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All are not moralists, like Southey, when
He prated to the world of « Pantisocrasy; » Or Wordsworth unexcised, unhired, who then
Season'd his pedlar poems with democracy; Or Coleridge, long before his flighty pen
Let to the Morning Post its aristocracy; When he and Southey, following the same path, Espoused two partners (milliners of Bath).
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 frouzy poem, call'd the « Excursion,» Writ in a manner which is my aversion.
He there builds up a formidable dike
Between his own and others' intellect;
Joanna 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 digression; Leaving my people to proceed alone,
While I soliloquize beyond expression;
Which put off business to the ensuing session :
I know that what our neighbours call longueurs,
(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 't would 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
If he must fain sweep o'er the etherial plain,
And Pegasus runs restive in his « waggon,» Could ke 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 a waggons ! » Oh! ye shades
Of Pope and Dryden, are we come to this? That trash of such sort not alone evades
Contempt, but from the bathos' vast abyss
Of sense and song above your graves may hiss-
T'our tale.—The feast was over, the slaves gone,
The dwarfs and dancing girls had all retired;
And every sound of revelry expired;
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,
the forest leaves seem'd stirr'd with prayer.
Ave Maria ! 't is the hour of prayer!
Ave Maria! 't is the hour of love! Ave Maria! may our spirits dare
Look up to thine and to thy Son's above! Ave Maria! oh that face so fair!
Those downcast eyes beneath the Almighty doveWhat though 't is but a pictured image strikeThat painting is no idol, 't is too like.
Some kinder casuists are pleased to say,
In nameless print—that I have no devotion; But set those
down with me to pray, And you shall see who has the properest notion Of getting into heaven the shortest way;
My altars are the mountains and the ocean, Earth, air, stars,—all that springs from the great Whole, Who hath produced, and will receive the soul.
Sweet hour of twilight!—in the solitude
Of the pine forest, and the silent shore Which bounds Ravenna's immemorial wood,
Rooted where once the Adrian wave flow'd o'er, To where the last Cæsarean fortress stood,
Evergreen forest! which Boccaccio's lore
The shrill cicalas, people of the pine,
Making their summer lives one ceaseless song, Were the sole echos, save my steed's and mine,
And vesper bell's that rose the boughs along; The spectre huntsman of Onesti's line,
His hell-dogs, and their chase, and the fair throng, Which learn'd from this example not to fly From a true lover, shadow'd my mind's eye.
Oh Hesperus! 5 thou bringest all good things
Home to the weary, to the hungry cheer,
The welcome stall to the o'erlabour'd steer;
Whate’er our household gods protect of dear, Are gather'd round us by thy look of rest; Thou bring'st the child, too, to the mother's breast.