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For I had hope, by something rare,

To prove myself a poet : But, while I plan and plan, my hair

Is gray before I know it.

So fares it since the years began,

Till they be gathered up; The truth, that flies the flowing can,

Will haunt the vacant cup: And others' follies teach us not,

Nor much their wisdom teaches; And most, of sterling worth, is what

Our own experience preaches.

Ah, let the rusty theme alone!

We know not what we know. But for my pleasant hour, 't is gone,

’T is gone, and let it go. 'T is gone: a thousand such have slipt

Away from my embraces, And fallen into the dusty crypt

Of darkened forms and faces.

Go, therefore, thou! thy betters went

Long since, and came no more;
With peals of genial clamor sent

From many a tavern-door,
With twisted quirks and happy hits,

From misty men of letters;
The tavern-hours of mighty wits,

Thine elders and thy betters.

Hours, when the poet's words and looks

Had yet their native glow:
Nor yet the fear of little books

Had made him talk for show;
But, all his vast heart sherris-warmed,

He flashed his random speeches ;
Ere days, that deal in ana, swarmed

His literary leeches.

So mix forever with the past,

Like all good things on earth! For should I prize thee, couldst thou last,

At half thy real worth ? I hold it good, good things should pass :

With time I will not quarrel : It is but yonder empty glass

That makes me maudlin-moral.

Head-waiter of the chop-house here,

To which I most resort,
I too must part: I hold thee dear

For this good pint of port.
For this, thou shalt from all things suck

Marrow of mirth and laughter; And, wheresoe'er thou move, good luck

Shall fling her old shoe after.

But thou wilt never move from hence,

The sphere - thy fate allots :
Thy latter days increased with pence

Go down among the pots :

Thou battenest by the greasy gleam

In haunts of hungry sinners, Old boxes, larded with the steam

Of thirty thousand dinners.

We fret, we fume, would shift our skins,

Would quarrel with our lot;
Thy care is, under pulished tins,

To serve the hot-and-hot;
To come and go, and come again,

Returning like the pewit,
And watched by silent gentlemen,

That trifle with the cruet.

Live long, ere from thy topmost head

The thick-set hazel dies;
Long, ere the hateful crow shall tread

The corners of thine eyes :
Live long, nor feel in head or chest

Our changeful equinoxes,
Till mellow Death, like some late guest,

Shall call thee from the boxes.

But when he calls, and thou shalt cease

To pace the gritted floor,
And, laying down an unctuous lease

Of life, shalt earn no more;
No carvéd cross-bones, the types of Death,

Shall show thee past to heaven :
But carvéd cross-pipes, and, underneath,
A pint-pot, neatly graven.

Alfred Tennyson.

London Tower.

CLARENCE'S DREAM. METHOUGHT that I had broken from the Tower

And was embarked to cross to Burgundy; And in my company, my brother Gloster: Who from my cabin tempted me to walk Upon the hatches: thence we looked toward England. And cited up a thousand heavy times, During the wars of York and Lancaster, That had befallen us. As we paced along Upon the giddy footing of the hatches, Methought that ster stumbled; and, in falling, Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard Into the tumbling billows of the main. O Heaven! methought what pain it was to drown ! What dreadful noise of water in mine ears ! What sights of ugly death within mine eyes ! Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks ; A thousand men, that fishes gnawed upon; Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl, Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels, All scattered in the bottom of the sea. Some lay in dead men's skulls; and in those holes Where eyes did once inhabit there were crept (As 't were in scorn of eyes) reflecting gems, That wooed the slimy bottom of the deep, And mocked the dead bones that lay scattered by.

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I passed, methought, the melancholy flood,
With that grim ferryman which poets write of,
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
The first that there did greet my stranger soul
Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick,
Who cried aloud, “What scourge for perjury
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence ?"
And so he vanished: then came wandering by
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
Dabbled in blood; and he shrieked out aloud,
“Clarence is come, – false, fleeting, perjured Clarence, –
That stabbed me in the field by Tewksbury ;
Seize on him, Furies, take him to your torments!'
With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends
Environed me, and howléd in mine ears
Such hideous cries, that with the very noise
I trembling waked, and, for a season after,
Could not believe but that I was in hell,
Such terrible impression made my dream.

William Shakespeare.


THE tyrannous and bloody act is done ;

The most arch deed of piteous massacre
That ever yet this land was guilty of.
Dighton and Forrest whom I did suborn
To do this piece of ruthless butchery,
Albeit they were fleshéd villains, bloody dogs,
Melting with tenderness and mild compassion,
Wept like to children, in their death's sad story.

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