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As I Ponder'd in Silence.

Part of the cluster INSCRIPTIONS.



AS I ponder'd in silence, Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long, A Phantom arose before me, with distrustful aspect, Terrible in beauty, age, and power,   [ begin page 8 ]ppp.00270.010.jpgThe genius of poets of old lands, As to me directing like flame its eyes, With finger pointing to many immortal songs, And menacing voice, What singest thou? it said; Knowest thou not, there is but one theme for ever-enduring  
And that is the theme of War, the fortune of battles, The making of perfect soldiers?


Be it so, then I answer'd, I too, haughty Shade, also sing war—and a longer and  
  greater one than any,
Waged in my book with varying fortune—with fight, ad- 
 vance, and retreat—Victory deferr'd and wavering,
(Yet, methinks, certain, or as good as certain, at the last,)  
  —The field the world;
For life and death—for the Body, and for the eternal Soul, Lo! I too am come, chanting the chant of battles, I, above all, promote brave soldiers.

Part of the cluster INSCRIPTIONS.

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