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By man's erroneous standard. He discerns Sure grief hath set his sacred impress here,
To claim the world's respect! they note so feelingly Betwixt the sinner and the saint, to doom
By outward types the serious man within.-
In all the decencies of virtuous sorrow,
Which other mourners use ? as namely, Their little crowns of virtue cast, and yield
This black attire, abstraction from society, To him of his own works the praise, his due. Good thoughts, and frequent sighs, and seldom
A cleaying sadness native to the brow,
(That steal away the sense of loss almost)
Which enemies themselves do for us then, Margaret. In the name of the boy God, who plays Putting their hostile disposition off, at bood-man-blind with the Muses, and cares not As we put off our high thoughts and proud looks. whom he catches: what is it you love?
(Pauses, and observes the pictures.) Simon. Simply, all things that live,
These pictures must be taken down: From the crook'd worm to man's imperial form, The portraitures of our most antient family And God-resembling likeness. The poor tly, For nigh three hundred years! how have I listen'd, That makes short holyday in the sunbeam,
To hear Sir Walter, with an old man's pride, And dies by some child's hand. The feeble bird Holding me in his arms, a prating boy, With little wings, yet greatly venturous
And pointing to the pictures where they hung, In the upper sky. The fish in th' other element, Repeat by course their worthy histories, That knows no touch of eloquence. What else? (As Hugh de Widville, Walter, first of the name, Yon tall and elegant stag,
And Anne the handsome, Stephen, and famous Who paints a dancing shadow of his horns
John: In the water, where he drinks.
Telling me, I must be his famous John.) Margaret. I myself love all these things, yet so But that was in old times. as with a difference:-for example, some animals Now, no more better than others, some men rather than other men; Must I grow proud upon our house's pride. the nightingale before the cuckoo, the swift and I rather, I, by most unheard of crimes, graceful palfrey before the slow and asinine mule. Have backward tainted all their noble blood, Your humour goes to confound all qualities. Rased out the memory of an ancient family, What sports do you use in the forest :
And quite revers'd the honors of our house. Simon. Not many; some few, as thus:
Who now shall sit and tell us anecdotes? To see the sun to bed, and to arise,
The secret history of his own times, Like some hot amourist with glowing eyes,
And fashions of the world when he was young: Bursting the lazy bands of sleep that bound him, How England slept out three and twenty years, With all his fires and travelling glories round him. While Carr and Villiers rul'd the baby king: Sometimes the moon on soft night clouds to rest, The costly fancies of the pedant's reign, Like beauty nestling in a young man's breast, Balls, feastings, huntings, shows in allegory, And all the winking stars, her handmaids, keep And beauties of the court of James the First. Admiring silence, while those lovers sleep.
Margaret enters. Sometimes outstretcht, in very idleness,
John. Comes Margaret here to witness my disNought doing, saying little, thinking less,
grace? To view the leaves, thin dancers upon air,
O, lady, I have suffer'd loss, Go eddying round; and small birds, how they fare, And diminution of my honor's brightness. When mother Autumn fills their beaks with corn, You bring some images of old times, Margaret, Filch'd from the careless Amalthea's horn;
That should be now forgotten. And how the woods berries, and worms provide Margaret. Old times should never be forgotten, Without their pains, when earth has nought beside
John. To answer their small wants.
I came to talk about them with my friend. To view the graceful deer come tripping by,
John. I did refuse you, Margaret, in my pride. Then stop, and gaze, then turn, they know not why, Margaret. If John rejected Margaret in his pride, Like bashful younkers in society.
(As who does not, being splenetic, refuse To mark the structure of a plant or tree,
Sometimes old play-fellows,) the spleen being gone, And all fair things of earth, how fair they be. The offence no longer lives.
O Woodvil, those were happy days,
When we two first began to love. When first, John. How beautiful, (handling his mourning.) Under pretence of visiting my father, And comely do these mourning garments shew! (Being then a stripling nigh upon my age)
THE MOURNER VISITED.
You came a wooing to his daughter, John.
Thou perfect pattern of thy slander'd sex, Do you remember,
Whom miseries of mine could never alienate, With what a coy reserve and seldom speech, Nor change of fortune shake; whom injuries, (Young maidens must be chary of their speech) And slights (the worst of injuries) which moved I kept the honors of my maiden pride?
Thy nature to return scorn with like scorn, I was your favourite then.
Then when you left in virtuous pride this house, John. O Margaret, Margaret!
Could not so separate, but now in this These your submissions to my low estate,
My day of shame, when all the world forsake, And cleaving to the fates of sunken Woodvil, You only visit me, love, and forgive me. Write bitter things 'gainst my unworthiness.
My Friend was young, the world was new;
On Helicon's inspiring brink,
Ah! then no more his smiling hours
As happy ignorance declined,
Then Nature's charms his heart possess'd,
O Piliow! then, when light withdrew,
And realized his waking dreams.
His name has perished from the earth,
This truth survives alone: -
That joy and grief, and hope and fear
Alternate triumph'd in his breast; No friendly echo cheer'd his tongue,
His bliss and woe,-a smile, a tear! Amidst the wilderness he sung;
-Oblivion hides the rest. Louder and bolder bards were crown'd,
The bounding pulse, the languid limb, Whose dissonance his music drown'd:
The changing spirits' rise and fall; The public ear, the public voice,
We know that these were felt by him,
For these are felt by all.
He suffer'd,—but his pangs are o'er;
Enjoy'd,—but his delights are fled; And disinherited of fame,
Had friends,-his friends are now no more;
And foes,-his foes are dead.
but whom he loved, the grave That laid his high ambition low;
Hath lost in its unconscious womb: But ah! his looks assumed in vain
O she was fair!—but nought could save A cold ineffable disdain,
Her beauty from the tomb. While deep he cherished in his breast
He saw whatever thou hast seen; The scorpion that consumed his rest.
Encounter'd all that troubles thee; Yet other secret griefs had he,
He was—whatever thou hast been;
He is—what thou shalt be.
The rolling seasons, day and night,
Sun, moon, and stars, the earth and main, In dreams the cruel fair was kind,
Erewhile his portion, life and light,
To him exist in vain.
The clouds and sunbeams, o'er his eye
That once their shades and glory threw, They stung remembrance to despair;
Have left in yonder silent sky “ A wounded spirit who can bear!"
No vestige where they flew. Meanwhile disease, with slow decay,
The annals of the human race, Moulder'd his feeble frame away!
Their ruins since the world began, And as his evening sun declined,
Of him afford no other trace
Than this,—THERE LIVED A MAN!
DEATH OF ADAM AND EVE. On madness, suicide, and hell!
-666 Leave me not, Adam! leave me not below; There was on earth no power to save:
With thee I tarry, or with thee I go,'-But, as he shudder'd o'er the grave,
She said, and yielding to his faint embrace, He saw from realms of light descend The friend of him who has no friend,
Clung round his neck, and wept upon his face.
Alarming recollection soon return'd, Religion !-her almighty breath
His fever'd frame with growing anguish burn’d: Rebuked the winds and waves of death; She bade the storm of frenzy cease,
Ah! then, as Nature's tenderest impulse wrought, And smiled a calm, and whisper'd peace:
With fond solicitude of love she sought
To soothe his limbs upon their grassy bed,
And make the pillow easy to his head;
She shook the leaves to stir the sleeping air;
Moisten'd his lips with kisses: with her breath Once in the flight of ages past
Vainly essay'd to quell the fire of death, There lived a man :--and who was ve?
That ran and revelled through his swollen veins -Mortal! howe'er thy lot be cast,
With quicker pulses, and severer pains. That man resembled thee.
“ The sun, in summer majesty on high, Unknown the region of his birth,
Darted his fierce effulgence down the sky; The land in which he died unknown:
Yet dimm'd and blunted were the dazzling rays, His orb expanded through a dreary haze,
“ Amidst this war of elements, within And, circled with a red portentous zone,
More dreadful grew the sacrifice of sin, He look'd in sickly horror from his throne;
Whose victim on his bed of torture lay,
Breathing the slow remains of life away.
Bright through the smouldering ashes of the man, We chose to watch his dying bed alone,
The saint brake forth, and Adam thus began:
_“Oye that shudder at this awful strife, - Blow on me, wind! I faint with heat! O bring
This wrestling agony of death and life, Delicious water from the deepest spring;
Think not that He, on whom my soul is cast,
Will leave me thus forsaken to the last;
Nature's infirmity alone you see ;
My chains are breaking, I shall soon be free;
Though firm in God the spirit holds her trust, Those sorrowing faces fill my soul with gloom;
The flesh is frail, and trembles into dust. This silence is the silence of the tomb.
Horror and anguish seize me;—'tis the hour Thither I hasten; help me on my way;
Of darkness, and I mourn beneath its power; O sing to sooth me, and to strengthen pray!'
The Tempter plies me with his direst art, We sang to sooth him,-hopeless was the
I feel the Serpent coiling round my heart;
song; We pray'd to strengthen him,-he grew not strong.
He stirs the wound he once inflicted there, In vain from every herb, and fruit, and flower,
Instils the deadening poison of despair, Of cordial sweetness, or of healing power,
Belies the truth of God's delaying grace, We press'd the virtue; no terrestrial balm
And bids me curse my Maker to his face.
-I will not curse Him, though his grace delay; Nature's dissolving agony could calm. Thus as the day declined, the fell disease
I will not cease to trust Him, though he slay; Eclipsed the light of life by slow degrees:
Full on his promised mercy I rely, Yet while his pangs grew sharper, more resign'd,
For God hath spoken,-God, who cannot lie. More self-collected, grew the sụfferer's mind;
-Thou, of my faith the Author and the End ! Patient of heart, though rack'd at every pore,
Mine early, late, and everlasting friend!
The joy, that once thy presence gave, restore
Ere I am summon'd hence, and seen no more:
Down to the dust returns this earthly frame, - Tis just, 'tis merciful,' we heard him say;
Receive my spirit, Lord! from whom it came; • Yet wherefore hath he turn’d his face away!
Rebuke the Tempter, shew thy power to save, I see him not; I hear him not; I call;
O let thy glory light me to the grave, My God! my Godl support me, or I fall.'
That these, who witness my departing breath,
May learn to triumph in the grasp of death.' “ The sun went down, amidst an angry glare “ He closed his eyelids with a tranquil smile, Of flushing clouds, that crimson'd all the air;
And seem'd to rest in silent prayer awhile: The winds brake loose; the forest boughs were torn, Around his couch with filial awe we kneeld, And dark aloof the eddying foliage borne;
When suddenly a light from heaven reveal'd Cattle to shelter scudded in affright;
A spirit, that stood within the unopen'd door;The florid evening vanish'd into night:
The sword of God in his right hand he bore; Then burst the hurricane upon the vale,
His countenance was lightning, and his vest In peals of thunder, and thick-vollied hail ;
Like snow at sun-rise on the mountain's crest; Prone rushing rains with torrents whelm'd the land,
Yet so benignly beautiful his form, Our cot amidst a river seem'd to stand;
presence still'd the fury of the storm; Around its base, the foamy-crested streams
At once the winds retire, the waters cease; Flash'd through the darkness to the lightning's
His look was love, his salutation, · Peace!' gleams;
[ground, With monstrous throes an earthquake heaved the « Our mother first beheld bim, sore amazed, The rocks were rent, the mountains trembled round; But terror grew to transport, while she gazed: Never since nature into being came,
-'Tis he, the Prince of Seraphim, who drove Had such mysterious motion shook her frame; Our banish'd feet from Eden's happy grove ; We thought, ingulpht in floods, or wrapt in fire, Adam, my life, my spouse, awake!' she cried; The world itself would perisha with our sire. • Return to Paradise ; behold thy guide!