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SHEPHERD, or Huntsman, or worn Mariner,
Whate'er thou art, who wouldst allay thy thirst,
Drink and be glad. This cistern of white stone,
Arched, and o'erwrought with many a sacred verse,
This iron cup chained for the general use,
And these rude seats of earth within the grove,
Were given by Fatima. Borne hence a bride,
'Twas here she turned from her beloved sire,
To see his face no more. Oh, if thou canst,
* There is a beautiful story, delivered down to us from antiquity, which will here perhaps occur to the reader.
Icarius, when he gave Penelope in marriage to Ulysses, endeavoured to persuade him to dwell in Lacedæmon; and, when all he urged was to no purpose, he entreated his daughter to remain with him. When Ulysses set out with his bride for Ithaca, the old man followed the chariot, till, overcome by his importunity, Ulysses consented that it should be left to Penelope to decide whether she would proceed with him or return with her father. It is related, says Pausanias, that she made no reply, but that she covered herself with her veil; and that Icarius, perceiving at once by it that she inclined to Ulysses, suffered her to depart with him.
A statue was afterwards placed by her father as a memorial in that part of the road where she had covered herself with her veil. It was still standing there in the days of Pausanias, and was called the statue of Modesty.
('Tis not far off) visit his tomb with flowers;
And with a drop of this sweet water fill
The two small cells scooped in the marble there,
That birds may come and drink upon
grave, Making it holy *
AN INSCRIPTION FOR A TEMPLE
DEDICATED TO THE GRACES.+
APPROACH with reverence. There are those within,
Whose dwelling-place is Heaven. Daughters of Jove,
From them flow all the decencies of Life ;
Without them nothing pleases, Virtue's self
Admired not loved: and those on whom They smile,
Great though they be, and wise, and beautiful,
Shine forth with double lustre.
* A Turkish superstition.
+ At Woburn- Abbey.
Well, when her day is over, be it said,
That tho' a speck on the terrestrial globe,
Found with long search and in a moment lost,
She towered among the nations. Every sea
Was covered with her ships, in every port
Her language spoken; and the mightiest kings,
Each in his hour of strife exhausted, fallen,
Drew strength from her, their coffers from her own
Filled to o'erflowing. When her fleets of war
Had swept the ocean, not an adverse prow
From pole to pole, far as the sea-bird flies,
Ruffling the tide; and they themselves were gone,
Gone from the eyes and from the minds of men,
Their dreadful errands so entirely done,
Up rose her armies; on the land they stood,
Fearless, erect; and in an instant felled
Him with his legions. *
* An allusion to the battle of Waterloo. The illustrious Man who commanded there on our side, and who, in his anxiety to do justice to others, never fails to forget himself, said many years afterwards to the Author with some agitation, when relating an occurrence of that day, “ It was a battle of giants !"
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!
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.
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.