny vale look'd gay;
And to the Primrose of the Rock
I gave this after-lay:--
Sin-blighted though we are, we too,
The reasoning Sons of Men,
From one oblivious winter call'd
Shall rise, and breathe again;
And in eternal summer lose
Our threescore years and ten.
To humbleness of heart descends
This prescience from on high,
The Faith that elevates the just,
Before and when they die;
And makes each soul a separate heaven,
A court for Deity.