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If madness 'tis to be unlike the world.
Wrap thy form in a mantle grey,
Star inwrought !
Come, long sought!
When I arose and saw the dawn,
I sighed for thee,
I sighed for thee.
Thy brother, Death, came and cried,
Wouldst thou me ?
No, not thee!
Death will come when thou art dead,
Soon, too soon!
Come soon, soon!
STANZAS, WRITTEN IN DEJECTION, NEAR NAPLES.
The sun is warm, the sky is clear,
The waves are dancing fast and bright,
The purple noon's transparent light;
Around its unexpanded buds ;
Like many a voice of one delight,
With green and purple sea-weeds strewn;
• A line is obviously wanting here, which the Editor has overlooked
I see the waves upon the shore,
Like light dissolved in star-showers, thrown;
I sit upon the sands alone,
Is flashing round me, and a tone
Alas! I have nor hope, nor health,
Nor peace within, nor calm around,
The sage in meditation found,
And walk'd with inward glory crown'd-
Others I see whoin these surround,
Even as the winds and waters are ;
the load of care
And I might feel in the warm air
Some might lament when I were cold,
As I when this sweet day is gone,
Insults with this untimely moan ;
They might lament,--for I am one
Unlike this day, which, when the sun
My dear friend, Haselfoot, I must at once say that there are some passages in that review to me exceedingly objectionable. I hate as much as you can the truckling to a party-cry, but I demur
of assertions both on the score of principle and the score of prudence.
On the score of prudence I must have “ a voice potential."
Ifthe article were not yours, Haselfoot, and, being yours, full of talent, and what is more full of honesty, I would at once reject it. But we must qualify it. Never mix your liquor, my boys. If the man must dose the world with his brandy and gunpowder, why should you make a caudle of his concern, with your thin potations of water-gruel? I quite agree with all you say about the powers of Shelley. It is the merest cowardice to deny his poetry to be fine because his politics are execrable; it is breaking down all the gradations of intellectual
energy say that because there is a wretched obliquity in his understanding upon the most awful subject of human thought, his poems partake of nothing but the passionate scepticism that fevered and maddened his soul. There are parts of his writings as pure as a Milton or a Wordsworth have conceived; and I quite agree with you, that he was not the poet of cold blooded doubts and heartless sensuality. But he was, nevertheless, a most dangerous writer-dangerous not immediately to the million, but mediately to the few who may operate in combination to make his errors produce their effect on the million. It is the union in Shelley of a lofty imagination, and a grovelling faith, that renders him so peculiarly obnoxious. The Quarterly Reviewer saw this; and, though whilst I say it I must at once disclaim any thing like a general approval of those personalities which are the disgrace of our literature, I must contend that in the instance of Shelley it was desirable to shew that such opinions neither made a good or a happy man in their professor. There are parts in: Shelley's life that supply the best antidote to his writings. You have taken me by surprise, so that I may not be able to follow your argument, even if I were willing; but let me ask what is there in Shelley's life so peculiarly obnoxious ? We are told that he was a man of flagitious character; but where is the evidence?
It pains me sincerely to speak it—but I speak advisedly and upon evidence, that Shelley was not a man of principle; he acted upon impulse, and not upon any settled determinations. That impulse led him to be extravagant in his generosity and callous in his discharge of the obligations of justice; (there are twenty good-natured men for one honest ;) that impulse prompted him to marry a weak girl, (his first wife,) and then to abandon her under circumstances of the most reckless inhumanity. Who can forget her wretched self-destruction ;-at once the proof of his flagitious disregard even of the obligations of nature, and of the
consequences of those notions which he had instilled into his unhappy victim.
HEAVISIDE. Once more I must beg to be understood, Haselfoot, that I quite agree in your admiration of Shelley's poetical power; he was a first-rate genius such a genius as perhaps only arises as a phoenix; and most fervently do I utter the wish that gave birth to your conjecture, that he had been spared to see that change of mind which would have enabled is the troubled current of his opinions to have subsided into the calmness and depth of assured belief.” But I contend that your admiration has carried you too far;—that it has led you into the mistake of speaking so passionately of Shelley's beauties and so slightly of his enormous errors, (I know you feel these errors as much as I or any one,) so that some minds may be betrayed into a willing reception of his creed by such a description of the power of his general intellect, and find themselves imbued with all that can disorganize the moral and social world, before they are aware that they are reading sometimes the most pure, but sometimes the most unholy, thoughts, clothed in the most splendid imagery and the sweetest versification.
Let me read the article to you again, and follow out your objections, step by step.
We must come to a conclusion upon this point. Your article does credit to your head and your heart but it is too zealous and enthusiastic; - it goes too much upon the common mistake that a suppression of peculiar opinions, and a conformity with established modes of thought, presuppose hypocrisy. It is the sin of such minds as Shelley that they choose to proclaim to mankind, with the courage of martyrs, all the pestilent crudities of their innumerable heresies. Whatever you may say, Shelley did avow himself an Atheist in Queen Mab, and if he recanted that profession in his later works, of which I am not quite sure, this is only another proof of the absolute necessity of not making a proclamation of sentiments to all mankind, which even the believer may, in a few years, as conscientiously abjure.
Let me read the article again. I think I could
Bah!-Waiter, some brandy and soda-water.
Give us the article. We will print it with Heaviside's Commentary.