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No poet wept him ; but the page
Of narrative sincere,
That tells his name, his worth, his age,
Is wet with Anson's tear :
And tears by bards or heroes shed
Alike immortalize the dead.
I therefore purpose not, or dream,
Descanting on his fate,
To give the melancholy theme
A more enduring date :
But misery still delights to trace
Its semblance in another's case.
No voice divine the storm allay'd,
No light propitious shone,
When, snatch'd from all effectual aid,
We perish’d, each alone :
But I beneath a rougher sea,
And whelm'd in deeper gulfs than he.
In the downhill of life, when I find I'm declining,
May my fate no less fortunate be
Than a snug elbow-chair will afford for reclining,
And a cot that o'erlooks the wide sea ;
With an ambling pad-pony to pace o'er the lawn,
While I carol away idle sorrow,
And blithe as the lark that each day hails the dawn
Look forward with hope for Tomorrow. With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade
too, As the sunshine or rain may prevail ; And a small spot of ground for the use of the spade
too, With a barn for the use of the flail : A cow for my dairy, a dog for my game,
And a purse when a friend wants to borrow; I'll envy no Nabob his riches or fame,
Or what honours may wait him Tomorrow.
From the bleak northern blast may my cot be completely
Secured by a neighbouring hill;
And at night may repose steal upon me more sweetly
By the sound of a murmuring rill :
And while peace and plenty I find at my board,
With a heart free from sickness and sorrow,
With my friends may I share what Today may afford, And let them spread the table Tomorrow.
And when I at last must throw off this frail cov'ring
Which I've worn for three-score years and ten,
On the brink of the grave I'll not seek to keep
Nor my thread wish to spin o'er again :
But my face in the glass I'll serenely survey,
And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow; As this old worn-out stuff, which is threadbare Today, May become Everlasting Tomorrow.
Life! I know not what thou art,
But know that thou and I must part;
And when, or how, or where we met
I own to me's a secret yet.
Life! we've been long together
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather ;
'Tis hard to part when friends are dear-
Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear ;
-Then steal away, give little warning,
Choose thine own time;
Say not Good Night,-but in some brighter
Bid me Good Morning.
Whether on Ida's shady brow,
Or in the chambers of the East, The chambers of the sun, that now
From ancient melody have ceased ; Whether in Heaven ye wander fair,
Or the green corners of the earth, Or the blue regions of the air,
Where the melodious winds have birth; Whether on crystal rocks ye rove
Beneath the bosom of the sea, Wandering in many a coral grove,
Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry ; How have you left the ancient love
That bards of old enjoy'd in you ! The languid strings do scarcely move, The sound is forced, the notes are few.
ODE ON THE POETS
Bards of Passion and of Mirth
Ye have left your souls on earth !
Have ye souls in heaven too,
Double-lived in regions new?
-Yes, and those of heaven commune
With the spheres of sun and moon ;
With the noise of fountains wond'rous
And the parle of voices thund'rous ;
With the whisper of heaven's trees
And one another, in soft ease
Seated on Elysian lawns
Browsed by none but Dian's fawns;
Underneath large blue-bells tented,
Where the daisies are rose-scented,
And the rose herself has got
Perfume which on earth is not ;
Where the nightingale doth sing
Not a senseless, trancéd thing,
But divine melodious truth;
Philosophic numbers smooth;
Tales and golden histories
Of heaven and its mysteries.
Thus ye live on high, and then
On the earth ye live again;
And the souls ye left behind you
Teach us, here, the way to find you,
Where your other souls are joying,
Never slumber'd, never cloying.
Here, your earth-born souls still speak
To mortals, of their little week;
Of their sorrows and delights ;
Of their passions and their spites ;
Of their glory and their shame;
What doth strengthen and what maim :-
Thus ye teach us, every day,
Wisdom, though fled far away.
Bards of Passion and of Mirth
Ye have left your souls on earth!
Ye have souls in heaven too,
Double-lived in regions new!
ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S
Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen ;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne :
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold :
- Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific-and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise-
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.
Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,
Beside the ruin'd tower.
The moonshine stealing o'er the scene
Had blended with the lights of eve ;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,
My own dear Genevieve !