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Oblivion! may thy languid wing
Wave gently o'er my dying bed! No band of friends or heirs be there, To weep, or wish, the coming blow: No maiden, with dishevell'd hair,
To feel, or feign, decorous woe. But silent let me sink to earth,
With no officious mourners near: I would not mar one hour of mirth, Nor startle friendship with a tear. Yet Love, if Love in such an hour Could nobly check its useless sighs, Might then exert its latest power
In her who lives, and him who dies. 'Twere sweet, my Psyche, to the last Thy features still serene to see: Forgetful of its struggle past,
E'en Pain itself should smile on thee. But vain the wish-for Beauty still
Will shrink, as shrinks the ebbing breath; And woman's tears, produced at will, Deceive in life, unman in death.
Then lonely be my latest hour,
Without regret, without a groan;
For thousands Death hath ceased to lower, And pain been transient or unknown.
'Heu, quanto minus est cum reliquis versari quam tui meminisse !
AND thou art dead, as young and fair
There is an eye which could not brook
I will not ask where thou liest low,
Yet did I love thee to the last
As fervently as thou,
Who didst not change through all the past,
The love where Death has set his seal,
Nor falsehood disavow:
And, what were worse, thou canst not see Or wrong, or change, or fault in me.
The better days of life were ours;
The sun that cheers, the storm that lowers,
The silence of that dreamless sleep
I envy now too much to weep;
That all those charins have pass'd away:
As stars that shoot along the sky
Uphold thy drooping head;
Though thou hast left me free,
The all of thine that cannot die
And more thy buried love endears
IF SOMETIMES IN THE HAUNTS OF MEN.
IF sometimes in the haunts of men
Thine image from my breast may fade, The lonely hour presents again
The semblance of thy gentle shade:
I waste one thought I owe to thee,
I would not fools should overhear
It is not drain'd to banish care;
OCCASIONAL PIECES. FROM 1807 TO 1816.
ON REVISITING HARROW.
HERE once engaged the stranger's view,
Young Friendship's record simply traced; Few were her words, but yet, though few, Resentment's hand the line defaced. Deeply she cut-but not erased,
The characters were still so plain. That friendship once return'd, and gazedTill Memory hail'd the words again. Repentance placed them as before;
Forgiveness join'd her gentle name; So fair the inscription seem'd once more, That friendship thought it still the same. Thus might the record now have been ; But, ah! in spite of Hope's endeavour, Or Friendship's tears, Pride rush'd between, And blotted out the line for ever.
FAREWELL! IF EVER FONDEST PRAYER. FAREWELL! if ever fondest prayer
For others' weal avail'd on high,
But waft thy name beyond the sky.
Are in that word-Farewell!-Farewell! These lips are mute, these eyes are dry; But in my breast and in my brain, Awake the pangs that pass not by,
The thought that ne'er shall sleep again. My soul nor deigns nor dares complain, Though grief and passion there rebel; I only know we loved in vain
I only feel-Farewell!-Farewell!
BRIGHT BE THE PLACE OF THY SOUL.
BRIGHT be the place of thy soul!
No lovelier spirit than thine
E'er burst from its mortal control,
Light be the turf of thy tomb!
May its verdure like emeralds be: There should not be the shadow of gloom In aught that reminds us of thee.
Young flowers and an evergreen tree
May spring from the spot of thy rest: But nor cypress nor yew let us see: For why should we mourn for the blest?
WHEN WE TWO PARTED.
WHEN we two parted
In silence and tears,
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Truly that hour foretold
The dew of the morning
Of what I feel now.
In secret we met
In silence I grieve,
After long years,
TO A YOUTHFUL FRIEND. Fw years have pass'd since thou and I Were firmest friends, at least in name, And childhood's gay sincerity
Preserved our feelings long the same. But now, like me, too well thou know'st What trifles oft the heart recall: And those who once have loved the most, Too soon forget they loved at all. And such the change the heart displays, So frail is early friendship's reign, A month's brief lapse, perhaps a day's, Will view thy mind estranged again. If so, it never shall be mine
To mourn the loss of such a heart, The fault was Nature's fault, not thine, Which made thee fickle as thou art. As rolls the ocean's changing tide,
So human feelings ebb and flow; And who would in a breast confide, Where stormy passions ever glov 2 It boots not that, together bred,
Our childish days were days of joy: My spring of life has quickly fled; Thou, too, hast ceased to be a boy. And when we bid adieu to youth,
Slaves to the specious world's control, We sigh a long farewell to truth;
That world corrupts the noblest soul.
Dares all things boldly but to lie;
When Man himself is but a tool;
We learn at length our faults to blend
Can we then scape from folly free?
Nor be what all in turn must be?
I care not when I quit the scene.
Wilt shine awhile, and pass away.
As glow-worms sparkle through the night, But dare not stand the test of day.
Alas! whenever folly calls
Where parasites and princes meet (For cherish'd first in royal halls,
The welcome vices kindly greet), Een now thou'rt nightly seen to add One insect to the fluttering crowd; And still thy trifling heart is glad
To join the vain and court the proud. There dost thou glide from fair to fair, Still simpering on with eager haste, As flies along the gay parterre,
That taint the flowers they scarcely taste.
But say, what nymph will prize the flame Which seems, as marshy vapours move, To flit along from dame to dame,
An ignis-fatuus gleam of love? What friend for thee, howe'er inclined, Will deign to own a kindred care? Who will debase his manly mind, For friendship every fool may share? In time forbear: amidst the throng No more so base a thing be seen; No more so idly pass along :
Be something, anything, but-mean.
LINES INSCRIBED UPON A CUP FORMED
START not-nor deem my spirit fled;
I lived, I loved, I quaff'd like thee:
When thou and thine, like me, are sped, May rescue thee from earth's embrace,
And rhyme and revel with the dead. Why not? since through life's little day
Our heads such sad effects produce; Redeem'd from worms and wasting clay, This chance is theirs, to be of use.
WELL! THOU ART HAPPY.
That I should thus be happy too;
I thought my jealous heart would break;
I kiss'd it, and repress'd my sighs,
My heart would soon again be thine.
I deem'd that time, I deem'd that pride, Had quench'd at length my boyish flame: Nor knew till seated by thy side,
My heart in all, save hope, -the same
INSCRIPTION ON THE MONUMENT OF A NEWFOUNDLAND DOG.
WHEN Some proud son of man returns to earth, Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth, The sculptor's art exhausts the of woe, pomp And storied urns record who rest below; When all is done, upon the tomb is seen, Not what he was, but what he should have been:
But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth,
REMIND ME NOT, REMIND ME NOT.
Of those beloved, those vanish'd hours,
And thou and I shall cease to be.
Can I forget-canst thou forget,
And then those pensive eyes would close,
Veiling the azure orbs below;
Then tell me not, remind me not,
Of hours which, though for ever gone,
And senseless as the mouldering stone,
THERE WAS A TIME, I NEED NOT
THERE was a time, I need not name,
None, none hath sunk so deep as this-
But transient in thy breast alone.
And yet my heart some solace knew,
When late I heard thy lips declare, In accents once imagined true,
Remembrance of the days that were. Yes! my adored, but most unkind! Though thou wilt never love again, To me 'tis doubly sweet to find
Remembrance of that love remain. Yes! 'tis a glorious thought to me, Nor longer shall my soul repine, Whate'er thou art, or e'er shalt be, Thou hast been dearly, solely min