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Oh! bright these glories still shall be,
But they shall never dawn for me!
E’en when a Realm's Congratulation
Sang Pæans for the Coronation ;
Amidst the pleasure that was round me,
A melancholy Spirit found me;
And while all else were singing “Io!”
I could'nt speak a word but “ Heigh-ho !”
And so, instead of laughing gaily,
I dropt a tear,—and wrote
ETON, the Monarch of thy prayers
E'en now receives his load of cares,
Thron'd in the consecrated choir,
He takes the sceptre of his Sire;
And wears the crown his Father bore,
And swears the oath his Father swore;
And therefore sounds of joy resound,
Fair Eton, on thy classic ground.
A gladder gale is round thee breath’d,
And on thy mansions thou hast wreath'd
A thousand lamps, whose various hue
Waits but the night to burst to view.
Woe to the Poets that refuse
To wake and woo their idle Muse,
When those glad notes, “ God save the King."
From hill, and vale, and hamlet ring!
Hark how the lov’d inspiring tune
Peals forth from every loyal loon,
Who loves his country, and excels
In drinking beer, or ringing bells !
It is a day of shouts and greeting,
A day of idleness and eating ;
And triumph swells in every soul,
And mighty beeves are roasted whole ;
And Ale, unbought, is set a-running,
And Pleasure's Hymn grows rather stunning;
And children roll upon the green,
And cry “Confusion to the Queen!”
And Sorrow fies, and Labour slumbers,
And Clio pours her loudest numbers;
And hundreds of that joyous throng,
With whom my life hath linger'd long,
Give their gay raptures to the gale,
In one united echoing “ Hail!"
I took the Harp, I smote the string, I strove to soar on Fancy's wing ; And murmur in my Sovereign's praise The latest of my Boyhood's lays. Alas! the theme was too divine To suit so weak a Muse as mine; I saw, I felt it could not be ; No song of triumph flows from me; The harp, from which those sounds ye ask, Is all unfit for such a task ; And the last echo of its tone, Dear Eton, must be thine alone!
A few short hours, and I am borne Far from the fetters I have worn; A few short hours, and I am free! And yet I shrink from liberty, And look, and long to give my soul Back to thy cherishing control. Control! ah! no! thy chain was meant Far less for bond than ornament; And though its links be firmly set, I never found them gall me yet. Oh! still, through many chequer'd years, ’Mid anxious toils, and hopes, and fears, Still I have doted on thy fame, And only gloried in thy name. How I have loy'd thee! Thou hast been My Hope, my Mistress, and my Queen ; I always found thee kind, and thou Hast never seen me weep—till now. I knew that Time was fleeting fast, I knew thy pleasures could not last; I knew too well that riper age Must step upon a busier stage ; Yet when around thine ancient towers I pas3'd secure my tranquil hours, Or heard beneath thine aged trees The drowsy humming of the bees, Or wander'd by thy winding stream, I would not check my fancy's dream ; Glad in my transitory bliss, I reck'd not of an hour like this;
And now the Truth comes swiftly on,
The truth I would not think upon;
The last sad thought, so oft delay'd,
“ These joys are only born to fade.”
Ye Guardians of my earliest days,
Ye Patrons of my earliest lays,
Custom reminds me, that to you
Thanks and Farewell to-day are due.
Thanks and farewell I give you,-not
(As some that leave this holy spot),
In labour'd phrase, and polish'd lie,
Wrought by the forge of flattery,
But with a heart, that cannot tell
The half of what it feels so well.
If I am backward to express,
Believe, my love is not the less ;
Be kind as you are wont, and view
A thousand thanks in one Adieu !
My future life shall strive to show
I wish to pay the debt I owe;
The labours that ye give to May,
September's fruits shall best repay.
And you, my friends, who lov'd to share
Whate'er was mine, of sport or care;
Antagonists at Fives or Chess,
Friends in the Play-ground or the Press,
I leave ye now; and all that rests
Of mutual tastes, and loving breasts,
Is the lone Vision, that shall come
Where'er my studies and my home,
To cheer my labour and my pain,
And make me feel a boy again.
Yes! when at last I sit me down,
A scholar, in my cap and gown ;
When learned Doctrines, dark and deep,
Move me to passion or to sleep,
When Clio yields to Logic's wrangles,
And Long and Short give place to Angles,
When stern Mathesis makes it treason
To like a Rhyme or scorn a Reason,
With aching head, and weary wit,
Your parted friend shall often sit,
Till Fancy's magic spell hath bound him,
And lonely musings flit around him i
Then shall ye come, with all your wiles,
Of gladdening sounds and warming smiles ;
And nought shall meet his eye or ear,
Yet shall he deem
Others may clothe their Valediction
With all the tinsel charms of fiction ;
And one may sing of Father Thames,
And Naiads with an hundred names ;
And find a Pindus here, and own
The College Pump a Helicon ;
And search for Gods about the College,
Of which old Homer had no knowledge.
And one may eloquently tell
The Triumphs of his Windsor belle,
And sing of Mira's lips and eyes,
In oft-repeated ecstasies;
Oh! he hath much and wond'rous skill,
To paint the looks that wound and kill,
As the poor Maid is doom'd to brook,
Unconsciously, her Lover's look,
And smiles, and talks, until the Poet
Hears the Band play, and does not know it.
To speak the plain and simple truth,
I always was a jesting youth ;
A friend to merriment and fun,
No foe to quibble and to pun;
Therefore I cannot feign a tear;
And, now that I have utter'd here
A few unrounded accents, bred
More from the heart than from the head,
Honestly felt, and plainly told,
My Lyre is still, my Fancy cold.
“ Which read, and read, we roll our eyes in doubt,
And gravely wonder what it is about.”
I am a great admirer of flowers.
In my childish days my predilection for these little toys of Nature amounted to an absolute passion. They seemed to me vested with a mysterious and unearthly beauty,“ the glory and the freshness of a dream.” But those days are gone; boyhood is
past, and the enchanted atınosphere which boyhood carries about with it, and through which it beholds all things arrayed in colours not their own, is vanished likewise.
-Nothing can bring back the boor
Of splendor in the grass, or glory in the flower.”
They are now mere terrestrial objects—and yet how passing beautiful!—Since my flower-loving days, a period of many years has elapsed, during which I have had few opportunities of access to my early favourites; it is only within the last month or two that I have resumed my acquaintance with them, and they now wear the charm of novelty combined with that of early recollections. I love them all, from the piony to the heart's-ease—from the sublime hollyhock to the unpretending laburnum.
It was but the other day, that, tired out with doubts and dochmiacs, I immersed myself in my friend e's garden. What a delightful renewal of old acquaintance! There was the glowing marigold, breathing forth its rich Oriental fragrance; the pretty rustic honeysuckle, fitly named; the laburnum, with its profusion of minute sweetnesses; the royal sunflower, in its amplitude of charms, resembling that noble creature of Nature's handiwork, Mrs. ; the genial wall-flower, reminding me of my cordial cousin, Fanny H-; the virgin lily, towering in stately meekness, like my dear kinswoman, M., the most matronly of maidens, and the most maidenly of matrons ; and the gallantly-attired sweet-pea, and the spruce sweet-william ; and