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Felt without bitterness--but full and clear,
A sweet dejection-a transparent tear
Unmix'd with worldly grief or selfish stain,
Shed without shame--and secret without pain.
Even as the tenderness that hour instils
When Summer's day declines along the hills,
So feels the fulness of our heart and eyes
When all of Genius which can perish dies.
A mighty Spirit is eclipsed--a Power
Hath pass’d from day to darkness—to whose hour
Of light no likeness is bequeathed-no name,
Focus at once of all the
The flash of Wit,the bright Intelligence,
The beam of Song--the blaze of Eloquence,
Set with their Sun-but still have left behind
The enduring produce of immortal mind;
Fruits of a genial morn, and glorious noon,
A deathless part of him who died too soon.
But small that portion of the wondrous whole,
These sparkling segments of that circling soul,
Which all embraced and lightened over all,
To cheer--to pierce-to please--or to appal.
From the charmed council to the festive board
Of human feelings the unbounded lord;
In whose acclaim the loftiest voices vied,
The praised--the proud—who made his praise their pride. 40
*When the loud cry of trampled Hindostan
Arose to Heaven in her appeal from man,
His was the thunder-his the avenging rod,
The wrath-the delegated voice of God!
Which shook the nations through his lips—and blazed
Till vanquished senates trembled as they praised.
And here, oh ! here, where yet young
The gay creations of his spirit charm,
The matchless dialogue—the deathless wit,
Which knew not what it was to intermit;
The glowing portraits, fresh from life, that bring
Home to our hearts the truth from which they spring;
These wondrous beings of his Fancy, wrought
To fulness by the fiat of his thought,
Here in their first abode
Men who exult when minds of heavenly tone
Jar in the music which was born their own,
Still let thein pause-Ah! little do they know
That what to them seemed Vice might be but Woe.
Hard is his fate on whom the public gaze
Is fix'd for ever to detract or praise ;
Repose denies her requiem to his name,
And Folly loves the martyrdom of Fame.
The secret enemy whose sleepless eye
Stands sentinel--accuser-judge--and spy,
The foe--the fool—the jealous—and the vain,
The envious who but breathe in others' pain,
Behold the host! delighting to deprave,
Who track the steps of Glory to the grave,
every fault that daring Genius owes
Half to the ardour which its birth bestows,
Distort the truth, accumulate the lie,
And pile the Pyramid of Calumny!
These are his portion—but if joined to these
Gaunt Poverty should league with deep Disease,
If the high Spirit must forget to soar,
And stoop to strive with Misery at the door,
To soothe Indignity—and face to face
Meet sordid Rage—and wrestle with Disgrace,
To find in Hope but the renewed caress,
The serpent-fold of further Faithlessness,
If such may be the Ills which men assail,
What marvel if at last the mightiest fail ?
Breasts to whom all the strength of feeling given
Bear hearts electric-charged with fire from Heaven, 90
Black with the rude collision, inly torn,
By clouds surrounded, and on whirlwinds borne,
Driven o'er the lowering Atmosphere that nurst
Thoughts which have turned to thunder-scorch-and burst.
But far from us and from our mimic scene
Such things should be—if such have ever been ;
Our's be the gentler wish, the kinder task,
To give the tribute Glory need not ask,
To mourn the vanished beam-and add our mite
Of praise in payment of a long delight.
Ye Orators! whom yet our councils yield,
Mouru for the veteran Hero of
While Powers of mind almost of boundless
Complete in kind--as various in their change,
While Eloquence --Wit-Poesy-and Mirth,
That humbler Harmonist of care on Earth,
Survive within our souls-while lives our sense
Of pride in Merit's proud pre-eminence,
Long shall we seek his likeness-long in vain,
And turn to all of him which may remain,
Sighing that Nature form’d but one such man,
And broke the die--in moulding Sheridan!