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SONNET XXVI.

CONTINUED.

'Tis strange to me, who long have seen no face,
That was not like a book, whose every page
I knew by heart, a kindly common-place-
And faithful record of progressive age-
To wander forth, and view an unknown race;
Of all that I have been, to find no trace,
No footstep of my by-gone pilgrimage.
Thousands I pass, and no one stays his pace
To tell me that the day is fair, or rainy-
Each one his object seeks with anxious chase,
And I have not a common hope with any–
Thus like one drop of oil upon a flood,
In uncommunicating solitude-
Single am I amid the countless many.

SONNET XXVII.

IF I have sinn'd in act, I may repent ;
If I have err’d in thought, I may disclaim
My silent error, and yet feel no shame-
But if my soul, big with an ill intent,
Guilty in will, by fate be innocent,
Or being bad, yet murmurs at the curse
And incapacity of being worse
That makes my hungry passion still keep Lent
In keen expectance of a Carnival;
Where, in all worlds, that round the sun revolve
And shed their influence on this passive ball,
Abides a power that can my soul absolve?
Could any sin survive, and be forgiven-
One sinful wish would make a hell of heaven.

SONNET XXVIII.

TO SHAKSPEARE.

The soul of man is larger than the sky,
Deeper than ocean-or the abysmal dark
Of the unfathom'd centre. Like that Ark,
Which in its sacred hold uplifted high,
O’er the drown’d hills, the human family,
And stock reserved of every living kind,
So, in the compass of the single mind,
The seeds and pregnant forms in essence lie,
That make all worlds. Great Poet 'twas thy art,
To know thyself, and in thyself to be
Whate'er love, hate, ambition, destiny,
Or the firm, fatal purpose of the heart,
Can make of Man. Yet thou wert still the same,
Serene of thought, unhurt by thy own flame.

SONNET XXIX.

Why should I murmur at my lot forlorn ?
The self-same Fate that doom'd me to be poor
Endues me with a spirit to endure
All, and much more, than is or has been borne
By better men, of want, or worldly scorn.
My soul has faith, my body has the nerve
To brave the penance that my sins deserve.
And yet my helpless state I deeply mourn :
Well could I bear to be deserted quite,-
Less should I blame

my
fortune were it worse,

-
But taking all, it yet hath left me friends,
For whom I needs must mourn the wayward spite
That hides my purpose in an empty purse,
Since what I grateful wish, in wishing ends.

SONNET XXX.

What can a poor man do but love and pray?
But if his love be selfish, then his prayer,
Like noisome vapour melts in vacant air.
I am a debtor, and I cannot pay.
The alms which drop upon the public way,—
The casual tribute of the good and fair,
With the keen, thriftless avarice of despair
I seize, and live thereon from day to day,
Ingrate and purposeless.—And yet not so:
The mere mendicity of self contempt
Has not so far debased me, but I know
The faith, the hope, the piety, exempt
From worldly doubt, to which my all I owe.
Since I have nothing, yet I bless the thought,-
Best are they paid whose earthly wage is nought.

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