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MAN to the last is but a froward child;
So eager for the future, come what may,
And to the present so insensible!
Oh, if he could in all things as he would,
Years would as days and hours as moments be;
He would, so restless is his spirit here,
Give wings to Time, and wish his life away!
ALAS, to our discomfort and his own,
Oft are the greatest talents to be found
In a fool's keeping. For what else is he,
However worldly wise and worldly strong,
Who can pervert and to the worst abuse
The noblest means to serve the noblest ends;
Who can employ the gift of eloquence,
That sacred gift, to dazzle and delude;
Or, if achievement in the field be his,
Climb but to gain a loss, suffering how much,
And how much more inflicting! Every where,
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 CÆSAR 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,*
A life of trouble and incessant toil,
And all to gain what is far better missed!
THE heart, they say, is wiser than the schools;
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,
* He is said to have slain a million of men in Gaul alone.
Surer and better than the subtlest head;
Still with its silent counsels thro' 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.
OH, if the Selfish knew how much they lost,
What would they not endeavour, 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.
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 'tis mine."
WHOEʼER thou art, approach, and, with a sigh,
Mark where the small remains of Greatness lie.t
There sleeps the dust of FOX for ever gone;
How near the Place where late his glory shone!
And, tho' no more ascends the voice of Prayer,
Tho' 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 thro' the vaults of night
The funeral-song once more proclaims the rite)
The moving Pomp along the shadowy Isle,
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;
* After the Funeral of the Right Hon. CHARLES JAMES Fox.
+ Venez voir le peu qui nous reste de tant de grandeur, &c.—BOSSUET. Oraison funèbre de Louis de Bourbon.