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Haunted by Poverty and woe-begone,
Unloved, unfriended, thou didst journey on:
Thy youth in ignorance and labour past,
And thine old age all barrenness and blast!
Hard was thy Fate, which, while it doomed to woe,
Denied thee wisdom to support the blow;
And robbed of all its energy thy mind,
Ere yet it cast thee on thy fellow-kind,
Abject of thought, the victim of distress,
To wander in the world's wide wilderness.
Poor Outcast, sleep in peace! the wintry storm
Blows bleak no more on thine unsheltered form ;
Thy woes are past; thou restest in the tomb ;-
I pause--and ponder on the days to come.
TO A YOUNG MAN, Who considered the perfection of human nature as consisting in the vigour and indulgence of the more boisterous passions.
THIS is not pleasure! can'st thou look within
And say that thou art blest? at the close of day
Canst thou retire to thy fire-side alone,
Quiet at heart, nor heeding aught remote,
The power of wine, or power of company,
To fill thy human cravings? hast thou left
Some treasured feelings, unexhausted loves,
Thoughts of the past, and thoughts of times to come,
Mingled with sweetness all and deep content,
For Solitude's grave moment? Canst thog tell
Of the last sun-set how 'twas freaked with cloads,
With clouds of shape sublime and strangest hués ?
Canst thou report the storm of yester-night,
It's dancing flashes and its growling thunder ?
And canst thou call to mind the colourless moon,
What time the thin cloud half obscured the stars
Muffling them, till the Spirit of the night
Let slip his shadowy surge, and in the midst
One little gladdening twinkler shook its locks?
Oh have these things within thee aught besides
Human remembrance? Have they passion, love?
Do they enrich thy dreams, and to thy thoughts
Add images of purity and peace?
It is not so, cannot be so, to those
Who in the revels of the midnight cup,
Or in the wanton’s lap, lavish the gift,
God's supreme gift, the motion, and the fire,
That stirs, and warms the faculty of thought!
If thou defile thyself, that joy minute,
Deep, silent, simple, dignified, yet mild,
Must never be thy portion! Thou hast lost
That most companiable and awful sense,
That sense which tells us of a GoD in Heaven
And beauty on the earth: that sense which lends
A voice to silence, and to vacancy
A multitude of shapes and hues of life!
Go then relinquish pleasure, would'st thou know
The throb of happiness, relinquish wine,
And greedy lust, and grecdier imagings
Of what may constitute the bliss of man!
Oh! tis a silent and a quiet power,
An unobtrusive power, that winds itself
Into all moods of time and circumstance!
It smiles and looks serene; in the clear eye
It speaks refreshing things, but never words
It makes its instruments, and flies away
As 'twere polluted, from the soul that dares
To waste God's dear endowments heedlessly,
And without special care that present joy
May bring an after blessing:
SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes :
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
SILENCE of Death-portentous calm,
Those airy forms that yonder fly,
Denote that your void foreruns a storm,
That the hour of fate is nigh.
I see, I see, on the dim mist borne,
The Spirit of battles rear his crest!
I see, I see, that ere the morn,
His spear will forsake its hated rest, And the widow'd wife of Larrendill will beat her naked
O'er the smooth bosom of the sullen deep,
No softly ruffling zephyrs fly;
But Nature sleeps a deathless sleep,
For the hour of battle is nigh.
Not a loose leaf waves on the dusky oak,
But a creeping stillness reigns around;
Except when the raven, with ominous croak,
On the ear does unwelcomely sound.
I know, I know, what this silence means,
I know what the raven saith—
Strike, oh, ye bards! the melancholy harp,
For this is the eve of death.
Behold, how along the twilight air
The shades of our fathers glide!
There Morven fled, with the blood-drenched hair,
And Colma with grey side.
No gale around its coolness flings,
Yet sadly sigh the gloomy trees;
And hark, how the harp's unvisited strings
Sound sweet, as if swept by a whispering breeze! 'Tis done! the sun he has set in blood!
He will never set more to the brave;
Let us pour to the hero the dirge of death ---
For to-morrow he hies to the grave.
LIVING WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD.
MYSTERY of God! thou brave and beauteous world,
Made fair with light and shade and stars and flowers,
Made fearful and august with woods and rocks,
Jagg'd precipice, black mountain, sea in storms,
Sun, over all, that no co-rival owns,
But through Heaven's pavement rides as in despite
Or mockery of the littleness of man!
I see a mighty arm, by man unseen,