How pure at heart and sound in head,
      With what divine affections bold
      Should be the man whose thought would hold
An hour's communion with the dead.

In vain shalt thou, or any, call
      The spirits from their golden day,
      Except, like them, thou too canst say,
My spirit is at peace with all.

They haunt the silence of the breast,
      Imaginations calm and fair,
      The memory like a cloudless air,
The conscience as a sea at rest:

But when the heart is full of din,
      And doubt beside the portal waits,
      They can but listen at the gates,
And hear the household jar within.

Last modified 16 February 2010