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And you, my offspring! that do still remam.
TO THE AUTHOR'S PORTRAIT.
[Painted at Rydal Mount, by W. Pickersgill, for St. John's
Go, faithful portrait! and where long hath knelt
"WHY ART THOU SILENT?"
Whv art thou silent? Is thy love a plant
The mind's least generous wish a mendicant
For nought but what thy happiness could spare.
Speak, though this soft warm heart, once free to hold
A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine,
Be left more desolate, more dreary cold
Than a forsaken bird's nest filled with snow
Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine;
Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may know'
KING'S COLLEGE CHAPEL. CAMBRIDGE.
Tax not the royal saint with vain expense,
With ill-matched aims the architect who planned,
Albeit labouring for a scanty band
Of white-robed scholars only, this immense
And glorious work of fine intelligence!
Give all thou canst; high Heaven rejects the lore
Of nicely-calculated less or more;
So deemed the man who fashioned for the sense
These lofty pillars, spread that branching roof
Self-poised, and scooped into ten thousand cells,
Where light and shade repose, where music dwells
Lingering—and wandering on as loth to die;
Like thoughts whose very sweetness yieldeth proof
That they were born for immortality.
What awful perspective! while from our sight With gradual stealth the lateral windows hide Their portraitures, their stone-work glimmers, dyed In the soft chequerings of a sleepy light. Martyr, or king, or sainted eremite, Whoe'er ye be, that thus—yourselves unseen— Imbue your prison-bars with solemn sheen, Shine on! until ye fade with coming night! But, from the arms of silence—list! oh, list! The music bursteth into second life;
The notes luxuriate—every stone is kissed
They dreamt not of a perishable home
Thev called thee 'merry England,' in old time;
A happy people won for thee that name
With envy heard in many a distant clime;
And, spite of change, for me thou keep'st the same
Endearing title, a responsive chime
To the heart's fond belief, though some there are
Whose sterner judgments deem that word a snare
For inattentive Fancy, like the lime
Which foolish birds are caught with. Can, I ask,
This face of rural beauty be a mask
For discontent, and poverty, and crime;
These spreading towns a cloak for lawless will;
Forbid it, Heaven !—that ' merry England ' still
May be thy rightful name, in prose and rhyme!
Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes
To pace the ground if path there be or none,
While a fair repose round the traveller lies,
Which he forbears again to look upon;
Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene,
The work of fancy or some happy tone
Of meditation, stepping in between
The beauty coming and the beauty gone.
If thought and love desert us, from that day
Let us break off all commerce with the muse;
With thought and love companions of our way,
Whatever the senses take or may refuse,
The mind's internal heaven shall shed her dews
Of inspiration on the humblest lay.
A MID the smoke of cities did you pass
The time of early youth; and there you learned.
While I was seated, now some ten days past,