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CARDINAL WOLSEY TO CROMWELL.*
Thus far hear me, Cromwell;
And—when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me more must be heard of-say, I taught thee,
Say, Wolsey,—that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour-
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in;
A sure and safe one, though thy master missed it.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruined me.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition :
By that sin fell the angels; how can man, then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by't ?
Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee;
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not;
Let all the ends thou aim'st at, be thy country's,
Thy God's, and truth's. Then if thou fall’st, O Cromwell
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr !-Serve the King;
And,-Prythee, lead me in:
There take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny; 't is the King's: my robe,
And my integrity to Heaven, is all
I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell!
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my King, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.
* The Cromwell referred to here is of course not Oliver Cromwell, but Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, who was beheaded on Tower Hill in 1540. Cardinal Wolsey died ten years before, namely, in 1530. Thomas Cromwell introduced into England the musk rose, and established Parish Registers.
KING HENRY THE FOURTH'S SOLILOQUY ON SLEEP.
How many thousands of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep!-Sleep, gentle Sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness ?
Why rather, Sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber;
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lulled with sounds of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god! why liest thou with the vile,
In loathsome beds, and leav'st the kingly couch,
A watch-case, or a common 'larum-bell ?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast,
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge ;
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deafening clamours in the slippery clouds,
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes ?-
Canst thou, O partial Sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude;
And, in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
NEGLECTED now the early daisy lies;
Nor thou, pale primrose, bloom'st the only prize;
Advancing Spring profusely spreads abroad
Flowers of all hues, with sweetest fragrance stored;
Where'er she treads, love gladdens every plain,
Delight on tiptoe bears her lucid train;
Sweet hope with conscious brow before her flies,
Anticipating wealth from Summer skies;
All nature feels her renovating sway ;
The sheep-fed pasture, and the meadow gay;
And trees, and shrubs, no longer budding seen,
Display the new-grown branch of lighter green;
On airy downs the shepherd idling lies,
And sees to-morrow in the marbled skies.
Here, then, my soul, thy darling theme pursue,
For every day was Giles a shepherd too.
Small was his charge: no wilds had they to roam : But bright inclosures circling round their home. No yellow-blossomed furze, nor stubborn thorn, The heath’s rough produce, had their fleeces torn: Yet ever roving, ever seeking thee, Enchanting spirit, dear variety; O happy tenants, prisoners of a day! Released to ease, to pleasure, and to play; Indulged through every field by turns to range, And taste them all in one continual change. For though luxuriant their grassy food, Sheep long confined but loathe the present good; Bleating around the homeward gate they meet, And starve, and pine, with plenty at their feet. Loosed from the winding lane, a joyful throng, See, o'er yon pasture, how they pour along ! Giles round their boundaries takes his usual stroll; Sees every pass secured, and fences whole; High fences, proud to charm the gazing eye, Where many a nestling first essays to fly; Where blows the woodbine, faintly streaked with red; And rests on every bough its tender head; Round the young ash its twining branches meet, Or crown the hawthorn with its odours sweet.
How still the morning of the hallowed day!
Mute is the voice of rural labour, hushed
The ploughboy's whistle and the milkmaid's song.
The scythe lies glittering in the dewy wreath
Of tedded grass, mingled with fading flowers,
That yestermorn bloomed waving in the breeze.
Sounds the most faint attract the ear—the hum
Of early bee, the trickling of the dew,
The distant bleating midway up the hill.
Calmness seems throned on yon unmoving cloud.
To him who wanders o'er the upland leas,
The blackbird's note comes mellower from the dale;
And sweeter from the sky the gladsome lark
Warbles his heaven-tuned song; the lulling brook
Murmurs more gently down the deep-sunk glen;
While from yon lowly roof, whose curling smoke
O’ermounts the mist, is heard at intervals
The voice of psalms, the simple song of praise.
With dove-like wings Peace o'er yon village broods;
The dizzying mill-wheel rests; the anvil's din
Hath ceased; all, all around is quietness.
Less fearful on this day, the limping hare
Stops, and looks back, and stops, and looks on man,
Her deadliest foe. The toil-worn horse, set free,
Unheedful of the pasture, roams at large;
And, as his stiff unwieldly bulk he rolls,
His iron-armed hoofs gleam in the morning ray.
But chiefly man the day of rest enjoys. Hail, Sabbath! thee I hail, the poor man's day. On other days, the man of toil is doomed To eat his joyless bread, lonely, the ground Both seat and board, screened from the winter's cold And summer's heat by neighbouring hedge or tree; But on this day, embosomed in his home, He shares the frugal meal with those he loves ; With those he loves he shares the heartfelt joy Of giving thanks to God—not thanks of form, A word and a grimace, but reverently, With covered face and upward earnest eye.
Hail, Sabbath! thee I hail, the poor man's day:
The pale mechanic now has leave to breathe
The morning air pure from the city's smoke;
While wandering slowly up the river-side,
He meditates on Him whose power he marks,
In each green tree that proudly spreads the bough.
As in the tiny dew-bent flowers that bloom
Around the roots; and while he thus surveys
With elevated joy each rural charm,
He hopes—yet fears presumption in the hope-
To reach those realms where Sabbath never ends.
How sweet it was to breathe that cooler air,
And take possession of my father's chair !
Beneath my elbow, on the solid frame,
Appeared the rough initials of my name,
Cut forty years before! The same old clock
Struck the same bell, and gave my heart a shock
I never can forget. A short breeze sprung,
And while a sigh was trembling on my tongue,
Caught the old dangling almanacs behind,
And up they few like banners in the wind;
Then gently, singly, down, down, down they went,
And told of twenty years that I had spent
Far from my native land. That instant came
A robin on the threshold ; though so tame,
At first he looked distrustful, almost shy,
And cast on me his coal-black steadfast eye,
And seemed to say-past friendship to renew
“Ah ha! old worn-out soldier, is it you ?”
While thus I mused, still gazing, gazing still,
On beds of moss that spread the window-sill,
I deemed no moss my eyes had ever seen
Had been so lovely, brilliant, fresh, and green,
And guessed some infant hand had placed it there,
And prized its hue, so exquisite, so rare,