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Of their passions and their spites;
Of their glory and their shame;
What doth strengthen and what maim.

ye teach us, every day,
Wisdom, though fled far away.


Bards of Passion and of Mirth,
Ye have left your souls on earth!
Ye have souls in heaven too,
Double-liv'd in regions new !


not think it can have rhymed either with week or with delights; and probably its rhymelessness led to its rejection, and to the reading of the text.

(40) The idea of the double life of the poetic soul is not uncommon; but perhaps the most noteworthy parallel is to be found in the two following stanzas from the poem which Wordsworth wrote in 1803 “ on the banks of Nith, near the poet's [Burns's] residence” (the third poem of the Memorials of a Tour in Scotland) :

Through busiest street and loneliest glen
Are felt the flashes of his pen;
He rules 'mid winter snows, and when

Bees fill their hives;
Deep in the general heart of men

His power survives.
What need of fields in some far clime
Where Heroes, Sages, Bards sublime,
And all that fetched the flowing rhyme

From genuine springs,
Shall dwell together till old Time

Folds up his wings?





Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host's Canary wine?
Or are fruits of Paradise
Sweeter than those dainty pies
Of venison ? O generous food!
Drest as though bold Robin Hood
Would, with his maid Marian,
Sup and bowse from horn and can.


I have heard that on a day
Mine host's sign-board flew away,
Nobody knew whither, till
An astrologer's old quill


When Mr. Palgrave issued his beautiful Golden Treasury he felt it necessary to explain in connexion with this poem that “the Mermaid was the club-house of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and other choice spirits of that age.” Probably such an explanation is considerably less necessary now than then. In Sir Charles Dilke's copy of Endymion is a fair manuscript of this poem, dated 1818, which shows the variations noted below.

(4) The manuscript reads Fairer for Choicer. (9) The manuscript has Old in place of 0.

To a sheepskin gave the story,
Said he saw you in your glory,
Underneath a new old-sign
Sipping beverage divine,
And pledging with contented smack
The Mermaid in the Zodiac.


Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?


(18-19) In the manuscript, Says for Said, and new-old sign, not new old-sign as in the first edition. (23-6) The poem ends thus in the manuscript :

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
Are the winds a sweeter home,
Richer is uncellar'd cavern
Than the merry Mermaid Tavern ?



No! those days are gone away,
And their hours are old and gray,
And their minutes buried all
Under the down-trodden pall
Of the leaves of many years :
Many times have winter's shears,
Frozen North, and chilling East,


Of these charming verses there are two extant manuscripts,-one being apparently the first draft, corrected and altered in course of composition, and the other a very careful copy written at the end of the copy of Endymion in Sir Charles Dilke's possession, already referred to more than once. The draft was found by the late Mr. S. R. Townshend Mayer among the manuscripts of Leigh Hunt; and, as it was written on the same piece of paper with Shelley's Sonnet to the Nile, it is not very hazardous to refer the composition to about the same date–February 1818 (see Letter of the 16th of that month). Sir Charles Dilke's copy of the poem is dated simply “ 1818", and headed thus :

To John Reynolds,

In answer to his Robin Hood Sonnets. The Sonnets in question, published in The Garden of Florence &c. (1821), will be found in the Appendix. The finished manuscript corresponds almost exactly with the printed text : the draft shows considerable variations. (6-7) Cancelled reading

Many times old Winter's shears
Frozen North and chilly east,...

[blocks in formation]

(10) In the draft this line is

Since Men paid no Rent and Leases. (13) Cancelled reading, And the whistle shrill is...

(16) Cancelled reading, No old hermit with his... Probably it was meant to finish the line with staff. (18) The draft reads

deep in

a forest drear.

Jests { within


And there is then the following couplet, cancelled :

No more barbed arrows fly

Through one's own roof to the sky... (19) In the draft thus


the fairest On

day (21-2) Rejected readings, Planets seven, and polar beam.

time } of June...

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