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ART thou a Statist in the van
Of public conflicts trained and bred ?
-First learn to love one living man;
Then may'st thou think upon the dead.
A Lawyer art thou ?-draw not nigh.
Go, carry to some fitter place
The keenness of that practised eye,
The hardness of that sallow face.
Art thou a Man of purple cheer?
A rosy Man, right plump to see?
Approach ; yet, Doctor, not too near
This grave no cushion is for thee.
Or art thou one of gallant pride,
A Soldier, and no man of chaff ?
Welcome !-but lay thy sword aside,
And lean upon a peasant's staff.
Physician art thou ? one, all eyes, ,
Philosopher! a fingering slave,
One that would
and botanize Upon his mother's grave?
Wrapt closely in thy sensual fleece,
O turn aside,—and take, I pray,
That he below may rest in peace,
Thy ever-dwindling soul, away!
A Moralist perchance appears ;
Led, Heaven knows how ! to this poor sod :
And he has neither eyes nor ears ;
Himself his world, and his own God;
One to whose smooth-rubbed soul can cling
Nor form, nor feeling, great or small ;
A reasoning, self-sufficing thing,
An intellectual All-in-all !
Shut close the door; press down the latch ;
Sleep in thy intellectual crust;
Nor lose ten tickings of thy watch
Near this unprofitable dust.
But who is He, with modest looks,
And clad in homely russet brown?
He murmurs near the running brooks
A music sweeter than their own.
He is retired as noontide dew,
Or fountain in a noon-day grove ;
And you must love him, ere to you
He will seem worthy of your
The outward shows of sky and earth,
Of hill and valley, he has viewed ;
And impulses of deeper birth
Have come to him in solitude.
In common things that round us lie
Some random truths he can impart,-
The harvest of a quiet eye
That broods and sleeps on his own heart.
But he is weak ; both Man and Boy,
Hath been an idler in the land;
Contented if he might enjoy
The things which others understand.
-Come hither in thy hour of strength; Come, weak as is a breaking wave ! Here stretch thy body at full length ; Or build thy house upon
Bright Flower! whose home is everywhere,
Bold in maternal Nature's care,
And all the long year through the heir
Of joy or sorrow.
Methinks that there abides in thee
Some concord with humanity,
Given to no other flower I see
The forest thorough!
Is it that Man is soon deprest ?
A thoughtless Thing! who, once unblest,
Does little on his memory rest,
Or on his reason,
And Thou would'st teach him how to find
A shelter under every wind,
A hope for times that are unkind
And every season?
Thou wander’st the wide world about,
Uncheck’d by pride or scrupulous doubt,
With friends to greet thee, or without,
Yet pleased and willing;
Meek, yielding to the occasion's call,
And all things suffering from all,
Thy function apostolical
In peace fulfilling.
In the School of is a tablet, on which are inscribed, in gilt
letters, the Names of the several persons who have been Schoolmasters there since the foundation of the School, with the time at which they entered upon and quitted their office. Opposite to one of those Names the Author wrote the following lines.
IF Nature, for a favourite child,
In thee hath tempered so her clay,
That every hour thy heart runs wild,
Yet never once doth go astray,
Read o'er these lines ; and then review
This tablet, that thus humbly rears
In such diversity of hue
Its history of two hundred years.