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'Tis sweet to see the evening star appear ;
'Tis sweet to listen as the night winds creep From leaf to leaf ; 'tis sweet to view on high The rainbow, based on ocean, span the sky.
'Tis sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest bark Bay deep-mouth'd welcome as we draw near
home; 'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark
Our coming, and look brighter when we come ; 'Tis sweet to be awaken'd by the lark,
Or lull’d by falling waters ; sweet the hum Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds, The lisp of children, and their earliest words.
Sweet is the vintage, when the showering grapes
In Bacchanal profusion reel to earth
From civic revelry to rural mirth ;
Sweet to the father is his first-born's birth,
Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet
The unexpected death of some old lady Or gentleman of seventy years complete, Who've made “ us youth" wait too—too long
already For an estate, or cash, or country-seat,
Still breaking, but with stamina so steady, That all the Israelites are fit to mob its
Next owner for their double-damn'd post-obits. 'Tis sweet to win, no matter how, one's laurels
By blood or ink; 'tis sweet to put an end To strife : 'tis sometimes sweet to have our quar
rels, Particularly with a tiresome friend ; Sweet is old wine in bottles, ale in barrels ;
Dear is the helpless creature we defend Against the world ; and dear the schoolboy spot We ne'er forget, though there we are forgot.
But sweeter still than this, than these, than all,
Is first and passionate love—it stands alone, Like Adam's recollection of his fall; The tree of knowledge has been pluck'd-all's
knownAnd life yields nothing further to recall
Worthy of this ambrosial sin, so shown, No doubt, in fable, as the unforgiven Fire which Prometheus filch'd for us from heaven.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
BORN 4TH AUGUST, 1792-DROWNED OFF VIA REGGIO,
8TH JULY, 1822.
THIS eccentric man of genius was the eldest son of Sir Ti. mothy Shelley, Baronet of Castle-Goring, Sussex. He was sent to Eton; and from his earliest boyhood discovered those singularities of thought and manners, that through life kept him in a state of hostility with those venerable institutions and established opinions for which
his fellow-men retain the highest respect and reverence. From Oxford he was expelled, the willing martyr of his own extravagant opinions. On these his conduct was an unhappy commentary :- the life of the apostle did not
recommend his doctrines. Mr Shelley, while very young-not more than eighteenmarried a lady of inferior rank, from whom he separated in a few years, after the birth of two children. This done, he paid his addresses to another woman. His wife destroyed herself.—Mr Shelley's friends not those of his family; from them he had long been completely estranged, but his literary associates-represent him as having been dreadfully affected by this catastrophe; and this may probably be true. He now married the daughter of Mr Godwin and Mary Wollstoncrafte, and settled at Great Marlow. On the application of his friends he was, for what seemed good reasons, deprived, by the Court of Chancery, of the care of his children by his first marriage. This circumstance, with many others, though all of his own provoking, tended to disgust Mr Shelley more and more with England. He went with his wife to Italy, and settled at Pisa. In returning to a summer residence at Lerici, from paying a visit of welcome to his friend, Mr Leigh Hunt, who had just then joined Lord Byron, Mr Shelley met his fate, in company with his friend, Mr Williams (of the 8th Guards), and one seaman. The character of Mr Shelley was, during his lifetime, sub
jected to many unfounded calumnies; and he probably sustained a worse reputation than he deserved; but there are parts of his conduct which nothing can justify, and of which it is almost charity to believe that the cause rather lay in his blood than his heart. In money-matters he was, according to the representations of his admiring friend, Mr Leigh Hunt, the most liberal of men. He forfeited an estate rather than submit to his relations, who wished to impose upon him the hard and tyrannical
necessity of living, acting, and thinking as became an English gentleman. This was in a spirit of martyrdom, of which we fear few, save Mr Shelley's personal admirer, will see the virtue. He presented Mr Hunt with £1400, to extricate him from debt. There may be persons in the world neither wanting in generosity nor benevolence who will even demur to this action. The gratitude of Mr Hunt, as becomes him, is boundless, and does honour to his heart and his candour. Well, indeed, might he admire the princely disposition of his friend and benefactor. “But,” says Mr Hunt, “ I was not extricated; I had not learned to be careful!”—This is a shrewd commentary on the judgment Mr Shelley displayed in this benefaction. Mr Shelley, unhappy in many things, was peculiarly so in his choice of friends. Their admiration or Aattery appears to have strengthened and confirmed all the morbid tendencies of his mind, and his predisposition to whatever might startle, shock, and alienate the soberminded portion of mankind. The revolting obsequies of this unfortunate gentleman, whose remains were consumed on the seashore by fire, and the frantic and Bacchanalian mood in which his friends returned from the celebration of these unusual rites, throws an incidental light on the nature of such associations which
speaks volumes. The public mind is scarcely yet either cool enough, or
enough informed, to be made up on the character of Mr Shelley. He, indeed, truly describes himself as one
Whom men love not, and yet regret. Of his genius there can be no doubt. It was fine, high,
and original, though, like all his other mental and moral attributes, wild, extravagant, and ill-regulated.
LOVE'S PHILOSOPHY. THE fountains mingle with the river,
And the river with the ocean ; The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion.
All things by a law divine
Why not I with thine ?
See the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another ; No sister-flower could be forgiven
If it disdain'd its brother.
And the moonbeams kiss the sea ; What are all these kissings worth
If thou kiss not me?
LINES TO AN INDIAN AIR. I ARISE from dreams of thee,
In the first sweet sleep of night, When the winds are breathing low,
And the stars are shining bright; I arise from dreams of thee,
And a Spirit in my feet
To thy chamber-window sweet.
The wandering airs they faint
On the dark and silent stream,