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Like Cromwell's pranks;—but although truth exacts
These amiable descriptions from the scribes,
All are not moralists, like Southey, when
Or Wordsworth, unexcised, unhired, who then
Or Coleridge, long before his flighty pen
When he and Southey, following the same path.
Espoused two partners (milliners of Bath).
Such names at present cut a convict figure,
Their loyal treason, renegado rigour,
Wordsworth's last quarto, by the way, is bigger
A drowsy, frowzy poem call'd The Excursion,
Writ in a manner which is my aversion.
He there builds up a formidable dyke
But Wordsworth's poem, and his followers, like
Are things which in this century don't strike
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;
Which put off business to the ensuing session ,
I know that what our neighbors called "longueurs"
In that complete perfection which ensures
Form not the true temptation which allures
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.
Of ocean ?—No, of air; and then he makes
If he must fain sweep o'er the ethereal plain,
Could he not beg the loan of Charles's Wain,
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
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 Arab lore and poet's song were done,
The lady and her lover, left alone,
Ave Maria! o'er the earth and sea,
That heavenliest hour of Heaven is worthiest thee!
Ave Maria! blessed be the hour,
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
But set those persons down with me to pray,
Of getting into heaven the shortest way:
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,
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—
To the young bird the parent's brooding wings.
Whate'er of peace about our hearthstone clings,
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;
As the far bell of vesper makes him start,
Is this a fancy which our reason scorns?
Ah! surely nothing dies but something mourns.
When Nero perish'd by the justest doom
Amidst the roar of liberated Rome,
Some hands unseen strew'd flowers upon his tomb;
Of feeling for some kindness done, when power
Had left the wretch an uncorrupted hour.