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Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
Our virgins dance beneath the shade-
But, gazing on each glowing maid,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
There, swan-like, let me sing and die!
Thus sung, or would, or could, or should have sung,
The modern Greek, in tolerable verse;
Yet in these times he might have done much worse : His strain display'd some feeling-right or wrong;
And feeling, in a poet, is the source
But words are things; and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew, upon a thought, produces That which makes thousands, perhaps millions think:
'Tis strange, the shortest letter which man uses Instead of speech, may form a lasting link
Of ages; to what straits old Time reduces Frail man, when paper-even a rag like thisSurvives himself, his tomb, and all that's his !
His station, generation, even his nation,
In chronological commemoration,
Or graven stone found in a barrack's station
'Tis something, nothing, words, illusion, windDepending more upon the historian's style,
Than on the name a person leaves behind.
The present century was growing blind
Milton's the prince of poets—so we say;
A little heavy, but no less divine: An independent being in his day
Learn'd, pious, temperate in love and wine: But his life falling into Johnson's way,
We're told this great high priest of all the Nine Was whipt at college-a harsh siremodd spouse, For the first Mrs. Milton left his house.
All these are, certes, entertaining facts,
Like Shakespeare's stealing deer, Lord Bacon's bribes; Like Titus' youth, and Cæsar's earliest acts ;
Like Burns (whom Doctor Currie well describes);
Like Cromwell's pranks ;—but although truth exacts
These amiable descriptions from the scribes,
All are not moralists, like Southey, when
He prated to the world of “ Pantisocracy”; Or Wordsworth, unexcised, unhired, who then
Season'd his pedlar poems with democracy:
Let to the Morning Post its aristocracy ;
Such names at present cut a convict figure,
The very Botany Bay in moral geography; Their loyal treason, renegado rigour,
Are good manure for their more bare biography. Wordsworth's last quarto, by the way, is bigger
Than any since the birthday of typography; A drowsy, frowzy poem call'd The Excursion, Writ in a manner which is my aversion.
He there builds up a formidable dyke
Between his own and others' intellect;
Johanna Southcote's Shiloh, and her sect,
The public mind-so few are the elect;
But let me to my story: I must own,
If I have any fault, it is digressionLeaving my people to proceed alone,
While I soliloquize beyond expression ;
Which put off business to the ensuing session ,
(We've not so good a word, but have the thing, In that complete perfection which ensures
An epic from Bob Southey every spring--)
The reader ; but 'twould not be hard to bring
We learn from Horace, “ Homer sometimes sleeps";
We feel without him, Wordsworth sometimes wakes,To show with what complacency he creeps,
With his dear“ Waggoners,” around his lakes.
Of ocean ? -No, of air; and then he makes
xcix. If he must fain sweep o'er the ethereal plain,
And Pegasus runs restive in his “ Waggon," Could he not beg the loan of Charles's Wain,
Or pray Medea for a single dragon ?
Or if too classic for his vulgar brain,
He fear'd his neck to venture such a nag on, And he must needs mount nearer to the moon, Could not the blockhead ask for a balloon?
• Pedlars,” and “Boats,” and “Waggons!" O, ye shades
Of Pope and Dryden, are we come to this ?
Contempt, but from the bathos' vast abyss
Of sense and song, above your graves may hiss-
ci. T'our tale.—The feast was over, the slaves gone,
The dwarfs and dancing girls had all retired; The Arab lore and poet's song were done,
And every sound of revelry expired ;
The rosy flood of twilight sky admired ;-
Ave Maria ! blessed be the hour,
The time, the clime, the spot, where I so oft Have felt that moment in its fullest power
Sink o'er the earth so beautiful and soft,
Or the faint dying day-hymn stole aloft,