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But that a little thing within doth call ?
Thus porter doth make rumun's of us all !-
And thus, our resolution to keep sober
Is drown'd, and soon forgot, in good October.
But hush! my 'Phelia comes, the pretty dear !
Oh ! think of me love-when
Youth, a breeze mid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee-
Both were mine! Life went maying
With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,
When I was young!
When I was young ?—Ah, woeful when !
Ah! for the change 'twixt now and then !
This breathing house not built with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O’er airy cliffs and glittering sands
How lightly then it flashed along :
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That ask no aid of sail or oar,
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Nought cared this body for wind or weather
When youth and I lived in't together.
Flowers are lovely ; love is flower-like;
Friendship is a sheltering tree ;
O! the joys that come down shower-like,
Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,
Ere I was old !
Ere I was old ?-Ah, woeful ere,
Which tells me, Youth's no longer here !
O Youth! for years so many and sweet
'Tis known that thou and I were one ;
I'll think it but a fond conceit-
It cannot be, that thou art gone!
Thy vesper-bell hath not yet tolled :
And thou wert aye a masker bold !
What strange disguise hast now put on,
To make believe that thou art gone ?
I see these locks in silvery slips,
This drooping gait, this altered size :
But spring-tide blossoms on thy lips,
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes !
Life is but thought : so think I will
That Youth and I are house-mates still.
Dew-drops are the gems of morning,
But the tears of mournful eve!
Where no hope is, life's a warning
That only serves to make us grieve
When we are oid :
That only serves to make us grieve,
With oft and tedious taking leave ;
Like some poor nigh-related guest,
That may not rudely be dismist,
Yet hath outstayed his welcome while,
And tells the jest without the smile.
Oh Friendship ! cordial of the human breast !
So little felt, so fervently profess'd!
Thy blossoms deck our unsuspecting years ;
The promise of delicious fruit appears :
We hug the hopes of constancy and truth,
Such is the folly of our dreaming youth ;
But soon, alas ! detect the rash mistake,
That sanguine inexperience loves to make ;
And view with tears the expected harvest lost,
Decay'd by time, or wither’d by a frost.
Whoever undertakes a friend's great part
Should be renew'd in nature, pure in heart,
Prepared for martyrdom, and strong to prove
A thousand ways the force of genuine love.
He may be call’d to give up health and gain,
To exchange content for trouble, ease for pain,
To echo sigh for sigh, and groan for groan,
And wet his cheeks with sorrows not his own.
The heart of man, for such a task too frail,
When most relied on, is most sure to fail ;
And, summon’d to partake its fellow's woe,
Starts from its office, like a broken bow.
Votaries of business and of pleasure, prove
Faithless alike in friendship and in love.
Retired from all the circles of the gay,
And all the crowds that bustle life away,
To scenes where competition, envy, strife,
Beget no thunder-clouds to trouble life,
Let me, the charge of some good angel, find
One who has known and has escaped mankind
Polite, yet virtuous, who has brought away
The manners, not the morals, of the day :
With him, perhaps with her, (for 'men have known
No firmer friendships than the fair have shown,)
Let me enjoy, in some unthought-of spot,
(All former friends forgiven, and forgot,)
Down to the close of life's fast fading scene,
Union of hearts, without a flaw between.
'Tis grace, 'tis bounty, and it calls for praise,
If God give health, that sunshine of our days ;
And if He add, a blessing shared by few,
Content of heart, more praises still are due:-
But if He grant a friend, that boon possess'd
Indeed is treasure, and crowns all the rest;
And giving one, whose heart is in the skies,
Born from above, and made divinely wise,
He gives, what bankrupt Nature never can,
Whose noblest coin is light and brittle man,
Gold, purer far than Ophir ever knew,
A soul, an image of himself, and therefore true,
High on the summit of a mansion's dome,
Where rank and luxury had made their home,
And pleasure with profusion well might cloy,
High on that mansion sat an artless boy.
The youth was dark of feature, in his face
None could the hue of health or sickness trace ;
His cheeks did evermore one colour keep-
For oh! that urchin was a chimney-sweep!
He sat ; his head appeared the sky to dot,
As it emerged from out the chimney-pot:
Pensive he seemed—then raised his arms so taper,
And made rough music with his brush and scraper.
Ah! little thought the cold unfeeling crowd,
When listening to that brush and scraper loud,
That he who raised the noise, and seemed so gay,
Was unto sentiment a wretched prey ;
For, as his eye along the roof he ran,
Thus to himself that pensive bóy began
“ Tis over now, I know the thing is done ;
The Act is passed-my 'occupation's gone!'
The Queen has been cajoled of her consent
To that vile Act of viler Parliament,
By which it is decreed (be still, my brain !)
That climbing-boys shall never climb again.”
He spoke, and down his cheeks the big tears rol-
Pearls of deep feeling--rain-drops of the soul.
His black lip quiver'd, and his bristly hair
Stood out on end--the fringe of true despair.
Fierce passions from his redd’ning eye-balls dart,
His lips with soot and tears alternate smart ;
When straight a voice cried “ Ain't you coming, ho ?"
To which that boy replied “Look out below !”
Then clasp'd his hand-the chimney being swept,
That pensive urchin down the brickwork crept.
Long years had pass'd, that boy became a man,
For him the sand of time too swiftly ran ;
His faith in swecping had been sorely tried,
He bought a birch-broom, swept the streets, and died.
GOLD-FROM THE LOVE OF FAME.
Can gold calm passion, or make reason shine ?
Can we dig peace or wisdom from the mine?
Wisdom to gold prefer, for 'tis much less
To make our fortune than our happiness.
That happiness which great ones often see,
With rage and wonder in a low degree,
Themselves unbless'd. The poor are only poor,
But what are they who droop amid the store ?
Nothing is meaner than a wretch of state.
The happy only are the truly great.
Peasants enjoy like appetites with kings,
And those best satisfied with cheapest things.
Could both our Indies buy but one new sense,
would be due to large expense :
Since not those pomps which to the great belong,
Are but poor arts to take them from the throng.
See how they beg an alms of Flattery:
They languish! oh, support them with a lie !
A decent competence we fully taste ;
It strikes our sense, and gives a constant feast :
More we perceive by dint of thought alone:
The rich must labour to protect their own,
To feel their great abundance, and request
Their humble friends to help them to be blest
To see their treasures, hear their glory told,
And aid the wretched impotence of gold.
But some, great souls ! and touch'd with warmth divine,
Give Gold a price, and teach its beams to shine.
All hoarded treasures they repute a load,
Nor think their wealth their own, till well bestow'd,
Grand reservoirs of public happiness,
Through secret streams diffusively they bless,
And, while their bounties glide, conceal'd from view,
Relieve our wants, and spare our blushes too.
WINTER.-FROM THE SEASONS.
What art thou, Frost ? and whence are thy keen stores
Deriv'd, thou secret all-invading Power,
Whom even th' illusive fluid cannot fly?
Is not thy potent energy, unseen,
Myriads of little salts, or hook’d, or shap'd
Like double wedges, and diffus’d immense
Thro' water, earth, and ether ? hence at eve,
from the red horizon round,
With the fierce rage of Winter deep suffus’d,
An icy gale, oft shifting o'er the pool,
Breathes a blue film, and in its mid career
Arrests the bickering stream. The loosened ice,
Let down the flood, and half dissolv’d by day,
Rustles no more; but to the sedgy bank
Fast grows, or gathers round the pointed stone,
A crystal pavement, by the breath of heaven
Cemented firm ; till, seiz'd from shore to shore,
The whole imprison'd river growls below.
Loud rings the frozen earth, and hard reflects
A double noise ; while, at his evening watch,
The village-dog deters the nightly thief;
The heifer lows; the distant water-fall
Swells in the breeze; and, with the hasty tread
Of traveller, the hollow-sounding plain
Shakes from afar. The full ethereal round,
Infinite worlds disclosing to the view,
Shines out intensely keen ; and all one cope
Of starry glitter, glows from pole to pole.
From pole to pole the rigid influence falls
Thro’ the still night, incessant, heavy, strong,
And seizes Nature fast.
It freezes on
Till Morn, late rising o'er the drooping world,
Lifts her pale eye unjoyous. Then appears
The various labour of the silent Night;
Prone from the dripping cave, and dumb cascade,
Whose idle torrents only seem to roar,
The pendant icicle; the frost-work fair,
Where transient hues and fancied figures rise :