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Whene'er my spirit would upward rise,
Its mortal nature declines it;
Down on the earth like a slave it lies
In the servile chain that binds it.


Human affections and dread prevail,
It shrinks from treading the path untrod;
Deaf to the voice of the angels' hail,
Retreats from the pathway that leads to God!


Glorious freedom! 'tis that which gives
Seraphic bliss to life in heaven;
The wing is weak when the eagle lives
A prisoned state from morn till even.


The soaring lark while she sings on high,
Feels earthly longing's bar her flight;
Down--down she comes, though the smiling sky,
Hail her presence with eyes of light!


The majestic river bounding on,
Impatient, hurries on its course,
And, ere its ocean goal be won,
Turns back to meet its parent source.


The mountain top as it upward rears
Its lofty crest to pierce the skies,
Is dimm'd and chill'd by the crown it wears,
Though its bright head in sunshine lies!


And thus my soul! whene'er 'twould spring,
Above this world of toil and care,
Life's chilling thoughts around it cling,
And stop its flight and fix it here!