Page images

A morning-visit to the poor man's shed,

Down by the beech-wood side he turn'd away:(Who would be rich while One was wanting bread ?) And now behold him in an evil day When all are emulous to bring relief,

Serving the State again-not as before, And tears are falling fast—but not for grief :

Not foot to foot, the war-whoop at his door,A Walk in Spring-Grattan, like those with thee, But in the Senate: and (though round him fly By the heath-side (who had not envied me?)

The jest, the sneer, the subtle sophistry,) When the sweet limes, so full of bees in Junc,

With honest dignity, with manly sense, Led us to meet beneath their boughs at noon;

And every charm of natural eloquence, And thou didst say which of the Great and Wise,

Like Hampden struggling in his Country's cause, (20) Could they but hear and at thy bidding rise,

The first, the foremost to obey the laws,
Thou wouldst call up and question.

The last to brook oppression. On he moves,
Graver things
Careless of blame while his own heart

approves, Come in their turn. Morning, and Evening, brings

Careless of ruin-(. For the general good

'T Its holy office; and the sabbath-bell,

not the first time I shall shed

my blood.») That over wood and wild and mountain-dell

On through that gate misnamed, (21) through which Wanders so far, chasing all thoughts unholy.

before With sounds most musical, most melancholy,

Went Sidney, Russell, Raleigh, Cranmer, More, Not on his car is lost. Then he pursues

On into twilight within walls of stone, The pathway leading through the aged yews,

Then to the place of trial ; (22) and alone, (23) Nor unattended; and, when all are there,

Alone before his judges in array l'ours out his spirit in the llouse of Prayer,

Stands for his life: there, on that awful day, That House with many a funeral-garland hung (18)

Counsel of friends-all human help deniedOf virgin-white-memorials of the young,

All but from her who sits the pen to guide, The last yet fresh when marriage-chimes were ringing,

Like that sweet Saint who sate by Russell's side And hope and joy in other hearts were springing; Under the Judgment-scal. (24) -- Bul guilty men That llouse, where Age led in by Filial Love,

Triumplı not always. To bis hearth again, Their looks composed, their thoughts on things above, Again with honour to his hearth restored, The world forgot, or all its wrongs forgiven-

Lo, in the accustomed chair and at the board, Who would not say they trod the path to Heaven ? Thrice greeting those who most withdraw their claim, Nor at the fragrant hour-at early dawn

(The lowliest servant calling by his name) Under the elm-tree on his level lawn,

He reads thauksgiving in the cyes of all, Or in his porch is he less duly found,

All met as at a holy festival! When they that cry for Justice gather round,

-On the day destined for his funeral ! And in that cry her sacred voice is drown'd;

Lo, there the Friend, who entering where he lay, His then to hear and weigh and arbitrate,

Breathed in his drowsy ear « Away, away! Like Alfred judging at his palace-gate.

Take thou my cloak-Nay, start not, but obeyHeal'd at his touch, the wounds of discord close; Take it and leave me.. And the blushing Maid, And they return as friends, that came as focs.

Wlio through the streets as through a desert stray'd; Thus, while the world but claims its proper part, And, when her dear, dear Father pass'd along Oft in the head but never in the heart,

Would not be held-but, bursting through the throng, His life steals on; within his quict dwelling

Halberd and battlc-axc-kiss'd him o'er and o'er; That home-felt joy all other joys excelling.

Then turn'd and went- then sought him as before, Sick of the crowd, when enters he-nor then

Believing she should see his face no more! Forgets the cold indifference of men?

And oh, how changed at once-no heroine here, --Soon through the gadding vine (19) the sun looks in, , But a veak woman worn with grief and fear, And gentle hands the breakfast-rite begin.

Her darling Mother! "T was but now she smiled, Tlıcn the bright kettle sings its matin-song,

And now she weeps upon her weeping child ! Then fragrant clouds of Mocha and Souchong

-But who sits by, her only wish below Blend as they rise; and (while without are seen, At length fulfill d-and now prepared to go? Sure of their ineal, the small birds on the green; His hands on hers--as through the mists of night, And in from far a school-boy's letter flies,

She gazes on him with imperfect sight; Flushing the sister's cheek with glad surprise)

Her glory now, as ever her delight! (25) That sheet unfolds (who reads, that reads it not?) To lier, mcthinks, a second Youth is given; Born with the day and with the day forgot;

The light upon her face a light from Heaven!
Its ample page various as human life,

An hour like this is worth a thousand pass'd
The pomp, the woe, the bustle and the strife!
But nothing lasts. In Autumn at bis plough

In pomp or ease-"T is present to the last!

Years glide away untold—'T is still the same!
Met and solicited, behold him now

As fresh, as fair as on the day it came!
Leaving that humbler sphere his fathers knew,
The sphere that Wisdom loves-and Virtue too,

And now once more where most he loved to be, She who subsists not on the vain applause

In his own fields, breathing tranquillityMisjudging man now gives and now withdraws. We hail bim-not less liappy, Fox, than thee!

"T was morn-the sky-lark o'er the furrow sung Thee at St Anne's so soon of care beguiled, As from bis lips the slow consent was wrung;

Playful, sincere, and artless as a child ! As from the glebe his fathers tilld of old,

Thee, who wouldst watch a bird's nest on the spray, The plough they guided in an age of gold,

Through the greeu leaves exploring, day by day.

[ocr errors]

How oft from grove to grove, from seat to seat,

And She inspires, whose beauty shines in all; With the conversing in thy loved retreat,

So soon to weave a daughter's coronal, I saw the sun go down !- Ah, then 't was thine

And at the nuptial rite sinile through her tears;Ne'er to forget some volume half divine,

So soon to hover round her full of fears, Shakspeare's or Dryden's—through the chequer'd shade And with assurance sweet her soul revive Borne in thy hand behind thee as we stray'd;

In child-birtlı-when a mother's love is most alive! And where we sate (and many a halt wc made)

No, 't is not here that Solitude is known. To read there with a fervour all thy own,

Through the wide world he only is alone And in thy grand and melancholy tone,

Who lives not for another. Come what will, Some splendid passage not to the unknown,

The generous man has bis companion still; Fit theme for long discourse-Thy bell has tolld! The cricket on his hearth ; the buzzing fly -But in thy place among us we behold

That skims his roof, or, be his roof the sky, One who resembles thee.

Still with its note of gladness passes by: 'Tis the sixth hour.

And, in an iron cage condemn'd to dwell,
The village-clock strikes from the distant tower.


that stands within the dungeon-cell, The ploughman leaves the field; the traveller hears,

lle feeds las spider-- happier at the worst And to the inn spurs forward. Nature wears

Than he at large who in himself is curst! Iler sweetest smile; the day-star in the west

O thou all-eloquent, whose mighty mind (27)
Yet hovering, and the thistle's down at rest.

Streams from the depth of ages on mankind,
And such, his labour done, the calm le knows, Streams like the day--wlo, angel-like, hast shed
Whose footsteps we have follow'd. Round him glows Thy full cffulgence on the hoary liead,
An atmosphere that brightens to the last;

Speaking in Cato's venerable voice,
The light, that shines, reflected from the Past,

« Look up, and faint nol-faint not, but rejoice!» - And from the future too! Active in Thought

From thy Elysium guide him. Age has now
Among old books, old friends, and not unsought Stamp'd with its signet that ingenuous brow;
By the wise stranger-in his morning-hours,

And, 'mid his old hereditary trees,
When gentle airs stir the fresh-blowing tlowers, Trees he has climb'd so oft, he sits and sees
He muses, turning up the idle weed;

Ilis children's children playing round liis knecs:
Or prunes or grafts, or in the yellow mead

Then happicst, youngest, when the quoit is llung, Watches his becs at hiving-lime; and now,

When side by side the archer's bows are strung; The ladder resting on the orchard-bough,

His to prescribe the place, adjudge the prize, Culls the delicious fruit that bangs in air,

Envying no more the young their energies The purple plum, green fig, or golden pear,

Than they an old man when his words are wise; 'Mid sparkling cyes, and hands uplifted there.

Ilis a delight how purc-without alloy;

Strong in their strength, rejoicing in their joy!
Al night, when all, assembling round the fire,
Closer and closer draw till they retire,

Now in their turn assisting, they repay
A tale is told of India or Japan,

The anxious cares of many and many a day; Of merchants from Golcond or Astracan,

And now by those he loves relieved, restored, What time wild Nature revell’d unrestrain’d,

llis very wants and weaknesses afford And Sinbad voyaged and the Caliphs reign'd:

A feeling of enjoyment. In his walks, Of some Norwegian, while the icy gale

Leaning on them, how oft hie stops and talks, Rings in her slırouds and beats her iron-sail,

While they look up! Their questions, their replies, Among the snowy Alps of l'olar seas

Fresh as the welling waters, round him rise, Immovcable--for ever there to freeze!

Gladdening his spirit: and, his theme the past, Or some great caravan, from well to well

How eloquent he is ! His thoughts tlow fast, Winding as darkness on the desert fell,

And, while his heart (oh can the heart grow old ? In their long march, such as the Propliet bids,

False are the tales that in the World are told !) To Mecca from the Land of Pyramids,

Swells in luis voice, he knows not where to end; And in an instant lost-a hollow wave

Like one discoursing of an absent friend. Of burning sand their everlasting grave!-

But there are moments which he calls his own. Now the scene shifts to Venice-lo a square

Then, never less alone than when alone, Glittering with light, all nations masking there, Those that he loved so long and sees no more, With light retlected on the tremulous tide,

Loved and still loves--not dead-but gone before, Where gondolas in gay confusion glide,

He gathers round liim; and revives at will Answering the jest, the song on every side;

Scenes in his life-that breathe enchantment sullTo Naples next-and at the crowded gate,

That come not now at dreary intervals Where Grief and Fear and wild Amazement wail, But where a lighi as from the Blessed falls, Lo, on his back a Son brings in his Sire, (26)

A light such guests bring ever-pure and holyVesuvius blazing like a World on fire!-

Lapping the soul in sweetest melancholy
Then, at a sign that never was forgot,

-Ali then less willing (nor the choice condemn)
A strain breaks forth (who hears and loves it not?) To live with others than to think on them!
From lute or organ! ”T is at parting given,

And now behold him up the bill ascending,
That in their slumbers they may dream of fleaven; Memory and Hope like evening-stars attending;
Young voices mingling, as it floats along,

Sustain'd, excited, till his course is run, In Tuscan air or Handel's sacred song!

By decds of virtue done or to be done.

When on his couch he sinks at length to rest,

to know himself. He tells the proud and insolent, that Those by his counsel saved, his power

redress d, they are but abjects, and humbles them at the instant. Those by the World shunn'd ever as unblest,

He takes the account of the rich man, and proves him At whom the rich man's dog growls from the gate, a beggar, a naked beggar. He holds a glass before the But whom he sought out, sitting desolate,

eyes of the most beautiful, and makes them see therein Come and stand round-the widow with her child, their deformity; and they acknowledge it. As when she first forgot her tears and smiled!

O eloquent, just, and mighty Death! whom none They, who watch by him, see not; but he sees, could advise, thou hast persuaded; what none have Sees and exults-Were ever dreams like these?

dared, thou hast done; and whom all the world bave They, who watch by him, hear not; but he hears, flattered, thou only hast cast out and despised : thou And Earth recedcs, and Heaven itself appears !

bast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness, all 'T is past! That hand we grasp'd, alas, in vain! the pride, cruelty and ambition of man, and covered it Nor shall we look upon his face again!

all over with these two narrow words, Hic jacet. But to his closing eyes, for all were there,

RALEIGH Nothing was wanting ; and, through many a year

Note 3, page 11, col. 2. We shall remember with a fond delight

Through the dim curtains of Futarity. The words so precious which we heard to-night; Fancy can hardly forbear to conjecture with what His parting, though awhile our sorrow flows,

femper Milton surveyed the silent progress of his work, Like setting suns or music at the close !

and marked his reputation stealing its way in a kind Then was the drama ended. Not till then,

of subterraneous current through fear and silence. I So full of chance and change the lives of men, cannot but conceive him calm and confident, little disCould we pronounce him happy. Then sccure

appointed, not at all dejected, relying on his own merit From pain, from grief, and all that we endure,

with steady consciousness, and waiting, without imHe slept in peace---say rather soared to Heaven,

patience, the vicissitudes of opinion, and the imparUpborne from Earth by Him to whom 't is given

ciality of a future generation.-Johnson. In his right hand to hold the golden key That the portals of Eternity.

After line 57, col. 2, in the MS. opes -When by a good man's grave I muse alone,

O'er place and time we triumph; on we go, Methinks an angel sits upon the stone;

Ranging in thought the realms above, below;

Yet, ah, how little of ourselves we know ! Like those of old, on that thrice-hallowed night,

And why the heart beats on, or how the brain Who sate and watch'd in raiment heavenly-bright;

Says to the foot, . Now move, now rest again, And, with a voice inspiring joy, not fear,

From age to age we search and search in vain. Says, pointing upward, that he is not here,

Note 4, page 12, col. 1. That he is risen!

like the stone But the day is spent;

That sheds awhile a lustre all its own. And stars are kindling in the firmament,

See «Observations on a diamond that shines in the To us how silent-though like ours perchance

dark. ---Boyle's Works, i, 789. Busy and full of life and circumstance;

Note 5, page 12, col. 1.
Where some the paths of Wealth and Power pursuc,
Of Pleasure some, of Happiness a few;

Schooled and trained up to Wisdom from his birth.
And, as the sun goes round-a sun not ours-

Cicero, in his Essay De Senectute, has drawn his While from her lap another Nature showers

images from the better walks of life; and Shakspeare, Gifts of her own, some from the crowd retire,

in his Seven Ages, has done so too. But Shakspeare Think on themselves, within, without inquire ; treats his subject satirically; Cicero as a Philosopher. At distance dwell on all that passes there,

In the venerable portrait of Cato we discover no traces All that their world reveals of good and fair;

of the lean and slippered pantaloon.» And, as they wander, picturing things, like me,

Every object has a bright and a dark side; and I Not as they are but as they onght to be,

have endeavoured to look at things as Cicero has done. Trace out the Journey through their little Day, By some however I may be thought to have followed And fondly dream an idle hour away.

too much

my own dream of happiness; and in such a drcam indeed I have often passed a solitary hour. It was castle-building once; now it is no longer so. But

whoever would try to realize it, would not perhaps NOTES.

repent of his endeavour.

Note 6, page 12, col. 1.
Note 1, page 11,

The bour arrives, the moment wisbed and fear d.
Our pathway leads but to a precipice.

A Persian Poct has left us a beautiful thought on Sec Bossuet, Sermon sur la Resurrection.

this subject, which the reader, if he has not met with

it, will be glad to know, and, if he has, to remember. Note 2, page 11, col. 2.

Thee on thy mother's knees, a new-born child,
We fly; no resting for the foot we find.

In tears we saw, when all around thee siniled. « 1 have considered," says Solomon, « all the works So live, that, sinking in ihy last long sleep, that are under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and

Smiles may be thine, when all around thee weep. vexation of spirit.. But who believes it, till Death tells For my version I am in a great measure indebted in it us? It is Death alone that can suddenly make man Sir William Jones.

[ocr errors]

col. 2.

- he reveres

Note 7, page 12, col. 2.

visit Sicily and Greece, when hearing of the troubles in . These are my Jewels!.

England, he thought it proper to hasten bome. The anecdote here alluded to, is related by Valerius

Note 13, page 13, col. 1.
Maximus, lib. iv, c. 4.

And Milton's self.
Note 8, page 12, col. 2.

I began thus far to assent ... to an inward prompt-
#Suffer these little ones to come to me!

ing which now grew daily upon me, that by labour and In our early Youth, while yet we live only among intent study (which I take to be my portion in this life), those we love, we love without restraint, and our joined with the strong propensity of nature, I might hearts overflow in every look, word, and action. But perhaps leave something so written to after times, as when we enter the world and are repulsed by strangers, they should not willingly let it dic.--Milton. forgotten by friends, we grow more and more timid in

Note 14, page 13, col. 1. our approaches even to those we love best.

--'t was at matin-time. How delightful to us then are the little caresses of children! All sincerity, all affection, they fly into our

Love and devotion are said to be nearly allied. arms; and then, and then only, we feel our first confi- Boccaccio fell in love at Naples in the church of St dence, our first pleasure.

Lorenzo; as Petrarch had done at Avignon in the church

of St Clair.
Note 9, page 12, col. 2.

Note 15, page 13, col. 2.
The brow engraven with the Thoughts of Years.

Lovely before, ob, say how lovely now! This is a law of Nature. Age was anciently synonymous Is it not true, that the young not only appear to be, with

power; and we may always observe that the old but really are most beautiful in the presence of those are held in more or less honour as men are more or they love? It calls forth all their beauty. less virtuous. «Shame,says Homer, « bids the youth beware how he accosts the man of many years.»

Note 16, page 13, col. 2.

« Thou shall rise up before the hoary head, and honour the And feeling hearts-touch them but rightly-pour face of an old man.»--Leviticus.

A thousand melodies unbeard before! Among us, says a philosophical historian, and Xenophon has left us a delightful instance of conwherever birth and possessions give rank and anthority, jugal affection. the young and the profligate are seen continually above The king of Armenia not fulfilling his engagement, the old and the worthy: there Age can never find its Cyrus entered the country, and, having taken bin due respect. But among many of the ancient nations and all his family prisoners, ordered them instantly it was otherwise ; and they reaped the benefit of it. before him. Armenian, said he, you are free; for « Rien ne maintient plus les maurs qu'une extrême are now sensible of your error. And what will you give subordination des jeunes gens envers les vieillards. Les me, if I restore your wife to you?--All that I am able.uns et les autres seront contenus, ceux-là par le respect What, if I restore your children ?--All that I am able. — qu'ils auront pour les vieillards, et ceux-ci par le respect And you, Tigranes, said lie, turning to the son, What qu'ils auront pour eux-mêmes. ,— MONTESQUIEU. would you do, to save your wife from servitude? Now Note 10, page 12, col. 2.

Tigranes was but lately married, and had a great love

for lijs wife. Cyrus, le replied, to save her from serviLike Her most gentle, most unfortunate. Before I vent into Germany, I came to Brodegate in

tude, I would willingly lay down my life.

Let each have his own again, said Cyrus; and when Leicestershire, to take my leave of that noble Lady he was departed, one spoke of his elemency; and anJane Grey, to whom I was exceeding much beholding. other of his valour; and another of his beauty, and the Her parents, the Duke and Duchess, with all the Household, Gentlemen and Gentlewomen, were hunting in

graces of his person. Upon which Tigranes asked his the park. I found her in her chamber, reading Phædo wife, if she thought him handsome. Really, said she,

I did not look at him.- At whom then did Platonis in Greek, and that with as much delight as

look ?


At him who said he would lay down his life for me.some Gentlemen would read a merry tale in Boccace. After salutation and duty done, with some other talk,

Cyropædia, l. ii. I asked her, why she would lose such pastime in the

Note 17, page 14, col. 2. Park? Smiling, she answered me, « I wist, all their

He goes, and Night comes as it never came! sport in the park is but a shadow to that pleasure that These circumstances, as well as some others that I find in Plato,.-Roger Ascuam.

follow, are happily, as far as they regard England, of Note 11, page 12, col. 2.

an ancient date. To us the miseries inflicted by a Tben is the Age of Admiration.

foreign invader are now known only by description. Dante in his old age was pointed out to Petrarch Many generations have passed away since our countrywhen a boy; and Dryden to Pope.

women saw the smoke of an enemy's camp. Who does not wish that Dante and Dryden could

But the same passions are always at work every lave known the value of the homage thai was paid where, and their effects are always nearly the same; them, and foreseen the greatness of their young ad- though the circumstances that attend them are infinitely mirers ?

Note 12, page 13, col. 1.

Note 18, page 15, col. 1.
Scenes such as Milton sought, but sought in vain.

That House with many a funeral-garland hung
He had arrived at Naples; and was preparing to A custom in some of our country-churches.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Note 19, page 15, col. 1.

Mr Attorney General. Yes, a Servant.
Soon through the gadding vine, etc.

Lord Chief Justice. Any of your Servants shall assist An English breakfast; which may well excite in others you in writing any thing you please for

you. what in Rousseau continued through life, un goûl vif

Lord Russell. My Wife is here, my Lord, to do it. pour les déjeûnes. C'est le tems de la journée nous

State Trials, ii. sommes les plus tranquilles, nous causons le plus à

Note 25, page 15, col. 2. notre aise. The luxuries here mentioned, familiar to us as they

Her glory now, as ever her delight! now are, were almost unknown before the Revolution. Epaminondas, after his victory at Leuctra, rejoiced

most of all at the pleasure which it would give his Note 20, page 15, col. 2.

father and mother; and who would not have envied Like Hampden struggling in his country's cause.

them their feelings? Zeuxis is said to have drawn his Helen from an assem- Cornelia was called at Rome the Mother-in-law of blage of the most beautiful women; and many a writer Scipio. . When," said slie to her sons, « shall I be called of fiction, in forming a life to his mind, has recourse the mother of the Gracchi?, to the brightest moments in the lives of others. 1 may be suspected of having done so here, and of

Note 26, page 16, col. 1. having designed, as it were, from living models; but by

Lo, on his back a Son brings in his Sire. making an allusion now and then to those who have really lived, I thought I should give something of in

An act of filial picty represented on the coins of Caterest to the picture, as well as better illustrate my

tana, a Greek city, some remains of which are still to meaning

be seen at the foot of mount Æina. The story is told of

(wo brothers, who in this manner saved both their Note 21, page 15, col. 2.

parents. The place from which they escaped was long On through that gate misnamed.

called the field of the pious ; and public games were
Traitor's gate, the water-gate in the Tower of annually held there to commemorate the Event.
Note 22, page 15, col. 2.

Note 27, page 16, col. 2.
Then to the place of trial.

Oh thou, all-eloquent, wbose michey mind.
This very slight sketch of Civil Dissension is taken

Cicero. It is remarkable that, among the comforts of from our own annals; but, for an obvious reason, not old Age, he has not mentioned those arising from the from those of our own Age.

society of women and children. Perhaps the husband of The persons here immediately alluded to lived more Terentia and *the father of Marcuz felt something on than a hundred years ago in a reign which Blackstone the subject, of which he was willing to spare liimself has justly represented as wicked, sanguinary, and tur- the recollection.o bulent; but such times have always afforded the most signal insunces of heroic courage and ardent affection.

Great reverses, like theirs, lay open the human hicart. They occur indeed but seldom; yet all men are liable

Before I conclude, I would say something in favour to them; all, when they occur to others, make them of the old-fashioned triplet, which I have here ventured more or less their own; and, were we to describe our

to use so often. Dryden seems to have delighted in it, condition to an inhabitant of some other planet, could and in many of his most admired poems has used it we omit what forms so striking a circumstance in hu- much oftener than I have done, as for instance in the man life?

Hind and Panther,' and in Theodore and Honoria,

where he introduces it three, four, and even five times Note 23, page 15, col. 2.

in succession. --and alone.

If I have erred any where in the structure of my verse In the reign of William the Third, the law was al- from a desire to follow yet earlier and higher examples, tered. A prisoner, prosecuted for high treason, may now 1 rely on the forgiveness of those in whosc ear the music make his full defence by counsel.

of our old versification is still sounding.
Note 24, page 15, col. 2.
Like that sweet Saint who sate by Russell's sido

· Pope used to mention this poem as the most correct specimen Under tbe Judgment-seat.

of Dryden's versification. It was indeed written when be had comLord Russel. May I have somebody to write, to assist pletely formed his manner, and may be supposed to exbibit, negli

Gence exceptod, his deliberate and ultimate scheme of metre. my memory?


« PreviousContinue »