Page images


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!


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."




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 ! 33

O, say, of him now rests there but a name e;
Wont, as he was, to breathe ethereal Hame?
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 ?

[ocr errors]

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 !


JULY, 1831.
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,



Search where we would, no fairer bowers than these,
Thine own creation ; where, called forth by thee,
“Flowers worthy of Paradise, with rich inlay,
Broider the ground,” and every mountain-pine
Elsewhere unseen (his birth-place in the clouds,
His kindred sweeping with majestic march
From cliff to cliff along the snowy ridge
Of Caucasus, or nearer yet the moon)
Breathes heavenly music. — Yet much more I owe
For what so few, alas ! can hope to share,
Thy converse; when, among thy books reclined,
Or in thy garden-chair that wheels its course
Slowly and silently through sun and shade,
Thou speak'st, as ever thou art wont to do,
In the calm temper of philosophy ;
- Still to delight, instruct, whate'er the theme.

WRITTEN AT STRATHFIELD SAYE. THESE are the groves a grateful people gave For noblest service; and, from age to age, May they, to such as come with listening ear, Relate the story! Sacred is their shade ; Sacred the calm they breathe -- 0, how unlike What in the field ’t was his so long to know ! Where many a mournful, many an anxious thought, ** Troubling, perplexing, on his weary mind Preyed, ere to arms the morning-trumpet called ; Where, till the work was done and darkness fell, Blood ran like water, and, go where thou wouldst, Death in thy pathway met thee, face to face.

For on, regardless of himself, he went;
And, by no change elated or depressed,
Fought, till he won the imperishable wreath,
Leading the conquerors captive; on he went,
Bating nor heart nor hope, whoe'er opposed ;
The greatest warriors, in their turn, appearing;
The last that came, the greatest of them all
One scattering hosts as born but to subdue,
And even in bondage withering hearts with fear.

When such the service, what the recompense?
Yet, and I err not, a renown as fair,
And fairer still, awaited him at home;
Where to the last, day after day, he stood,
The party-zeal, that round him raged, restraining;

His not to rest, while his the strength to

WRITTEN IN JULY, 1834. GREY, thou hast served, and well, the sacred cause That Hampden, Sydney died for. Thou hast stood, Scorning all thought of self, from first to last, Among the foremost in that glorious field; From first to last; and, ardent as thou art, Held on with equal step as best became A lofty mind, loftiest when most assailed ; Never, though galled by many a barbed shaft, By many a bitter taunt from friend and foe, Swerving or shrinking. Happy in thy youth, Thy youth the dawn of a long summer-day; But in thy age still happier ; thine to earn The gratitude of millions yet unhorn;

« PreviousContinue »