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I NEED a cleansing change within-
My life must once again begin ;
New hope I need, and youth renew'd,
And more than human fortitude,
New faith, new love, and strength to cast
Away the fetters of the past.
Ah! why did fabling Poets tell
That Lethe only flows in Hell?
As if, in truth, there was no river,
Whereby the leper may be clean,
But that which flows, and flows for ever,
And crawls along, unheard, unseen,
Whence brutish spirits, in contagious shoals,
Quaff the dull drench of apathetic souls.
Ah, no! but Lethe flows aloft
With lulling murmur, kind and soft
As voice which sinners send to heaven
When first they feel their sins forgiven ;
Its every drop as bright and clear
As if indeed it were a tear,
Shed by the lovely Magdalen
For Him that was despised of men.
It is the only fount of bliss
In all the human wilderness-
It is the true Bethesda—solely
Endued with healing might, and holy :-
Not once a year, but evermore-
Not one, but all men to restore.
O Fons Bandusiæ, splendidior vitro,
Dulci digne mero, non sine floribus,
Cras donaberis hædo.
BANDUSIAN spring, more gaily bright,
In thy never-ceasing birth, Than gem compact of solar light,
That, fetter'd long in darksome earth, Leaps forth to greet a kindred rayThou art worth a Poet's lay.
Flowers——them we will not give,
Thou hast plenty of thy own;
Little lambkins ;- let them live,
Thou wert loth to hear them moan :
Let them frisk upon thy bourn,
And in thee view the budding horn.
Well I know, an ancient Poet
Promised thee a kid to-morrow;
I, a Christian Bard, well know it, -
If he paid it, 'twas thy sorrow :-
But he never did the thing
Which he was constrain'd to sing.
Poet he, that would have been
A Christian Poet if he could, One that felt far more, I ween,
Than he ever understood, One that only wanted telling The truth that in his heart was dwelling.
Bandusian fount! I know not thee,
And learned critics much are troubled, To find, if yet a stream there be,
Where, long of yore, thy waters bubbled, And I could almost wish there were not, Since all who loved thee dearly are not.
The barren rocks are still the same,
The fertile streams are changing ever:
So, lives, in nature's endless fame,
The Carthaginian's vain endeavour ;-
But, Horace, we can only guess
The sweet home of thy happiness.
Yet fare thee well, thou lovely spring,
And never may thy nymphs desert thee, For while one Bard on earth may sing,
Not all the powers of earth can burt thee : And tho' no lamb to thee we give, Blest shalt thou be as long as lambkins live.
WRITTEN IN JANUARY, 1833.
The old year is gone—so uncivil was I,
That I made not a couplet to bid him good bye,
But now that the new year has fairly come in,
Not to bid him a welcome, were surely a sin ;
So welcome I bid him, tho' not to myself,
Yet to all who are wealthy in hope or in pelf,
All hearty good fellows to whom life is dear,
I heartily wish you a happy new year.
To the man, who is fit to be married, a wife,
And a grave unto him that is tired of life ;
To my friends, that they may not have much to forgive,
To my foes, that they just may forget that I live;
To my love—that her charms may to her be a blessing,
Tho' to me I confess, they are rather distressing ;-
For the man of her choice may good fortune await him,
And then-why, I 'll try very hard not to hate him.
Even as the wise astronomer invents
Zones, colures, cycles, in the trackless sky-
Or as the mariner, whose daring art
Maps out the undistinguishable main
With curious lines, that, to the mind untaught,
Seem all mysterious as a wizard's scheme,
Or the fine traces in a lady's palm,
Interpreted by Egypt's wandering brood, -
So man delights in the wide waste of time,
The tide of moments ebbing as they flow,
To set his land-marks; and recording names,
Pavilions of the pausing memory,
Historic pillars, quaintly sculptured o'er