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Climb but to gain a loss, suffering how much,
And how much more inflicting! Everywhere,
Cost what they will, such cruel freaks are played;
And hence the turmoil in this world of ours,
The turmoil never ending, still beginning,
The wailing and the tears. When CESAR came,
He who could master all men but himself,
Who did so much and could so well record it;
Even he, the most applauded in his part,
Who, when he spoke, all things summed up in him,
Spoke to convince, nor ever, when he fought,
Fought but to conquer what a life was his,
Slaying so many, to be slain at last,85
A life of trouble and incessant toil,
And all to gain what is far better missed! i
is wiser than the schools;
THE heart, they say,
And well they may. All that is great in thought,
That strikes at once as with electric fire,
And lifts us, as it were, from earth to heaven,
Comes from the heart; and who confesses not
Its voice as sacred, nay, almost divine,
When inly it declares on what we do,
Blaming, approving? Let an erring world
Judge as it will, we care not while we stand
Acquitted there; and oft, when clouds on clouds
Compass us round and not a track appears,
Oft is an upright heart the surest guide,
Surer and better than the subtlest head;
Still with its silent counsels through the dark
Onward and onward leading.
THIS Child, so lovely and so cherub-like
(No fairer spirit in the heaven of heavens),
Say, must he know remorse? Must Passion come,
Passion in all or any of its shapes,
To cloud and sully what is now so pure?
Yes, come it must. For who, alas! has lived,
Nor in the watches of the night recalled
Words he has wished unsaid and deeds undone ?
Yes, come it must. But if, as we may hope,
He learns ere long to discipline his mind,
And onward goes, humbly and cheerfully,
Assisting them that faint, weak though he be,
And in his trying hours trusting in God —
Fair as he is, he shall be fairer still;
For what was Innocence will then be Virtue.
O, IF the Selfish knew how much they lost,
What would they not endeavor, not endure,
To imitate, as far as in them lay,
Him who his wisdom and his power employs
In making others happy!
HENCE to the Altar and with her thou lov'st,
With her who longs to strew thy way with flowers;
Nor lose the blessed privilege to give
Birth to a race immortal as yourselves.
Which, trained by you, shall make a Heaven on earth, And tread the path that leads from earth to Heaven.
WRITTEN AT MIDNIGHT.
SEPTEMBER 3, 1848.
IF Day reveals such wonders by her light,
What by her darkness cannot Night reveal?
For at her bidding, when she mounts her throne
The heavens unfold, and from the depths of space
Sun beyond sun, as when called forth they came,
Each with the worlds that round him rolled rejoicing,
Sun beyond sun in numbers numberless.
Shine with a radiance that is all their own!
FROM AN ITALIAN SONNET.
I SAID to Time, "This venerable pile,
Its floor the earth, its roof the firmament,
Whose was it once?" He answered not, but fled
Fast as before. I turned to Fame, and asked.
"Names such as his, to thee they must be known.
Speak!" But she answered only with a sigh,
And, musing mournfully, looked on the ground.
Then to Oblivion I addressed myself,
A dismal phantom, sitting at the gate;
And, with a voice as from the grave, he cried,
"Whose it was once I care not; now 't is mine."
WRITTEN IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY.
WRITTEN IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY.36
OCTOBER 10, 1806.
WHOE'ER thou art, approach, and, with a sigh,
Mark where the small remains of Greatness lie.37
There sleeps the dust of Fox forever gone;
How near the place where late his glory shone!
And, though no more ascends the voice of prayer,
Though the last footsteps cease to linger there,
Still, like an awful dream that comes again,
Alas! at best, as transient and as vain,
Still do I see (while through the vaults of night
The funeral-song once more proclaims the rite)
The moving pomp along the shadowy aisle,
That, like a darkness, filled the solemn pile;
The illustrious line, that in long order led,
Of those, that loved him living, mourned him dead ;
Of those the few, that for their country stood
Round him who dared be singularly good;
All, of all ranks, that claimed him for their own;
And nothing wanting — but himself alone! 88
O, say, of him now rests there but a name;
Wont, as he was, to breathe ethereal flame?
Friend of the absent, guardian of the dead!
Who but would here their sacred sorrows shed?
(Such as he shed on NELSON's closing grave;
How soon to claim the sympathy he gave!)
In him, resentful of another's wrong,
The dumb were eloquent, the feeble strong.
Truth from his lips a charm celestial drew
Ah! who so mighty and so gentle too ?
What though with war the madding nations rung, "Peace," when he spoke, was ever on his tongue! Amid the frowns of power, the tricks of state, Fearless, resolved, and negligently great! In vain malignant vapors gathered round; He walked, erect, on consecrated ground. The clouds, that rise to quench the orb of day, Reflect its splendor, and dissolve away!
When in retreat he laid his thunder by, For lettered ease and calm philosophy, Blest were his hours within the silent grove, Where still his godlike spirit deigns to rove; Blest by the orphan's smile, the widow's prayer, For many a deed, long done in secret there. There shone his lamp on Homer's hallowed page. There, listening, sate the hero and the sage; And they, by virtue and by blood allied, Whom most he loved, and in whose arms he died. Friend of all human-kind! not here alone (The voice, that speaks, was not to thee unknown) Wilt thou be missed. — O'er every land and sea Long, long shall England be revered in thee! And, when the storm is hushed-in distant years Foes on thy grave shall meet, and mingle tears!
WRITTEN AT DROPMORE,
GRENVILLE, to thee my gratitude is due
For many an hour of studious musing here,
For many a day-dream, such as hovered round
Hafiz or Sadi; through the golden East,