Littell's Living Age/Volume 160/Issue 2069/The Golden Year

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Littell's Living Age by Alfred Tennyson
Volume 160, Issue 2069 : The Golden Year

We sleep and wake and sleep; but all things move;
The sun flies forward to his brother sun;
The dark earth follows, wheeled in her eclipse;
And human things, returning on themselves,
Move onward, leading up the Golden Year.

Ah, though the times when some new thought can bud
Are but as poet's seasons when they flower;
Yet seas that daily gain upon the shore,
Have ebb and flow conditioning their march;
And slow and sure comes up the Golden Year.

When wealth no more shall rest in moulded heaps,
But, smit with freer light, shall slowly melt
In many streams, to fatten lower lands,
And light shall spread, and man be liker man,
Through all the seasons of the Golden Year.

Shall eagles not be eagles? wrens be wrens?
If all the world were falcons, what of that?
The wonder of the eagle were the less,
But he not less the eagle. Happy days,
Roll onward, leading up the Golden Year!

Fly, happy, happy, sails, and hear the press —
Fly, happy with the mission of the Cross;
Knit land to land, and, blowing heavenward,
With silks, and fruits, and spices, clear of toil,
Enrich the markets of the Golden Year.

But we grow old. Ah! when shall all men's good
Be each man's rule, and universal peace
Lie like a shaft of light across the land,
And like a lane of beams athwart the sea,
Through all the circle of the Golden Year?