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Pause, courteous spirit! Balbi supplicates
That thou, with no reluctant voice, for him
Here laid in mortal darkness, wouldst prefer
A prayer to the Redeemer of the world.
This to the dead by sacred right belongs ;
All else is nothing. Did occasion suit
To tell his worth, the marble of this tomb
Would ill suffice: for Plato's lore sublime,
And all the wisdom of the Stagyrite,
Enriched and beautified his studious mind :
With Archimedes also he conversed
As with a chosen friend, nor did he leave
Those laureat wreaths ungathered which the nymphs
Twine on the top of Pindus. Finally,
Himself above each lower thought uplifting,
His ears he closed to listen to the song
Which Sion's kings did consecrate of old ;
And fixed his Pindus upon Lebanon.
A blessèd man who of protracted days
Made not, as thousands do, a vulgar sleep;
But truly did he live his life. Urbino,
Take pride in him! O passenger, farewell !
ON THE EXPECTED DEATH OF MR. FOX.
Loud is the vale! the voice is up
With which she speaks when storms are gone,
A mighty unison of streams!
Of all her voices, one!
Loud is the vale ;-this inland depth
In peace is roaring like the sea;
Yon star upon the mountain-top
Is listening quietly.
Sad was I, even to pain depressed,
Importunate and heavy load!
The Comforter hath found me here,
Upon this lonely road;
And many thousands now are sad-
Wait the fulfilment of their fear;
For he must die who is their stay,
Their glory disappear.
A power is passing from the earth
To breathless nature's dark abyss;
But when the mighty pass away
What is it more than this
That man, who is from God sent forth,
Doth yet again to God return?
Such ebb and flow must ever be ;
Then wherefore should we mourn?
Written on a blank leaf in The Excursion, upon hearing of
the death of the vicar of Kendal.
To public notice, with reluctance strong,
Did I deliver this unfinished song;
Yet for one happy issue ;—and I look
With self-congratulation on the book
Which pious, learned Murfitt saw and read;-
Upon my thoughts his saintly spirit fed ;
He conned the new-born lay with grateful heart-
Foreboding not how soon he must depart:
Unweeting that to him the joy was given
Which good men take with them from earth to heaven.
ELEGIAC STANZAS. SUGGESTED BY A PICTURE OF PEELE CASTLE, IN A
STORM, PAINTED BY SIR GEORGE BEAUMONT. I was thy neighbour once, thou rugged pile! Four summer weeks I dwelt in sight of thee: I saw thee every day; and all the while Thy form was sleeping on a glassy sea. So pure the sky, so quiet was the air: So like, so very like, was day to day! Whene'er I looked, thy image still was there; It trembled, but it never passed away.
How perfect was the calm! it seemed no sleep:
No mood which season takes away or brings:
I could have fancied that the mighty deep
Was even the gentlest of all gentle things.
Ah! THEN, if mine had been the painter's hand,
To express what then I saw; and add the gleam,
The lustre, known to neither sea nor land,
But borrowed from the youthful poet's dream;
I would have planted thee, thou hoary pile!
Amid a world how different from this!
Beside a sea that could not cease to smile:
On tranquil land, beneath a sky of bliss.
A picture had it been of lasting ease,
Elysian quiet, without toil or strife;
No motion but the moving tide, a breeze,
Or merely silent nature's breathing life.
Such in the fond illusion of my heart,
Such picture would I at that time have made;
And seen the soul of truth in every part;
A faith, a trust that could not be betrayed.
So once it would have been,--'tis so no more;
I have submitted to a new control:
A power is gone, which nothing can restore;
A deep distress hath humanized my soul.
Not for a moment could I now behold
A smiling sea, and be what I have been:
The feeling of my loss will ne'er be old;
This, which I know, I speak with mind serene.
Then, Beaumont, friend! who would have been the friend,
If he had lived, of him whom I deplore,
This work of thine I blame not, but commend;
This sea in anger, and that dismal shore.
Oh, 'tis a passionate work !-yet wise and well;
Well chosen is the spirit that is here;
That hulk which labours in the deadly swell,
This rueful sky, this pageantry of fear!
And this huge castle, standing here sublime,
I love to see the look with which it braves,
Cased in the unfeeling armour of old Time,
The lightning, the fierce wind, and trampling waves.
Farewell, farewell, the heart that lives alone,
Housed in a dream, at distance from its kind !
Such happiness, wherever it be known,
Is to be pitied; for 'tis surely blind.
But welcome fortitude, and patient cheer,
And frequent sights of what is to be borne !
Such sights, or worse, as are before me here,
Not without hope we suffer and we mourn.
TO THE DAISY. Sweet flower! belike one day to have A place upon thy poet's grave, I welcome thee once more: But he, who was on land, at sea, My brother, too, in loving thee, Although he loved more silently, Sleeps by his native shore. Ah! hopeful, hopeful was the day When to that ship he bent his way, To govern and to guide: His wish was gained: a little time Would bring him back in manhood's prime, And free for life, these hills to climb, With all his wants supplied. And full of hope day followed day While that stout ship at anchor lay Beside the shores of Wight; The May had then made all things green; And floating there in pomp serene, That ship was goodly to be seen, His pride and his delight! Yet then, when called ashore, he sought The tender peace of rural thought; In more than happy mood To your abodes, bright daisy flowers ! He then would steal at leisure hours, And loved you glittering in your bowers, A starry multitude. But hark the word !—the ship is gone ;From her long course returns :-anon Sets sail :in season due,