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CCLXXI

THE SCHOLAR

My days among the Dead are past; Around me I behold, Where'er these casual eyes are cast, The mighty minds of old : My never-failing friends are they, With whom I converse day by day. With them I take delight in weal And seek relief in woe; And while I understand and feel How much to them I owe, My cheeks have often been bedew'l With tears of thoughtful gratitude. My thoughts are with the Dead ; with them I live in long-past years, Their virtues love, their faults condemn, Partake their hopes and fears, And from their lessons seek and find Instruction with an humble mind. My hopes are with the Dead ; anon My place with them will be, And I with them shall travel on Through all Futurity ; Yet leaving here a name, I trust, That will not perish in the dust.

R. Southey

CCLXXII

THE JIERIAI TAIERA

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern ?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host's Canary wine?

S

Or are fruits of Paradise
Sweeter than those dainty pies
Of venison ? O generous food!
Drest as though bold Robin Hood
Would, with his Maid Marian,
Sup and bowse from horn and can.

I have heard that on a day
Mine host's sign-board flew away
Nobody knew whither, till
An astrologer's old quill
To a sheepskin gave the story,
Said he saw you in your glory,
Underneath a new-old sign
Sipping beverage divine,
And pledging with contented smack
The Mermaid in the Zodiac.

Souls of Poets dead and gone, What Elysium have ye known, Happy field or mossy cavern, Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern ?

J. K'cats

CCLXXIII

THE PRIDE OF YOUTH

Proud Maisie is in the wood,

Walking so early ;
Sweet Robin sits on the bush,

Singing so rarely.
• Tell me, thou bonny bird,

When shall I marry me?'
- When six braw gentlemen

Kirkward shall carry ye.'
•Who makes the bridal bed,

Birdie, say truly?'
- The gray-headed sexton

That delves the grave duly

“The glowworm o'er grave and stone

Shall light thee steady; The owl from the steeple sing Welcome, proud lady.'

Sir IV. Scott

CCLXXIV

THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS

One more Unfortunate
Weary of breath
Rashly importunate,
Gone to her death!
Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care ;
Fashion'd so slenderly,
Young, and so fair !
Look at her garments
Clinging like cerements;
Whilst the wave constantly
Drips from her clothing ;
Take her up instantly,
Loving, not loathing.
Touch her not scornfully ;
Think of her mournfully,
Gently and humanly ;
Not of the stains of her-
All that remains of her
Now is pure womanly.
Make no deep scrutiny
Into her mutiny
Rash and undutiful :
Past all dishonour,
Death has left on her
Only the beautiful.
Still, for all slips of hers,
One of Eve's family-
Wipe those poor lips of hers
Oozing so clammily.

Loop üp her tresses
Escaped from the comb,
Her fair âuburn tresses ;
Whilst wonderment guesses
Where was her home?

Who was her father?
Who was her mother?
Had she a sister ?
Had she a brother ?
Or was there a dearer one
Still, and a nearer one
Yet, than all other ?

Alas! for the rarity
Of Christian charity
Under the sun !
Oh! it was pitiful !
Near a whole city full,
Home she had none.

Sisterly, brotherly,
Fatherly, motherly
Feelings had changed :
Love, by harsh evidence,
Thrown from its eminence;
Even God's providence
Seeming estranged.

Where the lamps quiver
So far in the river,
With many a light
From window and casement,
From garret to basement,
She stood, with amazement,
Houseless by night.

The bleak wind of March
Made her tremble and shiver
But not the dark arch,
Or the black flowing river:
Mad from life's history,

Glad to death's mystery
Swift to be hurl'd
Any where, any where
Out of the world !
In she plunged boldly,
No matter how coldly
The rough river ran, ---
Over the brink of it,
Picture it-think of it,
Dissolute Man !
Lave in it, drink of it,
Then, if you can !
Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care ;
Fashion'd so slenderly,
Young, and so fair !
Ere her limbs frigidly
Stiffen too rigidly,
Decently, kindly,
Smooth and compose them,
And her eyes, close them,
Staring so blindly !
Dreadfully staring
Thro’ muddy impurity,
As when with the daring
Last look of despairing
Fix'd on futurity.
Perishing gloomily,
Spurr’d by contumely,
Cold inhumanity,
Burning insanity,
Into her rest.
-Cross her hands humbly
As if praying dumbly,
Over her breast !
Owning her weakness,
Her evil behaviour,
And leaving, with meekness,
Iler sins to her Saviour

T. Hood

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