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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?
Or with the envied rubies shine?
To hew the rock or wear a gem
Can little now avail to them.

But if the page of Truth they sought,
Or comfort to the mourner brought,
These hands a richer meed shall claim
Than all that wait on Wealth and Fame.
Avails it whether bare or shod
These feet the paths of duty trod?
If from the bowers of Ease they fled,
To seek Affliction's humble shed;
If Grandeur's guilty bribe they spurned,
And home to Virtue's cot returned,
These feet with angel wings shall vie,
And tread the palace of the sky!





THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore:
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day,

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
Once of ethereal spirit full.

This narrow cell was Life's retreat,

This space was Thought's mysterious seat.
What beauteous visions filled this spot,
What dreams of pleasure long forgot?
Nor hope, nor joy, nor love, nor fear,
Have left one trace of record here.


Beneath this mouldering canopy
Once shone the bright and busy eye,
But start not at the dismal void, -
If social love that eye employed,
If with no lawless fire it gleamed,
But through the dews of kindness beamed,
That eye shall be forever bright
When stars and sun are sunk in night.

Within this hollow cavern hung
The ready, swift, and tuneful tongue;
If Falsehood's honey it disdained,

And when it could not praise was chained;
If bold in Virtue's cause it spoke,
Yet gentle concord never broke,
This silent tongue shall plead for thee
When Time unveils Eternity!

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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!

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Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar.
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory, do we come
From God, who is our home.

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!
See, where mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
With light upon him from his father's eyes!
See at his feet some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly learned art,
A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral,

And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song.
Then will he fit his tongue

To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
But it will not be long

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'
With all the persons, down to palsied age,
That life brings with her in her equipage;
As if his whole vocation
Were endless imitation.


Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
Thy soul's immensity !
Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep
Thy heritage thou eye among the blind,
That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal deep,
Haunted forever by the eternal mind !—-
Mighty prophet! Seer blest,

On whom those truths do rest
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave!
Thou over whom thy immortality
Broods like the day, a master o'er a slave,
A presence which is not to be put by!
Thou little child, yet glorious in the might

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,
And by the vision splendid

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
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!


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;
I only have relinquished one delight

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
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings,

Blank misgivings of a creature
Moving about in worlds not realized,
High instincts, before which our mortal nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised,
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master light of all our seeing,

Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal silence: truths that wake,

To perish never,

Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavor,
Nor man nor boy,

Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!

Hence in a season of calm weather,
Though inland far we be,

Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,

Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.


Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young lambs bound

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
Feel the gladness of the May!

What though the radiance which was once so

Be now forever taken from my sight,

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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!
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality?

Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Of falling into naught? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
'T is the divinity that stirs within us;
'T is Heaven itself, that points out a hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man.

Eternity!-thou pleasing, dreadful thought!
Through what variety of untried being,
Through what new scenes and changes must we

The wide, the unbounded prospect lies before me;
But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it.
Here will I hold. If there 's a Power above us
(And that there is, all Nature cries aloud
Through all her works), he must delight in virtue;
And that which he delights in must be happy.
But when? or where? This world was made for

Though nothing can bring back the hour I'm weary of conjectures,

Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which, having been, must ever be ;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;

In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.


And O ye fountains, meadows, hills, and groves,
Forebode not any severing of our loves.

this must end them. [Laying his hand on his sword.

Thus am I doubly armed: my death and life,
My bane and antidote, are both before me.
This in a moment brings me to an end;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secured in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and Nature sink in years;
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amid the war of elements,
The wreck of matter, and the crash of worlds!


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The opaline, the plentiful and strong,
Yet beautiful as is the rose in June,
Fresh as the trickling rainbow of July:
Sea full of food, the nourisher of kinds,
Purger of earth, and medicine of men ;
Creating a sweet climate by my breath,
Washing out harms and griefs from memory,
And, in my mathematic ebb and flow,
Giving a hint of that which changes not.
Rich are the sea-gods: - who gives gifts but they?
They grope the sea for pearls, but more than pearls:
They pluck Force thence, and give it to the wise.
For every wave is wealth to Dædalus,
Wealth to the cunning artist who can work
This matchless strength. Where shall he find,

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.



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!


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.



WHAT, and how great the virtue and the art, To live on little with a cheerful heart.

Between excess and famine lies a mean,
Plain, but not sordid, though not splendid, clean.

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,
And men must walk, at least, before they dance.
True, conscious honor is to feel no sin;
He's armed without that's innocent within.

For virtue's self may too much zeal be had,
The worst of madmen is a saint run mad.

If wealth alone can make and keep us blest,
Still, still be getting; never, never rest.

That God of nature who within us still
Inclines our actions, not constrains our will.

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,
That tends to make one honest man my foe.

Who shames a scribbler? Break one cobweb through,

He spins the slight, self-pleasing thread anew;
Destroy his fib or sophistry, in vain,
The creature's at his dirty work again,
Throned in the centre of his thin designs,
Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines.

He who, still wanting, though he lives on theft,
Steals much, spends little, yet has nothing left.

What future bliss He gives thee not to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.

All nature is but art, unknown to thee,
All chance, direction which thou canst not see.

"T is education forms the common mind;
Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined.
Manners with fortunes, humors turn with climes,
Tenets with books, and principles with times.
Who shall decide when doctors disagree?

And then mistook reverse of wrong for right.
That secret rare between the extremes to move,
Of mad good-nature and of mean self-love.
Ye little stars, hide your diminished rays.
Who builds a church to God, and not to fame,
Will never mark the marble with his name.

'Tis strange the music should his cares employ To gain those riches he can ne'er enjoy.

Something there is more needful than expense,
And something previous e'en to taste, —'t is sense.
In all let Nature never be forgot,
But treat the goddess like a modest fair,
Not over-dress nor leave her wholly bare;
Let not each beauty everywhere be spied,
Where half the skill is decently to hide.

Light quirks of music, broken and uneven,
Make the soul dance upon a jig to heaven.

'Tis use alone that sanctifies expense,
And splendor borrows all her rays from sense.

To rest the cushion and soft dean invite,
Who never mentions hell to ears polite.

And knows where faith, law, morals, all began,
All end, in love of God and love of man.

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"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, -
The soul's calm sunshine, and the heartfelt joy.
Honor and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part, there all the honor lies.

Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave,
Is but the more a fool, the more a knave.

Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
Or, failing, smiles in exile or in chains,
Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed
Like Socrates, that man is great indeed.
What's fame? A fancied life in others' breath.

One self-approving hour whole years outweighs
Of stupid starers and of loud huzzas.

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.

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