Milton, our noblest poet, in the grace
Of youth, in those fair eyes and clustering hair,
That brow untouched by one faint line of care,
To mar its openness, we seem to trace
The front of the first lord of the human race,
Mid thine own Paradise portrayed so fair,
Ere Sin or Sorrow scathed it: such the air
That characters thy youth.
Shall time efface
These lineaments as crowding cares assail!
It is the lot of fallen humanity.
What boots it! armed in adamantine mail,
The unconquerable mind, and genius high,
Right onward hold their way through weal and woe,
Or whether life's brief lot be high or low!
William Lisle Bowles
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