I past beside the reverend walls
      In which of old I wore the gown;
      I roved at random thro' the town,
And saw the tumult of the halls;

And heard once more in college fanes
      The storm their high-built organs make,
      And thunder-music, rolling, shake
The prophet blazon'd on the panes;

And caught once more the distant shout,
      The measured pulse of racing oars
      Among the willows; paced the shores
And many a bridge, and all about

The same gray flats again, and felt
      The same, but not the same; and last
      Up that long walk of limes I past
To see the rooms in which he dwelt.

Another name was on the door:
      I linger'd; all within was noise
      Of songs, and clapping shand, and boys
That crash'd the glass and beat the floor;

Where once we held debate, a band
      Of youthful friends, on mind and art,
      And labour, and the changing mart,
And all the framework of the land;

When one would aim an arrow fair,
      But send it slackly from the string;
      And one would pierce an outer ring,
And one an inner, here and there;

And last the master-bowman, he,
      Would cleave the mark. A willing ear
      We lent him. Who, but hung to hear
The rapt oration flowing free

From point to point, with power and grace
      And music in the bounds of law,
      To those conclusions when we saw
The God within him light his face,

And seem to lift the form, and glow
      In azure orbits heavenly-wise;
      And over those ethereal eyes
The bar of Michael Angelo?


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Last modified 16 February 2010