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ON THE DEGRADING NOTIONS OF DEITY.
What wonder, Percy, that with jealous rage
Men should defame the kindly and the wise,
When in the midst of the all-beauteous skies,
And all this lovely world, that should engage
Their mutual search for the old golden age,
They seat a phantom, swelled into grin size
Out of their own passions and bigotries,
And then, for fear, proclaim it meek and sage!
And this they call a light and a revealing!
Wise as the clown, who plodding home at night
In autumn, turns at call of fancied elf,
And sees upon the fog, with ghastly feeling,
A giant shadow in it's imminent might,
Which his own lanthorn throws up from himself.
Yet, Percy, not for this, should he whose eye
Sees loveliness, and the unselfish joy
Of justice, turn him, like a peevish boy,
At hindrances and thwartings ; and deny
Wisdom's divinest privilege, constancy;
That which most proves him free from the alloy
Of useless earth,-
least prone to the decoy
That clamours down weak pinions from the sky.
The Spirit of Beauty, though by solemn quires
Hourly blasphemed, stoops not from it's calm end,
And forward breathing love, but ever on
Rolls the round day, and calls the starry fires
To their glad watch. Therefore, high-hearted friend,
Be still with thine own task in unison.
HENRY ROBERTSON, JOHN GATTIE, AND
NOT KEEPING THEIR APPOINTED HOUR.
HARRY, my friend, who full of tasteful glee,
Have music all about you, heart and lips;
And, John, whose voice is like a rill that slips
Over the sunny pebbles breathingly;
And, Vincent, you, who with like mastery
Can chace the notes with fluttering finger-tips,
Like fairies down a hill hurrying their trips,
with firm royalty;
Why stop ye on the road ? The day, 'tis true,
Shews us as in a diamond all things clear,
And makes the hill-surmounting eye rejoice,
Doubling the earthly green, the heavenly blue;
But come, complete the charm of such a sphere,
And give the beauty of the day a voice.
'Tis well you think me truly one of those,
Whose sense discerns the loveliness of things ;
For surely as I feel the bird that sings
Behind the leaves, or dawn as it up grows,
Or the rich bee rejoicing as he goes,
Or the glad issue of emerging springs,
Or overhead the glide of a dove's wings,
Or turf, or trees, or, midst of all, repose.
And surely as I feel things lovelier still,
The human look, and the harmonious form
Containing woman, and the smile in ill,
And such a heart as Charles's,* wise and warm,-
As surely as all this, I see, ev'n now,
Young Keats, a flowering laurel on your brow.
ON RECEIVING A CROWN OF IVY FROM THE SAME.
A CROWN of ivy! I submit my head
To the young hand that gives it,--young, 'tis true,
But with a right, for 'tis a poet's too.
How pleasant the leaves feel! and how they spread
With their broad angles, like a nodding shed
Over both eyes! and how complete and new,
As on my hand I lean, to feel them strew
My sense with freshness,—Fancy's rustling bed !
Tress-tossing girls, with smell of flowers and grapes
Come dancing by, and downward piping cheeks,
And up-thrown cymbals, and Silenus old
Lumpishly borne, and many trampling shapes, –
And lastly, with his bright eyes on her bent,
Bacchus,—whose bride has of his hand fast hold.