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"My days, my Friend, are almost gone,
My life has been approved,
And many love me; but by none
Am I enough beloved."
"Now both himself and me he wrongs,
The man who thus complains!
I live and sing my idle songs
Upon these happy plains,
"And, Matthew, for thy Children dead
I'll be a son to thee!"
At this he grasped my hand, and said
"Alas ! that cannot be."
We rose up from the fountain-side;
And down the smooth descent
Of the green sheep-track did we glide;
And through the wood we went;
And, ere we came to Leonard's Rock,
He sang those witty rhymes
About the crazy old church clock,
And the bewildered chimes.
WRITTEN WHILE SAILING IN A BOAT AT EVENING.
How richly glows the water's breast
Before us, tinged with Evening hues,
While, facing thus the crimson west,
The Boat her silent course pursues!
And see how dark the backward stream!
A little moment past so smiling!
And still, perhaps, with faithless gleam,
Some other Loiterers beguiling.
Such views the youthful Bard allure;But, heedless of the following gloom,
He deems their colours shall endure
Till peace go with him to the tomb.
—And let him nurse his fond deceit,
And what if he must die in sorrow!Who would not cherish dreams so sweet,
Though grief and pain may come to-morrow?
REMEMBRANCE OF COLLINS,
Written upon the Thames near Richmond.
Glide gently, thus for ever glide,
O Thames! that other Bards may see
As lovely visions by thy side
As now, fair River! come to me.
O glide, fair Stream ! for ever so,
Thy quiet soul on all bestowing,
Till all our minds for ever flow
As thy deep waters now are flowing.
Vain thought!....Yetbe as now thou art,
That in thy waters may be seen
The image of a poet's heart,
How bright, how solemn, how serene!
Such as did once the Poet bless,
Who murmuring here a later* ditty,
Could find no refuge from distress
But in the milder grief of pity.
Now let us, as we float along,
For him suspend the dashing oar;
And pray that never child of Song
May know that Poet's sorrows more.
How calm! how still! the only sound,
The dripping of the oar suspended!
—The evening darkness gathers round
By virtue's holiest Powers attended.
* Collins's Ode on the death of Thomson, the last written, 1 believe, of the poems which were published during his lifetime. This Ode is also alluded to in the next stanza.
I am not One who much or oft delight
To season my fireside with personal talk,—
Of Friends, who live within an easy walk,
Or Neighbours, daily, weekly, in my sight:
And, for my chance-acquaintance, Ladies bright,
Sons, Mothers, Maidens withering on the stalk,
These all wear out of me, like Forms, with chalk
Painted on rich men's floors, for one feast-night.
Better than such discourse doth silence long,
Long, barren silence, square with my desire;
To sit without emotion, hope, or aim,
In the lov'd presence of my cottage-fire,
And listen to the flapping of the flame,
Or kettle, whispering its faint undersong.