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What arts of death, what ways of life, What creeds unknown to bard or seer,
Shall round your careless steps be rife, Who pause and ponder here :
And, haply, where yon curlew calls
Athwart the marsh, 'mid groves and bowers
See rise some mighty chieftain's halls With unimagined towers :
And baying hounds and coursers bright, And burnish't cars of dazzling sheen,
With courtly train of dame and knight, Where now the fern is green.
Or by yon prostrate altar stone
May kneel, perchance, and free from blame, Hear holy men with rites unknown
New names of God proclaim.
Let change as may the name of Awe,
Let right surcease and altar fall, The same one God remains, a law
Forever and for all.
Let change as may the face of earth,
Let alter all the social frame, For mortal men the ways of birth
And death are still the same.
And still, as life and time wear on,
The children of the waning days (Though strength be from their shoulders gone
To lift the loads we raise)