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Like Cromwell's pranks;—but although truth exacts

These amiable descriptions from the scribes,
As most essential to their hero's story,
They do not much contribute to his glory.


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:

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, 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;

But Wordsworth's poem, and his followers, like
Johanna Southcote's Shiloh, and her sect,

Are things which in this century don't strike
The public mind—so few are the elect;

And the new births of both their stale virginities

Have proved but dropsies, taken lor divinities.


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;
But these are my addresses from the throne,

Which put off business to the ensuing session ,
Forgetting each omission is a loss to
The world, not quite so great as Ariosto.


I know that what our neighbors called "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—)

Form not the true temptation which allures
The reader; but 'twould not be hard to bring

Some fine examples of the tpopde

To prove its grand ingredient is ennui.


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.
He wishes for " a boat" to sail the deeps—

Of ocean ?—No, of air; and then he makes
Another outcry for "a little boat,"
And drivels seas to set it well afloat.


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?

That trash of such sort not alone evades Contempt, but from the bathos' vast abyss

Floats scumlike uppermost; and these Jack Cades
Of sense and song, above your graves may hiss—

The " little boatman " and his " Peter Bell"

Can sneer at him who drew " Achitophel!"


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 lady and her lover, left alone,
The rosy flood of twilight sky admired ;—

Ave Maria! o'er the earth and sea,

That heavenliest hour of Heaven is worthiest thee!


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, While swung the deep bell in the distant tower,
Or the faint dying day-hymn stole aloft, And not a breath crept through the rosy air, And yet the forest leaves seem'd stirr'd with prayer.


Ave Maria! 'tis the hour of prayer!

Ave Maria! 'tis 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 dove— What though 'tis but a pictured image ?—strike— That painting is no idol—'tis too like.


Some kinder casuists are pleased to say
In nameless print—that I have no devotion;

But set those persons 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 Caesarean fortress stood,

Evergreen forest! which Boccaccio's lore And Dryden's lay made haunted ground to me, How have I loved the twilight hour and thee!


The shrill cicalas, people of the pine,

Making their summer lives one ceaseless song,

Were the sole echoes, save my steed's and mine,
And vesper bells 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.


O Hesperus! thou bringest all good things—
Home to the weary, to the hungry cheer,

To the young bird the parent's brooding wings.
The welcome stall to the o'erlabour'd steer;

Whate'er of peace about our hearthstone clings,
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.


Soft hour! which wakes the wish and melts the heart Of those who sail the seas, on the first day

When they from their sweet friends are torn apart;
Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way

As the far bell of vesper makes him start,
Seeming to weep the dying day's decay;

Is this a fancy which our reason scorns?

Ah! surely nothing dies but something mourns.


When Nero perish'd by the justest doom
Which ever the destroyer yet destroy'd,

Amidst the roar of liberated Rome,
Of nations freed, and the world overjoy'd,

Some hands unseen strew'd flowers upon his tomb;
Perhaps the weakness of a heart not void

Of feeling for some kindness done, when power

Had left the wretch an uncorrupted hour.

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