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[Conclusion of the Songs of Israel.'] My song hath closed, the holy dream That raised my thoughts o'er all below, Hath faded like the lunar beam,
And left me 'mid a night of woTo look and long, and sigh in vain For friends I ne'er shall meet again.
And yet the earth is green and gay;
And yet the skies are pure and bright; But, 'mid each gleam of pleasure gay,
Some cloud of sorrow dims my sight: For weak is now the tenderest tongue That might my simple songs have sung. And like Gilead's drops of balm,
They for a moment soothed my breast; But earth hath not a power to calm
My spirit in forgetful rest, Until I lay me side by side With those that loved me, and have died. They died-and this a world of wo,
Of anxious doubt and chilling fear; I wander onward to the tomb,
With scarce a hope to linger here: But with a prospect to rejoin The friends beloved, that once were mine.
Dirge of Rachel.
[Genesis, xxxv. 19.]
An Rachel lies in Ephrath's land,
Beneath her lonely oak of weeping;
With mouldering heart and withering hand,
The sleep of death for ever sleeping.
The spring comes smiling down the vale,
The lilies and the roses bringing;
But Rachel never more shall hail
The flowers that in the world are springing.
The summer gives his radiant day,
And Jewish dames the dance are treading; But Rachel on her couch of clay,
Sleeps all unheeded and unheeding. The autumn's ripening sunbeam shines, And reapers to the field is calling; But Rachel's voice no longer joins
The choral song at twilight's falling. The winter sends his drenching shower, And sweeps his howling blast around her; But earthly storms possess no power
To break the slumber that hath bound her.
A Virtuous Woman.
[Proverbs, xii. 4.]
Thou askest what hath changed my heart,
And where hath fled my youthful folly?
I tell thee, Tamar's virtuous art
Hath made my spirit holy.
Her eye as soft and Blue as even,
When day and night are calmly meetingBeams on my heart like light from heaven, And purifies its beating.
The accents fall from Tamar's lip
Like dewdrops frora the rose-leaf dripping, When honey-bees all crowd to sip,
And cannot cease their sipping.
The shadowy blush that tints her cheek,
For ever coming-ever going,
May well the spotless fount bespeak
That sets the stream aflowing.
Her song comes o'er my thrilling breast
Even like the harp-string's holiest measures,
When dreams the soul of lands of rest
And everlasting pleasures.
Then ask not what hath changed my heart, Or where hath fled my youthful folly
I tell thee, Tamar's virtuous art Hath made my spirit holy.
THOMAS PRINGLE was born in Roxburghshire in 1788. He was concerned in the establishment of Blackwood's Magazine, and was author of Scenes of Teviotdale, Ephemerides, and other poems, all of which display fine feeling and a cultivated taste. Although, from lameness, ill fitted for a life of roughness or hardship, Mr Pringle, with his father, and several brothers, emigrated to the Cape of Good Hope in the year 1820, and there established a little township or settlement named Glen Lynden. The poet afterwards removed to Cape Town, the capital; but, wearied with his Caffreland exile, and disagreeing with the governor, he returned to England, and subsisted by his pen. He was some time editor of the literary annual, entitled Friendship's Offering. His services were also engaged by the African Society, as secretary to that body, a situation which he continued to hold until within a few months of his death. In the discharge of its duties he evinced a spirit of active humanity, and an ardent love of the cause to which he was devoted. His last work was a series of African Sketches, containing an interesting personal narrative, interspersed with verse. Mr Pringle died on the 5th of December 1834.
Afar in the Desert.
Afar in the Desert I love to ride,
With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side:
When the sorrows of life the soul o'ercast,
And, sick of the present, I turn to the past;
And the eye is suffused with regretful tears,
From the fond recollections of former years;
And the shadows of things that have long since fled,
Flit over the brain like the ghosts of the dead-
Bright visions of glory that vanished too soon-
Day-dreams that departed ere manhood's noon-
Attachments by fate or by falsehood reft-
Companions of early days lost or left-
And my Native Land! whose magical name
Thrills to my heart like electric flame;
The home of my childhood-the haunts of my prime;
All the passions and scenes of that rapturous time,
When the feelings were young and the world was new,
Like the fresh bowers of Paradise opening to view!
All-all now forsaken, forgotten, or gone;
And I, a lone exile, remembered of none,
My high aims abandoned, and good acts undone
Aweary of all that is under the sun;
With that sadness of heart which no stranger may
I fly to the Desert afar from man.
Afar in the Desert I love to ride,
With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side;
When the wild turmoil of this wearisome life,
With its scenes of oppression, corruption, and strife;
The proud man's frown, and the base man's fear;
And the scorner's laugh, and the sufferer's tear;
And malice, and meanness, and falsehood, and folly,
Dispose me to musing and dark melancholy;
When my bosom is full, and my thoughts are high,
And my soul is sick with the bondman's sigh-
Oh, then! there is freedom, and joy, and pride, Afar in the Desert alone to ride!
There is rapture to vault on the champing steed,
And to bound away with the eagle's speed,
With the death-fraught firelock in my hand
(The only law of the Desert land);
But 'tis not the innocent to destroy,
For I hate the huntsman's savage joy.
Afar in the Desert I love to ride,
With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side;
Away-away from the dwellings of men,
By the wild deer's haunt, and the buffalo's glen;
By valleys remote, where the oribi plays;
Where the gnoo, the gazelle, and the hartebeest graze;
And the gemsbok and eland unhunted recline
By the skirts of gray forests o'ergrown with wild vine;
And the elephant browses at peace in his wood;
And the river-horse gambols unscared in the flood;
And the mighty rhinoceros wallows at will
In the Vley, where the wild ass is drinking his fill.
Afar in the Desert I love to ride,
With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side:
O'er the brown Karroo where the bleating cry
Of the springbok's fawn sounds plaintively;
Where the zebra wantonly tosses his mane,
In fields seldom freshened by moisture or rain;
And the stately koodoo exultingly bounds,
Undisturbed by the bay of the hunter's hounds;
And the timorous quagha's wild whistling neigh
Is heard by the brak fountain far away;
And the fleet-footed ostrich over the waste
Speeds like a horseman who travels in haste;
And the vulture in circles wheels high overhead,
Greedy to scent and to gorge on the dead;
And the grisly wolf, and the shrieking jackal,
Howl for their prey at the evening fall;
And the fiend-like laugh of hyenas grim,
Fearfully startles the twilight dim.
Afar in the Desert I love to ride,
With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side:
Away-away in the wilderness vast,
Where the white man's foot hath never passed,
And the quivered Koranna or Bechuan
Hath rarely crossed with his roving clan:
A region of emptiness, howling and drear,
Which man hath abandoned from famine and fear;
Which the snake and the lizard inhabit alone,
And the bat flitting forth from his old hollow stone;
Where grass, nor herb, nor shrub takes root,
Save poisonous thorns that pierce the foot:
And the bitter melon, for food and drink,
Is the pilgrim's fare, by the Salt Lake's brink:
A region of drought, where no river glides,
Nor rippling brook with osiered sides;
Nor reedy pool, nor mossy fountain,
Nor shady tree, nor cloud-capped mountain,
Are found-to refresh the aching eye:
But the barren earth and the burning sky,
And the black horizon round and round,
Without a living sight or sound,
Tell to the heart, in its pensive mood,
That this is-Nature's Solitude.
And here while the night-winds round me sigh,
And the stars burn bright in the midnight sky,
As I sit apart by the caverned stone,
Like Elijah at Horeb's cave alone,
And feel as a moth in the Mighty Hand
That spread the heavens and heaved the land-
A still small voice' comes through the wild
(Like a father consoling his fretful child),
Which banishes bitterness, wrath, and fear-
Saying 'Man is distant, but God is near!'
The REV. ROBERT MONTGOMERY has obtained a numerous circle of readers and admirers. His works, The Omnipresence of the Deity, Satan, Luther, &c., display great command of poetical language and fluent versification, but are deficient in originality and chasteness of style. The literary labours of Mr Montgomery seem to have been wholly devoted to the service of religion, of the truths of which he is an able and eloquent expounder in the pulpit. [Description of a Maniac.]
Down yon romantic dale, where hamlets few The village wonder, and the widow's joyArrest the summer pilgrim's pensive viewDwells the poor mindless, pale-faced maniac boy: He lives and breathes, and rolls his vacant eye, To greet the glowing fancies of the sky; But on his cheek unmeaning shades of wo Reveal the withered thoughts that sleep below! A soulless thing, a spirit of the woods, He loves to commune with the fields and floods: Sometimes along the woodland's winding glade, He starts, and smiles upon his pallid shade; Or scolds with idiot threat the roaming wind, But rebel music to the ruined mind! Or on the shell-strewn beach delighted strays, Playing his fingers in the noontide rays: And when the sea-waves swell their hollow roar, He counts the billows plunging to the shore; And oft beneath the glimmer of the moon, He chants some wild and melancholy tune; Till o'er his softening features seems to play A shadowy gleam of mind's reluctant sway.
Thus, like a living dream, apart from men, From morn to eve he haunts the wood and glen; But round him, near him, wheresoe'er he rove, A guardian angel tracks him from above! Nor harm from flood or fen shall e'er destroy The mazy wanderings of the maniac boy.
[The Starry Heavens.]
Ye quenchless stars! so eloquently bright,
Untroubled sentries of the shadowy night,
While half the world is lapped in downy dreams,
And round the lattice creep your midnight beams,
How sweet to gaze upon your placid eyes,
In lambent beauty looking from the skies!
And when, oblivious of the world, we stray
At dead of night along some noiseless way,
How the heart mingles with the moonlit hour,
As if the starry heavens suffused a power!
Full in her dreamy light, the moon presides,
Shrined in a halo, mellowing as she rides;
And far around, the forest and the stream
Bathe in the beauty of her emerald beam;
The lulled winds, too, are sleeping in their caves,
No stormy murmurs roll upon the waves;
Nature is hushed, as if her works adored,
Stilled by the presence of her living Lord!
And now, while through the ocean-mantling haze
A dizzy chain of yellow lustre plays,
And moonlight loveliness hath veiled the land,
Go, stranger, muse thou by the wave-worn strand:
Centuries have glided o'er the balanced earth,
Myriads have blessed, and myriads cursed their birth;
Still, yon sky-beacons keep a dimless glare,
Unsullied as the God who throned them there!
Though swelling earthquakes heave the astounded
And king and kingdom from their pride are hurled,
Sublimely calm, they run their bright carcer,
Unheedful of the storms and changes here.
We want no hymn to hear, or pomp to see,
For all around is deep divinity!
[Picture of War.]
Spirit of light and life! when battle rears
Her fiery brow and her terrific spears;
When red-mouthed cannon to the clouds uproar,
And gasping thousands make their beds in gore,
While on the billowy bosom of the air
Roll the dead notes of anguish and despair!
Unseen, thou walk'st upon the smoking plain,
And hear'st each groan that gurgles from the slain!
List! war-peals thunder on the battle-field;
And many a hand grasps firm the glittering shield,
As on, with helm and plume, the warriors come,
And the glad hills repeat their stormy drum!
And now are seen the youthful and the gray,
With bosoms firing to partake the fray;
The first, with hearts that consecrate the deed,
All eager rush to vanquish or to bleed!
Like young waves racing in the morning sun,
That rear and leap with reckless fury on!
But mark yon war-worn man, who looks on high,
With thought and valour mirrored in his eye!
Not all the gory revels of the day
Can fright the vision of his home away;
The home of love, and its associate smiles,
His wife's endearment, and his baby's wiles:
Fights he less brave through recollected bliss,
With step retreating, or with sword remiss?
Ah no! remembered home's the warrior's charm,
Speed to his sword, and vigour to his arm;
For this he supplicates the god afar,
Fronts the steeled foe, and mingles in the war!
The cannon's hushed!-nor drum, nor clarion sound;
Helmet and hauberk gleam upon the ground;
Horseman and horse lie weltering in their gore;
Patriots are dead, and heroes dare no more;
While solemnly the moonlight shrouds the plain,
And lights the lurid features of the slain!
And see! on this rent mound, where daisies sprung,
A battle-steed beneath his rider flung;
Oh! never more he'll rear with fierce delight,
Roll his red eyes, and rally for the fight!
Pale on his bleeding breast the warrior lies,
While from his ruffled lids the white swelled eyes
Ghastly and grimly stare upon the skies!
Afar, with bosom bared unto the breeze,
White lips, and glaring eyes, and shivering knees,
A widow o'er her martyred soldier moans,
Loading the night-wind with delirious groans!
Her blue-eyed babe, unconscious orphan he!
So sweetly prattling in his cherub glee,
Leers on his lifeless sire with infant wile,
And plays and plucks him for a parent's smile!
But who, upon the battle-wasted plain,
Shall count the faint, the gasping, and the slain?
Angel of Mercy! ere the blood-fount chill,
And the brave heart be spiritless and still,
Amid the havoc thou art hovering nigh,
To calm each groan, and close each dying eye,
And waft the spirit to that halcyon shore,
Where war's loud thunders lash the winds no more!
Oh! weep not that our beauty wears
Beneath the wings of Time;
That age o'erclouds the brow with cares
That once was raised sublime.
Oh! weep not that the beamless eye
No dumb delight can speak;
And fresh and fair no longer lie
Joy-tints upon the cheek.
Yestreen the mountain's rugged brow
Was mantled o'er with dreary snow;
The sun set red behind the hill,
And every breath of wind was still;
But ere he rose, the southern blast
A veil o'er heaven's blue arch had cast;
Thick rolled the clouds, and genial rain
Poured the wide deluge o'er the plain.
Fair glens and verdant vales appear,
And warmth awakes the budding year.
O'tis the touch of fairy hand
That wakes the spring of northern land!
It warms not there by slow degrees,
With changeful pulse, the uncertain breeze;
But sudden on the wondering sight
Bursts forth the beam of living light,
And instant verdure springs around,
And magic flowers bedeck the ground.
Returned from regions far away,
The red-winged throstle pours his lay;
The soaring snipe salutes the spring,
While the breeze whistles through his wing;
And, as he hails the melting snows,
The heathcock claps his wings and crows.
After a long interval of silence Mr Herbert came forward in 1838 with an epic poem entitled Attila, founded on the establishment of Christianity by the discomfiture of the mighty attempt of the Gothic king to establish a new antichristian dynasty upon the wreck of the temporal power of Rome at the end of the term of 1200 years, to which its duration had been limited by the forebodings of the heathens.
Musings on Eternity. [FromAttila."]
How oft, at midnight, have I fixed my gaze
Upon the blue unclouded firmament,
With thousand spheres illumined; each perchance
The powerful centre of revolving worlds!
Until, by strange excitement stirred, the mind
Hath longed for dissolution, so it might bring
Knowledge, for which the spirit is athirst,
Open the darkling stores of hidden time,
And show the marvel of eternal things,
Which, in the bosom of immensity,
Wheel round the God of nature. Vain desire!
To work in trembling my salvation here,
Waiting thy summons, stern mysterious Power,
Who to thy silent realm hast called away
All those whom nature twined around my heart
In my fond infancy, and left me here
Denuded of their love!
Where are ye gone,
And shall we wake from the long sleep of death,
To know each other, conscious of the ties
That linked our souls together, and draw down
The secret dewdrop on my cheek, whene'er
I turn unto the past? or will the change
That comes to all renew the altered spirit
To other thoughts, making the strife or love
Of short mortality a shadow past,
Equal illusion? Father, whose strong mind
Was my support, whose kindness as the spring
Which never tarries! Mother, of all forms
That smiled upon my budding thoughts, most dear!
Brothers! and thou, mine only sister! gone
To the still grave, making the memory
Of all my earliest time a thing wiped out,
Save from the glowing spot, which lives as fresh
In my heart's core as when we last in joy
Were gathered round the blithe paternal board!
Where are ye? Must your kindred spirits sleep
For many a thousand years, till by the trump
Roused to new being? Will old affections then
Burn inwardly, or all our loves gone by
Seem but a speck upon the roll of time,
Unworthy our regard? This is too hard
For mortals to unravel, nor has He
Vouchsafed a clue to man, who bade us trust
To Him our weakness, and we shall wake up
After His likeness, and be satisfied.
For thee, my country, thee, do I perform,
Sternly, the duty of a man born free,
Heedless, though ass, and wolf, and venomous worm,
Shake ears and fangs, with brandished bray, at me.
Fortunately the genius of Elliott has redeemed his errors of taste: his delineation of humble virtue and affection, and his descriptions of English scenery, are excellent. He writes from genuine feelings and impulses, and often rises into pure sentiment and eloquence. The Corn-Law Rhymer, as he has been called, was born in 1781 at Masbrough, a village near Sheffield. He has passed an industrious youth and middle age in a branch of the well known manufactures of his native district, from which manual toil was not in his case excluded; and he now enjoys the comparatively easy circumstances merited by his labours as well as his genius.
To the Bramble Flower.
Thy fruit full well the schoolboy knows, Wild bramble of the brake!
So put thou forth thy small white rose; I love it for his sake.
Though woodbines flaunt and roses glow
O'er all the fragrant bowers,
Thou needst not be ashamed to show
Thy satin-threaded flowers;
For dull the eye, the heart is dull,
That cannot feel how fair,
Amid all beauty beautiful,
Thy tender blossoms are! How delicate thy gauzy frill!
How rich thy branchy stem!
How soft thy voice when woods are still,
And thou sing'st hymns to them;
While silent showers are falling slow,
And 'mid the general hush,
A sweet air lifts the little bough,
Lone whispering through the bush!
The primrose to the grave is gone;
The hawthorn flower is dead;
The violet by the mossed gray stone
Hath laid her weary head;
But thou, wild bramble! back dost bring
In all their beauteous power,
The fresh green days of life's fair spring, And boyhood's blossomy hour.
Scorned bramble of the brake! once more
Thou bidd'st me be a boy,
To gad with thee the woodlands o'er,
In freedom and in joy.
Bone-weary, many-childed, trouble-tried!
Wife of my bosom, wedded to my soul!
Mother of nine that live, and two that died!
This day, drink health from nature's mountain bowl;
Nay, why lament the doom which mocks control!
The buried are not lost, but gone before.
Then dry thy tears, and see the river roll
O'er rocks, that crowned yon time-dark heights of yore,
Now, tyrant like, dethroned, to crush the weak no more.
The young are with us yet, and we with them:
O thank the Lord for all he gives or takes-
The withered bud, the living flower, or gem!
And he will bless us when the world forsakes!
Lo! where thy fisher-born, abstracted, takes,
With his fixed eyes, the trout he cannot see!
Lo! starting from his earnest dream, he wakes!
While our glad Fanny, with raised foot and knee,
Bears down at Noe's side the bloom-bowed hawthorn
Dear children! when the flowers are full of bees;
When sun-touched blossoms shed their fragrant snow;
When song speaks like a spirit, from the trees
Whose kindled greenness hath a golden glow;
When, clear as music, rill and river flow,
With trembling hues, all changeful, tinted o'er
By that bright pencil which good spirits know
Alike in earth and heaven-'tis sweet, once more,
Above the sky-tinged hills to see the storm-bird soar.
"Tis passing sweet to wander, free as air,
Blithe truants in the bright and breeze-blessed day,
Far from the town-where stoop the sons of care
O'er plans of mischief, till their souls turn gray,
And dry as dust, and dead-alive are they-
Of all self-buried things the most unblessed:
O Morn! to them no blissful tribute pay!
O Night's long-courted slumbers! bring no rest
To men who laud man's foes, and deem the basest
God! would they handcuff thee? and, if they could
Chain the free air, that, like the daisy, goes
To every field; and bid the warbling wood
Exchange no music with the willing rose
For love-sweet odours, where the woodbine blows
And trades with every cloud, and every beam
Of the rich sky! Their gods are bonds and blows,
Rocks, and blind shipwreck; and they hate the
That leaves them still behind, and mocks their change
They know ye not, ye flowers that welcome me,
Thus glad to meet, by trouble parted long!
They never saw ye-never may they see
Your dewy beauty, when the throstle's song
Floweth like starlight, gentle, calm, and strong!
Still, Avarice, starve their souls! still, lowest Pride,
Make them the meanest of the basest throng!
And may they never, on the green hill's side,
Embrace a chosen flower, and love it as a bride!
Blue Eyebright!* loveliest flower of all that grow
In flower-loved England! Flower, whose hedge-side
Is like an infant's! What heart doth not know
Thee, clustered smiler of the bank! where plays
The sunbeam with the emerald snake, and strays
The dazzling rill, companion of the road
Which the lone bard most loveth, in the days
When hope and love are young? O come abroad,
Blue Eyebright! and this rill shall woo thee with an
Awake, blue Eyebright, while the singing wave
Its cold, bright, beauteous, soothing tribute drops
From many a gray rock's foot and dripping cave;
While yonder, lo, the starting stone-chat hops!
While here the cottar's cow its sweet food crops;
While black-faced ewes and lambs are bleating there;
And, bursting through the briers, the wild ass stops-
Kicks at the strangers-then turns round to stare-
Then lowers his large red ears, and shakes his long
[Pictures of Native Genius.]
O faithful love, by poverty embraced!
Thy heart is fire, amid a wintry waste;
Thy joys are roses, born on Hecla's brow;
Thy home is Eden, warm amid the snow;
And she, thy mate, when coldest blows the storm,
Clings then most fondly to thy guardian form;
E'en as thy taper gives intensest light,
When o'er thy bowed roof darkest falls the night.
Oh, if thou e'er hast wronged her, if thou e'er
From those mild eyes hast caused one bitter tear
*The Geornander Speedwell.
To flow unseen, repent, and sin no more!
For richest gems compared with her, are poor;
Gold, weighed against her heart, is light-is vile;
And when thou sufferest, who shall see her smile!
Sighing, ye wake, and sighing, sink to sleep,
And seldom smile, without fresh cause to weep;
(Scarce dry the pebble, by the wave dashed o'er,
Another comes, to wet it as before);
Yet while in gloom your freezing day declines,
How fair the wintry sunbeam when it shines!
Your foliage, where no summer leaf is seen,
Sweetly embroiders earth's white veil with green;
And your broad branches, proud of storm-tried
Stretch to the winds in sport their stalwart length,
And calmly wave, beneath the darkest hour,
The ice-born fruit, the frost-defying flower.
Let luxury, sickening in profusion's chair,
Unwisely pamper his unworthy heir,
And, while he feeds him, blush and tremble too!
But love and labour, blush not, fear not you!
Your children (splinters from the mountain's side),
With rugged hands, shall for themselves provide.
Parent of valour, cast away thy fear!
Mother of men, be proud without a tear!
While round your hearth the wo-nursed virtues move,
And all that manliness can ask of love;
Remember Hogarth, and abjure despair;
Remember Arkwright, and the peasant Clare.
Burns, o'er the plough, sung sweet his wood-notes wild,
And richest Shakspeare was a poor man's child.
Sire, green in age, mild, patient, toil-inured,
Endure thine evils as thou hast endured.
Behold thy wedded daughter, and rejoice!
Hear hope's sweet accents in a grandchild's voice!
See freedom's bulwarks in thy sons arise,
And Hampden, Russell, Sidney, in their eyes!
And should some new Napoleon's curse subdue
All hearths but thine, let him behold them too,
And timely shun a deadlier Waterloo.
Northumbrian vales! ye saw, in silent pride, When, poor, yet learned, he wandered young and free, The pensive brow of lowly Akenside, And felt within the strong divinity. Scenes of his youth, where first he wooed the Nine, His spirit still is with you, vales of Tyne! As when he breathed, your blue-belled paths along, The soul of Plato into British song.
Born in a lowly hut an infant slept, Dreamful in sleep, and, sleeping, smiled or wept: Silent the youth-the man was grave and shy: His parents loved to watch his wondering eye: And lo! he waved a prophet's hand, and gave, Where the winds soar, a pathway to the wave! From hill to hill bade air hung rivers stride, And flow through mountains with a conqueror's pride:! O'er grazing herds, lo! ships suspended sail, And Brindley's praise hath wings in every gale!
The worm came up to drink the welcome shower; The redbreast quaffed the raindrop in the bower; The flaskering duck through freshened lilies swam; The bright roach took the fly below the dam; Ramped the glad colt, and cropped the pensile spray; No more in dust uprose the sultry way; The lark was in the cloud; the woodbine hung More sweetly o'er the chaffinch while he sung; And the wild rose, from every dripping bush, Beheld on silvery Sheaf the mirrored blush; When calmly seated on his panniered ass, Where travellers hear the steel hiss as they pass, A milkboy, sheltering from the transient storm, Chalked, on the grinder's wall, an infant's form; Young Chantrey smiled; no critic praised or blamed; And golden promise smiled, and thus exclaimed:'Go, child of genius! rich be thine increase; Go-be the Phidias of the second Greece!'