1Happy those early days, when I
2Shin'd in my angel-infancy!
3Before I understood this place
4Appointed for my second race,
5Or taught my soul to fancy ought
6But a white, celestial thought;
7When yet I had not walk'd above
8A mile or two from my first love,
9And looking back (at that short space)
10Could see a glimpse of his bright face;
11When on some gilded cloud or flow'r
12My gazing soul would dwell an hour,
13And in those weaker glories spy
14Some shadows of eternity;
15Before I taught my tongue to wound
16My conscience with a sinful sound,
17Or had the black art to dispense,
18A sev'ral sin to ev'ry sense,
19But felt through all this fleshly dress
20Bright shoots of everlastingness.
21O how I long to travel back,
22And tread again that ancient track!
23That I might once more reach that plain,
24Where first I left my glorious train,
25From whence th' enlighten'd spirit sees
26That shady city of palm trees.
27But ah! my soul with too much stay
28Is drunk, and staggers in the way.
29Some men a forward motion love,
30But I by backward steps would move;
31And when this dust falls to the urn,
32In that state I came, return.
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