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Too true it is, my time of power was spent
In idly watering weeds of casual growth,–
That wasted energy to desperate sloth
Declined, and fond self-seeking discontent, -
That the huge debt for all that nature lent
I sought to cancel,—and' was nothing loath
To deem myself an outlaw, sever'd both
From duty and from hope,-yea, blindly sent
Without an errand, where I would to stray :-
Too true it is, that, knowing now my state,
I weakly mourn the sin I ought to hate,
Nor love the law I yet would fain obey :
But true it is, above all law and fate
Is Faith, abiding the appointed day.
OF THE CORPSE OF NAPOLEON LYING IN STATE.
Lo! there he lies. Is Death no more than this?
Is this the worst that mighty mortal can
his fellow ? Could the man-
The strongest arm of angry Nemesis,
The rod that routed hosts were fain to kiss,
Whom failing Faith afar with terror eyed,
And Atheism madly deified-
Could he with all his wars and policies
Effect but this ? To antedate a year
That cold unfeeling calm, that even now
Blanks the dark meaning of that deep-lined brow,
And from the loose lip half uncurls the sneer?
If such be Death, O man, then what art thou,
That for the fear of Death would'st live in fear?
There have been poets that in verse display
The elemental forms of human passions :
Poets have been, to whom the fickle fashions
And all the wilful humours of the day
Have furnish'd matter for a polish'd lay :
And many are the smooth elaborate tribe
Who, emulous of thee, the shape describe,
And fain would every shifting hue pourtray
Of restless Nature. But, thou mighty Seer!
'Tis thine to celebrate the thoughts that make
The life of souls, the truths for whose sweet sake
We to ourselves and to our God are dear.
Of Nature's inner shrine thou art the priest,
Where most she works when we perceive her least.
The mellow year is hasting to its close;
The little birds have almost sung their last,
Their small notes twitter in the dreary blast-
That shrill-piped harbinger of early snows :
The patient beauty of the scentless rose,
Oft with the Morn's hoar chrystal quaintly glass’d,
Hangs, a pale mourner for the summer past,
And makes a little summer where it grows :
In the chill sunbeam of the faint brief day
The dusky waters shudder as they shine,
The russet leaves obstruct the straggling way
Of oozy brooks, which no deep banks define,
And the gaunt woods, in ragged, scant array,
Wrap their old limbs with sombre ivy twine.
ON PARTING WITH A VERY PRETTY, BUT
'Tis ever thus. We only meet on earth
That we may know how sad it is to part:
And sad indeed it were, if in the heart,
There were no store reserved against a dearth,
No calm Elysium for departed Mirth,
Haunted by gentle shadows of past Pleasure ;
Where the sweet folly, the light-footed measure,
And graver trifles of the shining hearth
Live in their own dear image. Lady fair,
Thy presence in our little vale has been
A visitation of the Fairy Queen,
Who for brief space reveals her beauty rare,
And shews her tricksy feats to mortal eyes,
Then fades into her viewless Paradise.