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[The MSS. of this poem, which appeared during the first quarter of the present century, was said to have been found in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, in London, near a perfect hu
man skeleton, and to have been sent by the curator to the Morning Chronicle for publication. It excited so much attention that every effort was made to discover the author, and a responsible party went so far as to offer a reward of fifty guineas for informa
Say, did these fingers delve the mine?
But if the page of Truth they sought,
INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY FROM RECOLLECTIONS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD.
THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
tion that would discover its origin. The author preserved his in. The things which I have seen I now can see no
cognito, and, we believe, has never been discovered.]
BEHOLD this ruin! "T was a skull
This narrow cell was Life's retreat,
This space was Thought's mysterious seat.
Beneath this mouldering canopy
Within this hollow cavern hung
And when it could not praise was chained;
And with the heart of May
Doth every beast keep holiday;
Thou child of joy,
Forget the glories he hath known, And that imperial palace whence he came.
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou Behold the child among his new-born blisses,
happy shepherd boy!
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
And cometh from afar.
But trailing clouds of glory, do we come
Heaven lies about us in our infancy! Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing boy;
A six years' darling of a pygmy size!
And this hath now his heart,
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
Ere this be thrown aside,
And with new joy and pride
The little actor cons another part,
Filling from time to time his "humorous stage'
Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
On whom those truths do rest
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows, Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's height,
He sees it in his joy.
The youth who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is nature's priest,
Is on his way attended :
At length the man perceives it die away, And fade into the light of common day.
Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own. Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind; And even with something of a mother's mind, And no unworthy aim,
The homely nurse doth all she can To make her foster-child, her inmate man,
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
O joy that in our embers
Is something that doth live, That nature yet remembers
What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed Perpetual benediction: not, indeed,
For that which is most worthy to be blest,
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his To live beneath your more habitual sway.
Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise;
But for those obstinate questionings
Blank misgivings of a creature
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
To perish never,
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavor,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Hence in a season of calm weather,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Can in a moment travel thither,
Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
As to the tabor's sound!
We in thought will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
What though the radiance which was once so
Be now forever taken from my sight,
SCENE. - CATO sitting in a thoughtful posture, with Plate's book on the Immortality of the Soul in his hand, and a drawn sword on the table by him.
IT must be so. Plato, thou reasonest well!
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Eternity!-thou pleasing, dreadful thought!
The wide, the unbounded prospect lies before me;
Though nothing can bring back the hour I'm weary of conjectures,
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower,
In the faith that looks through death,
And O ye fountains, meadows, hills, and groves,
this must end them. [Laying his hand on his sword.
Thus am I doubly armed: my death and life,
The opaline, the plentiful and strong,
O waves !
A load your Atlas shoulders cannot lift?
I with my hammer pounding evermore The rocky coast, smite Andes into dust, Strewing my bed, and, in another age, Rebuild a continent of better men. Then I unbar the doors: my paths lead out The exodus of nations: I disperse Men to all shores that front the hoary main.
FROM THE FRENCH.
SOME of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived, But what torments of grief you endured From evils which never arrived!
HERI, CRAS, HODIE.
SHINES the last age, the next with hope is seen, To-day slinks poorly off unmarked between ; Future or Past no richer secret folds,
O friendless Present! than thy bosom holds.
LINES AND COUPLETS.
WHAT, and how great the virtue and the art, To live on little with a cheerful heart.
Between excess and famine lies a mean,
Its proper power to hurt each creature feels: Bulls aim their horns, and asses kick their heels.
Here Wisdom calls, "Seek virtue first, be bold; As gold to silver, virtue is to gold."
Let lands and houses have what lords they will, Let us be fixed and our own masters still.
'Tis the first virtue vices to abhor, And the first wisdom to be fool no more.
Long as to him who works for debt, the day.
Not to go back is somewhat to advance,
For virtue's self may too much zeal be had,
If wealth alone can make and keep us blest,
That God of nature who within us still
It is not poetry, but prose run mad.
Pretty in amber to observe the forms
Of hair, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms: The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare, But wonder how the mischief they got there!
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.
Curst be the verse, how well soe'er it flow,
Who shames a scribbler? Break one cobweb through,
He spins the slight, self-pleasing thread anew;
He who, still wanting, though he lives on theft,
What future bliss He gives thee not to know,
All nature is but art, unknown to thee,
"T is education forms the common mind;
And then mistook reverse of wrong for right.
'Tis strange the music should his cares employ To gain those riches he can ne'er enjoy.
Something there is more needful than expense,
Light quirks of music, broken and uneven,
'Tis use alone that sanctifies expense,
To rest the cushion and soft dean invite,
And knows where faith, law, morals, all began,
"But sometimes virtue starves, while vice is fed"; What then, is the reward of virtue, bread? That vice may merit, 't is the price of toil,
The knave deserves it when he tills the soil."
What nothing earthly gives or can destroy, -
Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave,
Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
One self-approving hour whole years outweighs
As heaven's blest beam turns vinegar more sour.
Lust through some certain strainers well refined Is gentle love, and charms all womankind.
Vice is a monster of such hideous mien That to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law, Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw; Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight, A little louder, but as empty quite.