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Or did it serve, in form of stone or plant,
Or weaving worm, or the wise politic ant,
Its weary bondage-ere the moment came,
When the weak spark should mount into a flame?
I LOVE thee-none may know how well,
And yet I would not have thee love me,
To thy good heart 'twere very hell,
To love me dear, and not approve me.
Whate'er thou lov'st it is not thine,
But 'tis thyself then sad it were, love,
If thou for every sin of mine,
Should weep, repent, mayhap, despair-love.
Then love me not-thou can'st not scorn;
And mind-I do not bid thee hate me,
And if I die, oh, do not mourn,
But if I live, do new create me.
THERE never was a blessing, or a curse,
So sweet, so cruel, as a knack of verse.
When the smug stripling finds the way to rhyme,
Glad as the wild bee 'mid a bed of thyme.
With dulcet murmuring, all a summer's day,
With many a scrap of many a purposed lay-
Fitful, yet gentle, as a summer wind,
Pleased with himself, and pleased with all mankind,
Sure of the praise which partial friends bestow,
He breathes in bliss, if bliss may be below.
Pass some few years-and see where all will end.
The hireling scribe, estranged from every friend,
Or if one friend remain, 'tis one so brave,
He will not quit the wreck he cannot save,
The good man's pity, and the proud man's scorn,
The Muse's vagabond, he roams forlorn-
Thought, wit, invention, tenderness have left him,
All wealth of mind, save empty rhyme, bereft him-
Yet write he must, for still he needs must eat-
Retail fantastic sorrow by the sheet—
Sing in his garret of the flowery grove,
And pinched with hunger, wail the woes of love—
Oh may all Christian souls while yet 'tis time,
Renounce the World, the Flesh, the Devil, and Rhyme.
NOT ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN THE AUTHOR'S
SWEET vale, tho' I must leave
Thy green hills and thy waters,
Nor sing again at eve,
To charm thy winsome daughters, Yet I shall fondly think of thee, And thy fair maids will think of me, When I am far away.
I'll think of thee, but not as men,
Who vex their souls with thinking,
With feverish thirst, the reeky fen,
Of sluggard memory drinking,
Nor shall thy maidens fair and free,
With ought of sadness think of me,
When I am far away.
The fairy lake, tho' still it seems,
Is evermore a-flowing,
A moment ends the silvery gleams
That flash as we are rowing.
Yet that smooth lake, as smooth shall flow, And light oars flash, when gay youths' row, When I am far away.
So may the tide of virgin life,
As smooth, as quick, as clear, If e'er, in momentary strife,
It dimple with a tear,
As soon regain its sweet repose-
And rest in peace, because it flows,
For ever on its way.
BOOK I., ODE 38.
"Persicos odi, puer, apparatus."
NAY, nay, my boy-'tis not for me,
This studious pomp of eastern luxury :
Give me no various garlands-fine
With linden twine,
Nor seek, where latest lingering blows
The solitary rose.
Earnest I beg-add not with toilsome pain,
One far sought blossom to the myrtle plain,
For sure, the fragrant myrtle bough
Looks seemliest on thy brow; Nor me mis-seems, while, underneath the vine, Close interweaved, I quaff the rosy wine.
OH! weep not for the happy dead,
Your tears reproach the Lord;
To him her virgin soul was wed,
And strong in love, to him she fled
From mother's house, and parent's smiling board.
Alas! we cannot choose but
For we are sore bereaven;
And all of her that we can keep
Is but an image on the deep,
The deep calm soul, that shews reflected heaven.
If angel spirits aught may know
Of hearts they left behind,
If e'er they cast a look below,
The sacrifice of pious woe
May yield a tender joy, even to the angel kind.