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AFTER READING A LIFE AND LETTERS.

"Cursed be he that moves my bones." Shakspeare's Epitaph.

You might have won the Poet's name,
If such be worth the winning now,
And gained a laurel for your brow
Of sounder leaf than I can claim;

But you have made the wiser choice,
A life that moves to gracious ends
Through troops of unrecording friends,
A deedful life, a silent voice;

And you have missed the irreverent doom Of those that wear the Poet's crown; Hereafter neither knave nor clown Shall hold their orgies at your tomb.

For now the Poet cannot die,

Nor leave his music as of old,
But round him, ere he scarce be cold,
Begins the scandal and the cry :

"Proclaim the faults he would not show;
Break lock and seal; betray the trust;
Keep nothing sacred; 'tis but just
The many-headed beast should know.”

Ah, shameless! for he did but sing
A song that pleased us from its worth ;
No public life was his on earth,
No blazoned statesman he, nor king.

164

TO E. L., ON HIS TRAVELS IN GREECE.

He gave the people of his best;
His worst he kept, his best he gave.
My Shakspeare's curse on clown and knave
Who will not let his ashes rest!

Who make it seem more sweet to be
The little life of bank and brier,
The bird that pipes his lone desire
And dies unheard within his tree,

Than he that warbles long and loud

And drops at Glory's temple-gates,
For whom the carrion vulture waits
To tear his heart before the crowd!

TO E. L., ON HIS TRAVELS IN GREECE.

ILLYRIAN Woodlands, echoing falls
Of water, sheets of summer glass,
The long divine Peneïan pass,
The vast Akrokeraunian walls,

Tomohrit, Athos, all things fair,

With such a pencil, such a pen,
You shadow forth to distant men,
I read and felt that I was there :

And trust me while I turned the page,
And tracked you still on classic ground,
I grew in gladness till I found

My spirits in the golden age.

For me the torrent ever poured

And glistened,-here and there alone
The broad-limbed Gods at random thrown
By fountain-urns ;—and Naiads oared

A glimmering shoulder under gloom
Of cavern pillars; on the swell
The silver lily heaved and fell;
And many a slope was rich in bloom,

From him that on the mountain lea
By dancing rivulets fed his flocks,
To him who sat upon the rocks,
And fluted to the morning sea.

“COME NOT, WHEN I AM DEAD.”

COME not, when I am dead,

To drop thy foolish tears upon my grave, To trample round my fallen head,

And vex the unhappy dust thou would'st not save. There let the wind sweep and the plover cry; But thou, go by.

Child, if it were thine error or thy crime,
I care no longer, being all unblest;

Wed whom thou wilt, but I am sick of Time,
And I desire to rest.

Pass on, weak heart, and leave me where I lie :
Go by, go by.

THE EAGLE.

A FRAGMENT.

HE clasps the crag with hookéd hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

THE TALKING OAK.

I.

ONCE more the gate behind me falls
Once more before my face
I see the mouldered Abbey-walls,
That stand within the chace.

II.

Beyond the lodge the city lies,
Beneath its drift of smoke;
And ah! with what delighted eyes
I turn to yonder oak!

III.

For when my passion first began,.
Ere that which in me burned,
The love that makes me thrice a man,
Could hope itself returned;

IV.

To yonder oak within the field
I spoke without restraint,
And with a larger faith appealed
Than Papist unto Saint.

V.

For oft I talked with him apart,
And told him of my choice,
Until he plagiarized a heart,
And answered with a voice.

VI.

Though what he whispered under Heaven None else could understand;

I found him garrulously given,

A babbler in the land.

VII.

But since I heard him make reply
Is many a weary hour;
"Twere well to question him, and try
If yet he keeps the power.

VIII.

Hail, hidden to the knees in fern,
Broad oak of Sumner-chace,
Whose topmost branches can discern
The roofs of Sumner-place!

IX.

Say thou, whereon I carved her name, If ever maid or spouse,

As fair as my Olivia, came

To rest beneath thy boughs ?

X.

"O Walter, I have sheltered here Whatever maiden grace

The good old Summers, year by year, Made ripe in Sumner-chace :

XI.

"Old Summers, when the monk was fat,
And, issuing shorn and sleek,
Would twist his girdle tight, and pat
The girls upon the cheek,

XII.

"Ere yet, in scorn of Peter's-pence,
And numbered bead, and shrift,
Bluff Harry broke into the spence,
And turned the cowls adrift:

XIII.

"And I have seen some score of those Fresh faces, that would thrive

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