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XXIV.

TO THE NILE.

Son of the old moon-mountains African !
Stream of the Pyramid and Crocodile !
We call thee fruitful, and that very

while
A desert fills our seeing's inward span:
Nurse of swart nations since the world began,
Art thou so fruitful ? or dost thou beguile
Those men to honour thee, who, worn with toil,
Rest them a space 'twixt Cairo and Decan?
O may dark fancies err! They surely do;
'Tis ignorance that makes a barren waste
Of all beyond itself. Thou dost bedew
Green rushes like our rivers, and dost taste
The pleasant sun-rise. Green isles hast thou too,
And to the sea as happily dost haste.

XXV.

“ KING LEAR

ON SITTING DOWN TO READ

ONCE AGAIN.

O golden-tongued Romance with serene lute !
Fair plumed Syren! Queen! if far away!
Leave melodizing on this wintry day,
Shut

up thine olden volume, and be mute.
Adieu ! for once again the fierce dispute,
Betwixt hell torment and impassioned clay,
Must I burn through ; once more assay
The bitter sweet of this Shaksperian fruit.
Chief Poet! and ye clouds of Albion,
Begetters of our deep eternal theme,
When I am through the old oak forest gone,
Let me not wander in a barren dream,
But when I am consumed with the Fire,
Give me new Phoenix-wings to fly at my desire.

XXVI.

READ me a lesson, Muse, and speak it loud
Upon the top of Nevis, blind in mist!
I look into the chasms, and a shroud
Vaporous doth hide them, just so much I wist
Mankind do know of hell; I look o'erhead,
And there is sullen ist, even so much
Mankind can tell of heaven; mist is spread
Before the earth, beneath me,-even such,
Even so vague is man's sight of himself !
Here are the craggy stones beneath my feet,
Thus much I know that, a poor witless elf,
I tread on them,—that all my eye doth meet
Is mist and crag, not only on this height,
But in the world of thought and mental might!

POSTHUMOUS POEMS.

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