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A ray of light descended from above,
And souls drank in the light, that gift of love,
But knew not that an unexpiring flame
Possessed their youthful spirits; nor its name,
Until bright Genius, worshipped by the few,
Nay, its own worshipper, (alas, how true!)
Came as a living splendour o’er the world,
And to admiring eyes its wings unfurled.
Oh, thanks and praises to that blessed Being,
To that most high and infinite All-seeing!
Who, when he breathed a living soul within,
In pity for our frailty, or our sin,
That we might not forget our noble birth,
Nor let our spirits wander down to earth,
Upraised them on a car of living fire,
To mingle with the stars, and there aspire.
Thy course, bright Genius, is a varied one,
And may be justly likened to the sun,
Whose rising first sheds colours o’er the mind,
Of far too gorgeous lines to be defined;
And the fresh morning of its early years
Is often saddened o’er by many tears;
And when ‘tis risen, clouds will intervene,
Which darken for awhile the beauteous scene;
Then bursts he forth, dispelling mist and rain:—
Thus Genius breaks upon the sight again;
And onward then it speeds, and downward throws
A light, in which rejoicing nature glows;
And though perchance the cold unheeding cloud
May, like the world, its brightness often shroud,
Yet the exalted mind has justly deemed
There may be light; and light thenceforth has teemed.
In endless gratitude goes forth the sun,
Brighter and brighter, till his course is run;—
And so does Genius—never losing sight
Of the first smile which dawned upon its light—
By slow degrees the sky is overspread
With liquid gold the setting sun has shed;
And so the mind grows brighter, more divine,
While Genius lingers, ere it cease to shine;
Each cloud, each thought, is tinged with living fire—
’Tis set—‘tis gone—but never to expire.

R. E. S.