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OULS of Poets dead and



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?
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 bouse from horn and can.

I have heard that on a day
Mine host's signboard 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?

John Wilson (Christopher North).

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WHY does the finger,

Yellow mid the sunshine, on the minster clock, Point at that hour? It is most horrible, Speaking of midnight in the face of day. During the very dead of night it stopped, Even at the moment when a hundred hearts Paused with it suddenly, to beat no more. Yet, wherefore should it run its idle round? There is no need that men should count the hours

Of time, thus standing on eternity.

It is a death-like image. How can I,

When round me silent nature speaks of death,

Withstand such monitory impulses ?

When yet far off I thought upon the plague,
Sometimes my mother's image struck my soul,
In unchanged meekness and serenity,

And all my fears were gone. But these green banks,
With an unwonted flush of flowers o'ergrown,

Brown, when I left them last, with frequent feet

From morn till evening hurrying to and fro,

In mournful beauty seem encompassing

A still forsaken city of the dead.

O unrejoicing Sabbath! not of yore

Did thy sweet evenings die along the Thames
Thus silently! Now every sail is furled,

The oar hath dropped from out the rower's hand,

And on thou flowest in lifeless majesty,
River of a desert lately filled with joy!
O'er all that mighty wilderness of stone
The air is clear and cloudless, as at sea
Above the gliding ship. All fires are dead,
And not one single wreath of smoke ascends
Above the stillness of the towers and spires.
How idly hangs that arch magnificent
Across the idle river! Not a speck
Is seen to move along it. There it hangs,
Still as a rainbow in the pathless sky.

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KNOW ye what ye will meet with in the city? Together will ye walk through long, long streets, All standing silent as a midnight church.

You will hear nothing but the brown red grass
Rustling beneath your feet; the very beating
Of your own hearts will awe you; the small voice
Of that vain bauble, idly counting time,

Will speak a solemn language in the desert.
Look up to heaven, and there the sultry clouds,
Still threatening thunder, lower with grim delight,
As if the spirit of the plague dwelt there,
Darkening the city with the shades of death.
Know ye that hideous hubbub? Hark, far off
A tumult like an echo! on it comes,

Weeping and wailing, shrieks and groaning prayer,
And, louder than all, outrageous blasphemy.
The passing storm hath left the silent streets,
But are these houses near you tenantless?
Over your heads from a window, suddenly

A ghastly face is thrust, and yells of death
With voice not human. Who is he that flies,
As if a demon dogged him on his path?

With ragged hair, white face, and bloodshot eyes,
Raving, he rushes past you; till he falls,

As if struck by lightning, down upon the stones,
Or, in blind madness, dashed against the wall,
Sinks backward into stillness. Stand aloof,
And let the pest's triumphal chariot
Have open way advancing to the tomb;
See how he mocks the pomp and pageantry
Of earthly kings! a miserable cart,

Heaped up with human bodies; dragged along
By pale steeds, skeleton anatomies!

And onwards urged by a wan, meagre wretch,
Doomed never to return from the foul pit,

Whither, with oaths, he drives his load of horror.
Would you look in? Gray hairs and golden tresses,
Wan shrivelled cheeks, that have not smiled for years
And many a rosy visage smiling still;

Bodies in the noisome weeds of beggary wrapt,
With age decrepit, and wasted to the bone;
And youthful frames, august and beautiful,
In spite of mortal pangs—there lie they all,
Embraced in ghastliness! But look not long,
For haply mid the faces glimmering there,
The well-known cheek of some beloved friend
Will meet thy gaze, or some small snow-white hand,
Bright with the ring that holds her lover's hair.

"Barry Cornwall" (Bryan W. Proctor).


THE sea! the sea! the open sea!


The blue, the fresh, the ever free!
Without a mark, without a bound,

It runneth the earth's wide regions round;

It plays with the clouds; it mocks the skies;
Or like a cradled creature lies.

I'm on the sea! I'm on the sea!

I am where I would ever be,

With the blue above, and the blue below,
And silence wheresoe'er I go :

If a storm should come, and awake the deep,
What matter? I shall ride and sleep.

I love, oh! how I love to ride
On the fierce, foaming, bursting tide,
When every mad wave drowns the moon,
Or whistles aloft his tempest tune,
And tells how goeth the world below,
And why the sou'west blasts do blow

I never was on the dull tame shore,
But I loved the great sea more and more,
And backward flew to her billowy breast,
Like a bird that seeketh its mother's nest;
And a mother she was and is to me,
For I was born on the open sea!

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