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Sadder than saddest night, for they dis

tract the gaze,

A ruin-yet what ruin ! from its mass Walls, palaces, half-cities, have been

rear'd ; Yet oft the enormous skeleton ye pass, And marvel where the spoil could have

appear'd. Hath it indeed been plunder'd, or but

clear'd ? Alas! developed, opens the decay, When the colossal fabric's form is near'd: It will not bear the brightness of the day, Which streams too much on all years,

man, have reft away. But when the rising moon begins to

climb Its topmost arch, and gently pauses

there ; When the stars twinkle through the

loops of time, And the low night-breeze waves along

the air The garland-forest, which the gray walls

wear, Like laurels on the bald first Cæsar's

head ; When the light shines serene but doth

not glare, Then in this magic circle raise the dead : Heroes have trod this spot-'tis on their

dust ye tread.

And send us prying into the abyss,
To gather what we shall be when the

frame Shall be resolved to something less than

this Its wretched essence ; and to dream of

fame, And wipe the dust from off the idle name We never more shall hear,-but never

inore, Oh, happier thought I can we be made

the same : It is enough in sooth that once we bore These fardels of the heart-the heart

whose sweat was gore.

But I forget.-My Pilgrim's shrine is won, And he and I must part,- --so let it beHis task and mine alike are nearly done ; Yet once more let us look upon the sea ; The midland ocean breaks on him and

me ; And from the Alban Mount we now be

hold Our friend of youth, that Ocean, which

when we Beheld it last by Calpe's rock unfold Those waves, we follow'd on till the

dark Euxine rollid

But where is he, the Pilgrim of my song, The being who upheld it through the past ?

.[St. 164 Methinks he cometh late and tarries long. He is no more--these breathings are lis

Jast; His wanderings done, his visions ebbing

fast And he himself as nothing :--if he was Aught but a phantasy, and could be

class'd With forms which lire and suffer--let

Upon the blue Symplegades: long years— Long, though not very many--since have done

[St. 176 Their work on both; some suffering

and some tears Have left us nearly where we had begun : Yet not in vain our mortal race hath run; We have had our reward, and it is here, That we can yet feel gladden'd by the sun, And reap from earth, sea, joy almost as

dear As if there were no man to trouble what

is clear.

that pass

His shadow fades away into Destruc

tion's mass, Which gathers shadow, substance, life,

and all That we inherit in its mortal shroud, And spreads the dim and universal pall Through which all things grow phan

toms; and the cloud Between us sinks, and all which ever

glow'd, Till Glory's self is twilight, and displays A melancholy halo scarce allow'd To hover on the verge of darkness ; rays

Oh! that the Desert were my dwelling:

place, With one fair Spirit for my minister, That I might all forget the human race, Aud, hating no one, love but only her! Ye elements !-in whose ennobling stir I feel myself exalted-Can ye not Accord me such a being! Do I err In deeming such inhabit many a spot ? Though with them to converse can rare

ly be our lot.

Alike the Armada's pride or spoils of

Trafalgar.

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar : I love not Man the less, but Nature more, From these our interviews, in which I

steal From all I may be, or have been before, To mingle with the Universe, and feel What I can ne'er express, yet cannot

all conceal.

Thy shores are empires, changed in all

save thee Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what

are they? Thy waters wash'd them power while

they were free, And many a tyrant since ; their shores

obey The stranger, slave, or savage; their de

cay Has dried up realms to deserts: not so Unchangeable, save to thy wild waves'

play, Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure

brow : Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou

rollest now.

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean

--roll ! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in

vain ; Man marks the earth with ruin--his

control Stops with the shore; upon the watery

plain The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth

remain A shadow of man's ravage, save his own, When, for a moment, like a drop of rain, He sinks into thy depths with bubbling

groan, Without a grave, unknell'd, uncoffin'd,

and unknown.

thou ;

Thou glorious mirror, where the Al

mighty's form Glasses itself in tempests ; in all time,Calm or convulsed, in breeze, or gale,

or storm, Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime Dark-heaving-boundless, endless, and

sublime, The image of eternity, the throne Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime The monsters of the deep are made ;

each zone Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread,

fathomless, alone.

His steps are not upon thy paths—thy

fields Are not a spoil for him,-thou dost arise And shake him from thee; the vile

strength he wields For earth's destruction thou dost all de

spise, Spurning him from thy bosom to the

skies, And send'st him, shivering in thy play

ful spray And howling, to his Gods, where haply

lies His petty home in some near port or bay And dashest him again to earth :--there

let him lay. The armaments which thunderstrike the

walls, Of rock-built cities, bidding nations

quake, And monarchs tremble in their capitals, The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs

make Their clay creator the vain title take Cf lord of thee, and arbiter of warThese are thy toys, and, as the snowy

flake, They melt into thy yeast of waves,

which mar

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My task is done, my song hath ceased,

my theme Has died into an echo; it is fit The spell should break of this protracted

dream.

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But like a hawk encumber'd with his

hood, Explaining metaphysics to the nationI wish he would explain his Explanation. You, Bob! are rather insolent, you

know, At being disappointed in yonr wish To supersede all warblers bere below,

And be the only Blackbird in the dish ; And then you overstrain yourself, or so, And tumble downward like the flying

fish Gasping on deck, because you soar too

luigh, Bob, And fall for lack of moisture quite

a-dry, Bob! And Wordsworth, in a rather long“ Ex

cursion (I think the quarto holds five hundred

pages), Has given a sample fiom the vasty ver

sion Of his new system to perplex the

sages ; 'T is poetry—at least by his assertion, And may appear so when the dog-star

ragesAnd he who understands it would be able To add a story to the Tower of Babel. You—Gentlemen! by dint of long seclu..

sion From better company, have kept your At Keswick, and through still continued

fusion Of one another's minds, at last liave

grown To deem as a most logical conclusion,

That poesy has wreaths for you alone; There is a narrowness in such a notion, Which makes me wish you'd change

your lakes for ocean. I would not imitate the petty thought,

Nor coin my self-love to so base a vice, For all the glory

your conversion brought, Since gold alone should not have been

its price, You have your salary ; was 't for that

you wrought? And Wordsworth has his place in the

Excise. You're shabby fellows-true-but poets

still, And duly seated on the immortal bill.

DON JUAN

DEDICATION

own

mon case:

BOB SOUTHEY! You 're a poet--Poet

laureate, And representative of all the race ; Although 't is true that you turn'd out a

Tory at Last, ---yours has lately been a comAnd now, my Epic Renegade! what are

ye at? With all the Lakers, in and out of

place? A nest of tuneful persons, to my eye Like “ four and twenty Blackbirds in a

pye; Which pye being open'd they began to

sing” (This old song and new simile holds

good). • A dainty disli to set before the King," Or Regent, who admires such kind of

food :And Coleridge, too, has lately taken

wing,

6

Your bays may hide the baldness of your

browsPerhaps some virtuous blushes ;-let

them go

a

The blood of monarchs with his prophe.

cies, Or be alive again-again all hoar With time and trials, and those helpless

eyes, And heartless daughters-worn--and

pale-and poor; Would he adore a sultan ? he obey The intellectual eunuch Castlereagh ? Cold-blooded, smooth-faced, placid mis

creant! Dabbling its sleek young hands in And thus for wider carnage taught to

pant, Transferrd to gorge upon a sister

shore, The vulgarest tool that Tyranny could

want, With just enough of talent, and no

more, To lengthen fetters by another fix'd, And offer poison long already mix'd.

To you I envy neither fruit nor boughsAnd for the fame you would engross

below, The field is universal, and allows Scope to all such as feel the inherent

glow; Scott, Rogers, Campbell, Moore and

Crabbe will try 'Gainst you the question with posterity. For me, who, wandering with pedestrian

Muses,
Contend not with you on the winged

steed, I wish your fate may yield ye, when she

chooses, The fame you envy, and the skill you

need ; And recollect a poet nothing loses In giving to his brethren their full

meed Of merit, and complaint of present days Is not the certain path to future praise. He that reserves his laurels for posterity (Who does not often claim the bright

reversion) Has generally no great crop to spare it,

he Being only injured by his own asser

tion ; Aud although here and there some glori

ous rarity Arise like Titan from the sea's immer

sion, The major part of such appellants go To-God knows where-for no one else

can know.

Erin's gore

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If, fallen in evil days on evil tongues,

Milton appealed to the Avenger, Time, If Time, the Avenger, execrates his

wrongs, And makes the word " Miltonic" mean

** sublime," He deign'd not to belie his soul in songs,

Nor turn his very talent to a crime ; He did not loathe the Sire to laud the

Son, But closed the tyrant-hater he begun. Think'st thou, could he-the blind Old

Man,-arise, Like Samuel fron the grave, to freeze

once more

A bungler even in its disgusting trade, And botching, patching, leaving still

behind Something of which its masters are

afraid, States to be curb'd, and thoughts to be

confined, Conspiracy or Congress to be madeCobbling at manacles for all man

kind A tinkering slave-maker, who mends

old chains, With God and man's abhorrence for its

gaius.

If we may judge of matter by the mind,

Emasculated to the marrow It Hath but two objects, how to serve, and

bind.

may fit,

Deeming the chain it wears even men Eutropius of its many masters—blind

To worth as freedom, wisdom as to wit, Fearless-because no feeling dwells in

ice, Its very courage stagnates to a vice. Where shall I turn me not to view its

bonds, For I will never feel them ;-Italy ! Thy late reviving Roman soul desponds Beneath the lie this State-thing

breathed o'er thee Thy clanking chain, and Erin's yet green

wounds, Have voices-tongues to cry aloud for Europe has slaves, allies, kings, armies

still, And Southey lives to sing them very ill. Meantime, Sir Laureate, I proceed to ded

icate, In honest simple verse, this song to And, if in flattering strains I do not pred

icate, 'T is that I still retain my “buff and My politics as yet are all to educate :

Apostasy's so fashionable, too,
To keep one creed's a task grown quite

Herculean :
Is it not so, my Tory, Ultra-Julian?

September, 1818. July 15, 1819.

The second drunk, the third so quaint

and mouthy : With Crabbe it may be difficult to cope, And Campbell's Hippocrene is some

what drouthy : Thou shalt not steal from Samuel Rogers,

nor Commit-flirtation with the muse of

Moore. Thou shalt not covet Mr. Sotheby's

Muse, His Pegasus, nor anything that's his ; Thou shalt not bear false witness like

“the Blues". (There's one, at least, is very fond of

this); Thou shalt not write, in short, but what

I choose ; This is true criticism, and you may

kiss-Exactly as you please, or not--the rod : But if you don't, I'll lay it on, by G--d!

me.

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you.

LABUNTUR ANNI

blue ;

FROM CANTO I

POETICAL COMMANDMENTS

"Non ego hoc ferrem calidus juventa

Consule Planco," Horace said, and sa Say 1; by which quotation there is meant a

(St. 212 Hint that some six or seven good years

ago (Long ere I dreamt of dating from the

Brenta) I was most ready to return a blow, And would not brook at all this sort of

thing In my hot youth-when George the

Third was King. But now at thirty years my hair is gray

(I wonder what it will be like at forty ? I thought of a peruke the other day--) My heart is not much greener ; and, in

short, I Have squanderd my whole summer

while 't was May, And feel no more the spirit to retort ; I Have spent my life, both interest and

principal, And deem not, what I deem'd, my soul

invincible.

If ever I should condescend to prose, l'll write poetical commandments, which

(St. 204 Shall supersede beyond all doubt all

those That went before ; in these I shall en

rich My text with many things that no one

knows, And carry precept to the highest pitch : I'll call the work “Longinus o'er a Bottle, Or, Every Poet his own Aristotle." Thou shalt believe in Milton, Dryden,

Pope; Thou shalt not set up Wordsworth,

Coleridge, Southey ; Because the first is crazed beyond all

No more--no more--Oh! never more on

me The freshness of the heart can fall like

dew, Which out of all the lovely things we see

Extracts emotions beautiful and new,

hope,

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