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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 fear, as born but to subdue,
And, even in rout, in ruin, scattering fear;
So long, till warred on by the elements,
Invincible ; the mightiest of the earth!
When such the service, what the recompense ?
What was not due to him if he survived ?
Yet, if I err not, a renown as fair,
And fairer still, awaited him at home ;
When in his place, day after day, he stood,
The party-zeal, that round him raged, restraining;
-His not to rest, while his the strength to serve.
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,
What else is he, however worldly wise,
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,
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!
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; thro' 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 thro' 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.