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Why should I murmur at my lot forlorn ?
The self-same Fate that doom'd me to be poor
Endues me with a spirit to endure
All, and much more, than is or has been borne
By better men, of want, or worldly scorn.
My soul has faith, my body has the nerve
To brave the
sins deserve. And yet my helpless state I deeply mourn: Well could I bear to be deserted quite,Less should I blame my fortune were it worse ;But taking all, it yet hath left me friends, For whom I needs must mourn the wayward spite That hides my purpose in an empty purse, Since what I grateful wish, in wishing ends.
What can a poor man do but love and pray?
But if his love be selfish, then his
Like noisome vapour, melts in vacant air.
I am a debtor, and I cannot pay.
The alms which drop upon the public way,-
The casual tribute of the good and fair,
With the keen, thriftless avarice of despair
I seize, and live thereon from day to day,
Ingrate and purposeless. And yet not so:
The mere mendicity of self-contempt
Has not so far debased me, but I know
The faith, the hope, the piety, exempt
From worldly doubt, to which my all I owe.
Since I have nothing, yet I bless the thought ;-
Best are they paid whose earthly wage is nought.
What is young Passion but a gusty breeze
Ruffling the surface of a shallow flood ?
A vernal motion of the vital blood,
That sweetly gushes from a heart at ease,
As sugar'd sap in spicy-budding trees?
And tho' a wish be born with every morrow,
And fondest dreams full oft are types of sorrow,
Eyes that can smile may weep just when they please.
But adult Passion, centred far within,
Hid from the moment's venom and its balm,
Works with the fell inherency of sin,
Nor feels the joy of morn, nor evening calm:
For morn nor eve can change that fiery gloom
That glares within the spirit's living tomb.
“ Solo e pensoso i piu deserti campi.” LONELY and pensive o'er the lonely strand,
With wandering steps and slow," I loiter on, My eyes at watch, to warn me to be gone If mark of human foot impress the sand ; Else would my piteous plight be rudely scann'd, And curious folk would stare to see the wan And deathlike images of joy foregone, And how I inly waste like smouldering brand. Or I would fain believe the tangled wood Which girds the small field on the mountain side The one sole witness to my crazy mood ; But ah! what sandy waste, or forest dim, My haunt obscure from Love can ever hide ? Where'er I think, I converse hold with him.
The vale of Tempe had in vain been fair,
Green Ida never deem'd the nurse of Jove ;
Each fabled stream, beneath its covert grove,
Had idly murmur'd to the idle air;
The shaggy wolf had kept his horrid lair
In Delphi's cell, and old Trophonius' cave,
And the wild wailing of the Ionian wave
Had never blended with the sweet despair
Of Sappho's death-song, if the sight inspired
Saw only what the visual organs shew,
If heaven-born phantasy no more required,
Than what within the sphere of sense may grow :
The beauty to perceive of earthly things,
The mounting soul must heavenward prune hier wings.