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She scorns his pleasures, for she knows them not;
He seeks not hers, for he has proved them vain.
He cannot skim the ground like summer bırds
Pursuing gilded flies; and such he deems
Her honours, her emoluments, her joys.
Therefore in contemplation is his bliss,
Whose power is such, that whom she lifts from earth
She makes familiar with a heaven unseen,
And shows him glories yet to be reveal’d.
Not slothful he, though seeming unemploy'd,
And censured oft as useless. Stillest streams
Oft water fairest neadows, and the bird
That flutters least is longest on the wing.
Ask him, indeed, what trophies he has raised,
Or what achievements of immortal fame
He purposes, and he shall answer—None.
His warfare is within. There unfatigued
His fervent spirit labours. There he fights,
And there obtains fresh triumphs o'er himself,
And never-withering wreaths, compared with which
The laurels that a Cæsar reaps are weeds.
Perhaps the self-approving haughty world
(That as she sweeps him with her whistling silks
Scarce deigns to notice him, or if she see
Deems him a cipher in the works of God)
Receives advantage from his noiseless hours,
Of which she little dreams. Perhaps she owes
Her sunshine and her rain, her blooming spring
And plenteous harvest, to the prayer he makes,
When, Isaac-like, the solitary saint
Walks forth to meditate at eventide,
And think on her, who thinks not for herself.
Forgive him, then, thou bustler in concerns
Of little worth, and idler in the best,
If, author of no mischief and some good,
He seek his proper happiness by means
That may advance, but cannot hinder thine.
Nor, though he tread the secret path of life,
Engage no notice, and enjoy much ease,
Account him an encumbrance on the state,
Receiving benefits, and rendering none.
His sphere though humble, if that humble sphere
Shine with his fair example, and though small
His influence, if that influence all be spent
In soothing sorrow and in quenching strife,
In aiding helpless indigence, in works
From which at least a grateful few derive
Some taste of comfort in a world of woe,--
Then let the supercilious great confess
He serves his country ; recompenses well
The state, beneath the shadow of whose vine
He sits secure, and in the scale of life
Holds no ignoble, though a slighted place.
The man whose virtues are more felt than seen,
Must drop indeed the hope of public praise ;
But he may boast what few that win it can,
That if his country stand not by his skill,
At least his follies have not wrought her fall.
Polite refinement offers him in vain
Her golden tube, through which a sensual world
Draws gross impurity, and likes it well,
The neat conveyance hiding all the offence.
Not that he peevishly rejects a mode
Because that world adopts it : if it bear
The stamp and clear impression of good sense,
And be not costly more than of true worth,
He puts it on, and for decorum sake
Can wear it even as gracefully as she.
She judges of refinement by the eye,
He by the test of conscience and a heart
Not soon deceived, aware that what is base
No polish can make sterling, and that vice,
Though well perfumed and elegantly dress'd,
Like an unburied carcass trick'd with flowers,
Is but a garnish'd nuisance, fitter far
For cleanly riddance than for fair attire.
So life glides smoothly and by stealth away,
More golden than that age of fabled gold
Renown'd in ancient song; not vex'd with care
Or stain'd with guilt, beneficent, approved
Of God and man, and peaceful in its end.
When the British warrior queen,
Bleeding from the Roman rods,
Sought, with an indignant mien,
Counsel of her country's gods,
Sage, beneath the spreading oak
Sat the Druid, hoary chief;
Every burning word he spoke
Full of rage and full of grief.
“ Princess! if our aged eyes
Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, 'Tis because resentment ties
All the terrors of our tongues.
Rome shall perish, write that word
In the blood that she has spilt ;
Perish, hopeless and abhorr'd,
Deep in ruin as in guilt.
Rome, for empire far renown'd,
Tramples on a thousand states;
Soon her pride shall kiss the ground
Hark! the Gaul is at her gates !
Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier's name;
Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize,
Harmony the path to fame.
Then the progeny that springs
From the forests of our land,
Arm’d with thunder, clad with wings,
Shall a wider world command.
Regions Cæsar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway;
Where his eagles never flew,
None invincible as they."
Such the bard's prophetic words,
Pregnant with celestial fire,
Bending as he swept the chords
Of his sweet but awful lyre.
She, with all a monarch's pride,
Felt them in her bosom glow; Rush'd to battle, fought, and died ;
Dying hurl'd them at the foe. “ Ruffians, pitiless as proud,
Heav'n awards the vengeance due; Empire is on us bestow'd,
Shame and ruin wait for you."
The twentieth year is well-nigh past
Since first our sky was overcast;
Ah, would that this might be the last,
Thy spirits have a fainter flow,
I see thee daily weaker grow-
'Twas my distress that brought thee low,
Thy needles, once a shining store,
For my sake restless heretofore,
Now rust disused, and shine no more,
My Mary! For though thou gladly wouldst fulfil The same kind office for me still, Thy sight now seconds not thy will,
My Mary! But well thou playd'st the housewife's part; And all thy threads with magic art Have wound themselves about this heart,
My Mary! Thy indistinct expressions seem Like language uttered in a dream ; Yet me they charm, whate'er the theme,
My Mary! Thy silver locks, once auburn bright, Are still more lovely in my sight Than golden beams of orient light,
My Mary! For, could I view nor them nor thee, What sight worth secing could I sec? The sun would rise in vain for me,
My Mary ! Partakers of thy sad decline, Thy hands their little force resign; Yet gently prest, press gently mine,
My Mary! Such feebleness of limbs thou provest, That now at every step thou movest Upheld by two; yet still thou lovest,
My Mary! And still to move, though prest with ill, In wintry age to feel no chill, With me is to be lovely still,
But ah! by constant heed I know,
How oft the sadness that I show
Transforms thy smiles to looks of woe,
And should my future lot be cast
With much resemblance of the past,
Thy worn-out heart will break at last,
LINES ON HIS MOTHER'S PICTURE. O that those lips had language! Life has pass'd With me but roughly since I heard thee last. Those lips are thine-thy own sweet smile I see ; The same, that oft in childhood solaced me; Voice only fails, else how distinct they say, “ Grieve not, my child ; chase all thy fears away”! The meek intelligence of those dear eyes (Blest be the art that can immortalise, The art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim To quench it) here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear, O welcome guest, though unexpected here ! Who bidd'st me honour with an artless song, Affectionate, a mother lost so long. I will obey, not willingly alone, But gladly, as the precept were her own : . And while that face renews my filial grief, Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief, Shall steep me in Elysian reverie, A momentary dream, that thou art she. . My mother! when I learn'd that thou wast dead, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed ? Hover'd thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, Wretch even then, life's journey just begun? Perhaps thou gavest me, though unfelt, a kiss ; Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss, Ah, that maternal smile! it answers, Yes. I heard the bell tollid on thy burial day, I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away, And turning from my nursery-window, drew A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu ! But was it such ?-It was.—Where thou art gone Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown. May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, The parting word shall pass my lips no more !