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Ah, no! I'll linger here awhile,
And dream of days of yore;
For me bright eyes have lost the smile,
The sunny smile they wore :
Perhaps they say, what I'll allow,
That I 'm not quite so handsome now.
I. (EAVENS! what a scene of splendor and of dash!
What seeming maze, and yet what perfect order! · We feel as if upon destruction’s border The crowd were treading; we have seen the flash, And, breathless, look, expecting the loud crash ; Yet all moves on harmonious as the spheres : Coach, chariot, cab appears and disappears, And prancing horseman with gay plume and sash ; The lumbering dray with horses huge, the van, And omnibuses, -- count them if you can! Heavens, what a sight! and yet to ponder well, The scene has less of grandeur than of gloom, For, viewed aright, what is this spectacle ? What but a vast procession to the tomb ?
Away with all the tales good men devise
(Good easy men, to their kind feelings dupes)
Of holes and hovels in which misery troops !
Away with all statistics, — they are lies !
Can man misdoubt the witness of his eyes,
Believe that poverty and suffering dwell
Where old and young are streaming on pell-mell
To Circe's temple, eager votaries ?
It cannot be that mitred heads can loll
h cushioned chariots, drawn by pampered steeds;
That woman, who her tears can scarce control
At Misery's tale, such flaunting follies heeds,
While thousands, near, are pining with disease,
Whom one kind look of sympathy would ease !
NCE more I greet thee, Temple Bar,
That hast so often from afar
Risen amid my dreams;
When avalanches round me roared,
Or where the Tagus, sunlit, poured
Its stately golden streams;
And where, above the torrent-bed,
The Alp-peaks flushed with rosy red
The sunset dyes arrayed;
And where, below on lily banks,
The half-wild goats in straggling ranks
Fed, leaped, or, butting, played;
And even where Niagara roared,
And, like a final delupe, poured
And where arose the Pyramid,
At starry twilight almost hid,
And waved the lonely palm.
Well I remember all thy ways,
The glimmering, horny light that plays
Around thy window-panes;
Thy posture-making kings, and she
Who brought proud Spain upon his knee,
And still up yonder reigus.
No grinning traitors' heads on poles
Strike terror now to Tory souls,
(Thank God, those days are altered !) A statesman now may lose his head Many a year before he's dead,
Long ere his last word 's faltered.
How often, like a furnace mouth,
I've seen in days of summer drouth
The archway flaming red
With sunset crimsons fold on fold,
That turned the Strand to burning gold,
Then darkened overhead.
And on how many a fairy night
I've seen the sprinkling silver light
Transmute thy royalty;
Invest thy kings with saintly gleams,
Crowning with halo of moonbeams
Thy transient majesty.
Few burly Doctor Johnsons now
At midnight bend their chiding brow
On Boswells reeling home;
Nor Goldsmith curses German kings,
And wishes, among other things,
For Chevalier from Rome.
Yes, Chatterton has lingered here,
Gazing upon a sky, dark, drear,
Holding his bated breath;
While moonshine blanched the windowed arch,
That howling, bitter night in March,
He pondered upon death.
Still, luckless Chattertons, alas !
Through this dark gate of time will pass,
Forced by their cruel star;
And many Boswells, Johnson-led,
Will pass through you when I am dead,
To heavens that lie afar.
Great arch of Time's swift rolling river,
It makes my blood in ague shiver,
To think how fast life's flowing;
And how our little frail canoes,
No bigger than a giant's shoes,
Sink ere we know they're going.
THE NOVEMBER FOG OF LONDON.
VIRST, at the dawn of lingering day,
It rises of an ashy gray;
Then deepening with a sordid stain
Of yellow, like a lion's mane.
Vapor importunate and dense
It wars at once with every sense.
The ears escape not.
Returns a dull, unwonted sound.
Loath to stand still, afraid to stir,
The chilled and puzzled passenger,
Oft blundering from the pavement, fails
To feel his way along the rails;
Or at the crossings, in the roll
Of every carriage dreads the pole.
Scarce an eclipse with pall so dun
Blots from the face of heaven the sun.
But soon a thicker, darker cloak
Wraps all the town; behold, the smoke,
Which steam-compelling trade disgorges
From all her furnaces and forges,
In pitchy clouds, too dense to rise,
Descends rejected from the skies;
Till struggling day, extinguished quite,
At noon gives place to candle-light.