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FRESH clad from heaven in robes of white,
A young probationer of light,
Thou wert, my soul, an album bright.
A spotless leaf; but thought and care,
And friend and foe, in foul or fair,
Have “written strange defeatures” there;
And Time with heaviest hand of all,
Like that fierce writing on the wall,
Hath stamped sad dates—he can't recall;
And error gilding worst designs,
Like speckled snake that strays and shines-
Betrays his path by crooked lines;
And vice hath left his ugly blot ;
And good resolves, a moment hot,
Fairly began—but finished not;
And fruitless, late remorse doth trace-
Like Hebrew lore a backward pace-
Her irrecoverable race.
Disjointed numbers; sense unknit;
Huge reams of folly, shreds of wit ;
Compose the mingled mass of it.
My scalded eyes no longer brook
Upon this ink-blurred thing to look-
Go, shut the leaves, and clasp the book.
COMMENDATORY VERSES, ETC.
ON HIS TRAGEDY OF VIRGINIUS.
TWELVE years ago I knew thee, Knowles, and then
Esteemed you a perfect specimen
Of those fine spirits warm-souled Ireland sends,
To teach us colder English how a friend's
Quick pulse should beat. I knew you brave, and
Strong-sensed, rough-witted, above fear or gain;
But nothing further had the gift to espy.
Sudden you re-appear. With wonder 1
Hear my old friend (turned Shakspeare) read a scene
Only to his inferior in the clean
Passes of pathos; with such fence-like art-
Ere we can see the steel, 'tis in our heart.
Almost without the aid language affords,
Your piece seems wrought. That huffing medium,
(Which in the modern Tamburlaines quite sway
Our shamed souls from their bias) in your play
We scarce attend to. Hastier passion draws
Our tears on credit; and we find the cause
Some two hours after, spelling o'er again
Those strange few words at ease, that wrought the
Proceed, old friend; and, as the year returns,
Still snatch some new old story from the urns
Of long-dead virtue. We, that knew before
Your worth, may admire, we cannot love you more.
PUBLISHED UNDER THE NAME OF BARRY CORNWALL.
LET hate, or grosser heats, their foulness mask
Under the vizor of a borrowed name;
Let things eschew the light deserving blame :
No cause hast thou to blush for thy sweet task.
«Marcian Colonna" is a dainty book ;
And thy - Sicilian Tale” may boldly pass ;
Thy “Dream” 'bove all, in which, as in a glass,
On the great world's antique glories we may look.
No longer then, as “lowly substitute,
Factor, or PROCTER, for another's gains,"
Suffer the admiring world to be deceived;
Lest thou thyself, by self of fame bereaved,
Lament too late the lost prize of thy pains,
And heavenly tunes piped through an alien flute.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE « EVERY-DAY
I LIKE you, and your book, ingenuous Hone!
In whose capacious all-embracing leaves The very narrow of tradition's shown ;
And all that history-much that fiction-weaves.
By every sort of taste your work is graced.
Vast stores of modern anecdote we find, With good old story quaintly interlaced
The theme as various as the reader's mind.
Rome's lie-fraught legends you so truly paint
Yet kindly—that the half-turned Catholic Scarcely forbears to smile at his own saint,
And cannot curse the candid heretic.