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– Brother and friend, if verse of mine
way, Traveller or Shepherd, let it say, Long as these mighty rocks endure,Oh do not Thou too fondly brood, Although deserving of all good, On any earthly hope, however pure * !
“Rest, rest, perturbed Earth!
The penal caverns groan
LINES Composed at Grasmere, during a walk one Evening, after a
stormy day, the Author having just read in a Newspaper
* The plant alluded to is the Moss Campion (Silene acaulis, of Linnæus). See note at the end of the volume.
See among the Poems on the “ Naming of places," No vi.
* Importuna e grave salma.
We pay a high and holy debt;
“ False Parent of Mankind !
Obdurate, proud, and blind,
These mortal spheres above,
Sad doom, at Sorrow's shrine to kneel,
But nature to its inmost part
The Spirit ended his mysterious rite, And the pure vision closed in darkness infinite.
The holier deprecation, given in trust
Yet have we found how slowly genuine grief
From silent admiration wins relief.
Too long abashed thy Name is like a rose
That doth within itself its sweetness close;'
A drooping daisy changed into a cup mural monument bearing an Inscription which, in defer- In which her bright-eyed beauty is shut up. ence to the earnest request of the deceased, is confined Within these groves, where still are fitting by to name, dates, and these words :— Enter not into judg
Shades of the Past, oft noticed with a sigh, ment with thy servant, O LORD!'
Shall stand a votive Tablet, haply free, With copious eulogy in prose or rhyme
When towers and temples fall, to speak of Thee! Graven on the tomb we struggle against Time, If sculptured emblems of our mortal doom Alas, how feebly! but our feelings rise
Recal not there the wisdom of the Tomb, And still we struggle when a good man dies : Green ivy risen from out the cheerful earth, Such offering BEAUMONT dreaded and forbade, Will fringe the lettered stone ; and herbs spring A spirit meek in self-abasement clad.
forth, Yet here at least, though few have numbered days Whose fragrance, by soft dews and rain unbound, That shunned so modestly the light of praise,
Shall penetrate the heart without a wound; His graceful manners, and the temperate ray
While truth and love their purposes fulfil, Of that arch fancy which would round him play, Commemorating genius, talent, skill, Brightening a converse never known to swerve That could not lie concealed where Thou wert From courtesy and delicate reserve;
known ; That sense, the bland philosophy of life,
Thy virtues He must judge, and He alone, Which checked discussion ere it warmed to strife ; The God upon whose mercy they are thrown. Those rare accomplishments, and varied powers,
Nov. 1830. Might have their record among sylvan bowers. Oh, fled for ever! vanished like a blast That shook the leaves in myriads as it passed ;Gone from this world of earth, air, sea, and sky,
WRITTEN AFTER THE DEATH OF
To a good Man of most dear memory
This Stone is sacred. Here he lies apart To common recognitions while the line
From the great city where he first drew breath, Flowed in a course of sympathy divine ;
Was reared and taught; and humbly earned his Oh ! severed, too abruptly, from delights
bread, That all the seasons shared with equal rights ;- To the strict labours of the merchant's desk Rapt in the grace of undismantled age,
By duty chained. Not seldom did those tasks From soul-felt music, and the treasured page Tease, and the thought of time so spent depress, Lit by that evening lamp which loved to shed His spirit, but the recompence was high ; Its mellow lustre round thy honoured head; Firm Independence, Bounty's rightful sire ; While Friends beheld thee give with eye, voice, Affections, warm as sunshine, free as air ; mien,
And when the precious hours of leisure came, More than theatric force to Shakspeare's scene ;- Knowledge and wisdom, gained from converse sweet If thou hast heard me-if thy Spirit know
With books, or while he ranged the crowded streets Aught of these bowers and whence their pleasures With a keen eye, and overflowing heart:
So genius triumphed over seeming wrong, If things in our remembrance held so dear, And poured out truth in works by thoughtful love And thoughts and projects fondly cherished here, Inspired—works potent over smiles and tears. To thy exalted nature only seem
And as round mountain-tops the lightning plays, Time's vanities, light fragments of earth's dream- Thus innocently sported, breaking forth Rebuke us not !- The mandate is obeyed
As from a cloud of some grave sympathy, That said, “ Let praise be mute where I am laid ;” Humour and wild instinctive wit, and all
The vivid flashes of his spoken words.
And let him grieve who cannot choose but grieve From the most gentle creature nursed in fields That he hath been an Elm without his Vine, Had been derived the name he bore—a name, And her bright dower of clustering charities, Wherever christian altars have been raised, That, round his trunk and branches, might have clung Hallowed to meekness and to innocence;
Enriching and adorning. Unto thee, And if in him meekness at times gave way, Not so enriched, not so adorned, to thee Provoked out of herself by troubles strange, Was given (say rather thou of later birth Many and strange, that hung about his life ; Wert given to her) a Sister—'tis a word Still, at the centre of his being, lodged
Timidly uttered, for she lives, the meek, A soul by resignation sanctified:
The self-restraining, and the ever-kind; And if too often, self-reproached, he felt
In whom thy reason and intelligent heart That innocence belongs not to our kind,
Found—for all interests, hopes, and tender cares, A power that never ceased to abide in him, All softening, humanising, hallowing powers, Charity, ʼmid the multitude of sins
Whether withheld, or for her sake unsoughtThat she can cover, left not his exposed
More than sufficient recompence! To an unforgiving judgment from just Heaven.
Her love 0, he was good, if e'er a good Man lived !
(What weakness prompts the voice to tell it here?)
Was as the love of mothers; and when years, From a reflecting mind and sorrowing heart Lifting the boy to man's estate, had called Those simple lines flowed with an earnest wish, The long-protected to assume the part Though but a doubting hope, that they might serve Of a protector, the first filial tie Fitly to guard the precious dust of him
Was undissolved; and, in or out of sight, Whose virtues called them forth. That aim is Remained imperishably interwoven missed;
With life itself. Thus, 'mid a shifting world, For much that truth most urgently required Did they together testify of time Had from a faltering pen been asked in vain : And season's difference-a double tree Yet, haply, on the printed page received,
With two collateral stems sprung from one root; The imperfect record, there, may stand unblamed Such were theysuch thro’life they might have been As long as verse of mine shall breathe the air In union, in partition only such ; Of memory, or see the light of love.
Otherwise wrought the will of the Most High ;
Yet, thro' all visitations and all trials, Thou wert a scorner of the fields, my Friend, Still they were faithful; like two vessels launched But more in show than truth; and from the fields, From the same beach one ocean to explore And from the mountains, to thy rural grave With mutual help, and sailing-to their league Transported, my soothed spirit hovers o'er True, as inexorable winds, or bars Its green untrodden turf, and blowing flowers ; Floating or fixed of polar ice, allow. And taking up a voice shall speak (tho' still Awed by the theme's peculiar sanctity
But turn we rather, let my spirit turn Which words less free presumed not even to touch) With thine, O silent and invisible Friend! Of that fraternal love, whose heaven-lit lamp
To those dear intervals, nor rare nor brief, From infancy, through manhood, to the last When reunited, and by choice withdrawn Of threescore years, and to thy latest hour,
From miscellaneous converse, ye were taught Burnt on with ever-strengthening light, enshrined | That the remembrance of foregone distress, Within thy bosom.
And the worse fear of future ill (which oft
Acknowledges God's grace, his mercy feels,
O gift divine of quiet sequestration !
Nor has the rolling year twice measured, From sign to sign, its stedfast course, Since every mortal power of Coleridge Was frozen at its marvellous source;
The 'rapt One, of the godlike forehead,
Shall Southey feed upon your precious lore,
Like clouds that rake the mountain-summits,
Yet I, whose lids from infant slumber
* See Note.