From art, from nature, from the schools,
Let random influences glance,
Like light in many a shiver’d lance
That breaks about the dappled pools:

The lightest wave of thought shall lisp,
The fancy’s tenderest eddy wreathe,
The slightest air of song shall breathe
To make the sullen surface crisp.

And look thy look, and go thy way,
But blame not thou the winds that make
The seeming-wanton ripple break,
The tender-pencil’d shadow play.

Beneath all fancied hopes and fears
Ay me, the sorrow deepens down.
Whose muffled motions blindly drown
The bases of my life in tears.

Ah how elegantly this is done! the dappled pools are his grief. Notions from all sources can play on their surface, like “light in many a shivered lance.” The shivering comes from external foliage through which it passes and from the movement of the water. The metaphor is precise and exquisitely expressive. He emphasises the lightness of the song which makes the surface of his grief stand out, while reminding his reader of the terrible depth of the pools where life is drowned in tears. He is saying, ‘ Don’t take my thoughts too seriously but attend to my feelings.’

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