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Yet there will still be bards : though fame is smoke,
Its fumes are frankincense to human thought; And the unquiet feelings, which first woke
Song in the world, will seek what then they sought;(-)
Thus to their extreme verge the passions brought
If in the course of such a life as was
At once adventurous and contemplative, Men who partake all passions as they pass,
Acquire the deep and bitter power to give(3) Their images again as in a glass
And in such colours that they seem to live; You may do right forbidding them to show 'em, But spoil (I think) a very pretty poem.
Oh! ye, who make the fortunes of all books !
Benign Ceruleans of the second sex! Who advertise new poems by your looks,
Your “ imprimatur" will ye not annex ?
(1) [MS. – “ Its fumes are frankincense; and were there nought
Even of this vapour, still the chilling yoke
Of silence would not long be borne by Thought.”] (2) [" The Bride of Abydos” was written in four nights, to distract my dreams from ... Were it not thus, it had never been composed; and had I not done something at that time, I must have gone mad, by eating my own heart- bitter diet!” — B. Diary, 1813.] (3) [MS. -" I have drunk deep of passions as they pass,
And dearly bought the bitter power to give."]
What! must I go to the oblivious cooks ? ( )
Those Cornish plunderers of Parnassian wrecks ? Ah! must I then the only minstrel be, Proscribed from tasting your Castalian tea!(2)
CIX. What! can I prove
a lion" then no more? A ball-room bard, a foolscap, hot-press darling ? To bear the compliments of many a bore,
And sigh, “ I can't get out,” like Yorick's starling; Why then I'll swear, as poet Wordy swore, [ing) (3)
(Because the world won't read him, always snarlThat taste is gone, that fame is but a lottery, Drawn by the blue-coat misses of a coterie.(4)
Oh! “ darkly, deeply, beautifully blue,"
As some one somewhere sings about the sky, And I,
learned ladies, say of you; [why, They say your stockings are so—(Heaven knows
(1) [" To pastry-cooks and moths, and there an end.'” - GIFFORD.] (2) [MS. “ What! must I go with Wordy to the cooks ?
Read - were it but your Grandmother's to vex -
Cut off from tasting your Castalian tea."]
Because the world won't read her,” &c.] (4) [“ Away, then, with the senseless iteration of the word popularity! In every thing which is to send the soul into herself, to be admonished of her weakness, or to be made conscious of her strength; wherever life and nature are described as operated upon by the creative or abstracting virtue of the imagination; wherever the instinctive wisdom of antiquity, and her heroic passions, uniting, in the heart of the Poet, with the meditative wisdom of later ages, have produced that accord of sublimated humanity, which is at once a history of the remote past, and a prophetic announce. ment of the remotest future -- there, the Poet must reconcile himself for a season to few and scattered hearers.” — WORDSWORTH's Second Preface.]
I have examined few pair of that hue);
Blue as the garters which serenely lie Round the Patrician left-legs, which adorn The festal midnight, and the levee morn.
Yet some of you are most seraphic creatures
But times are alter'd since, a rhyming lover, You read my stanzas, and I read your features:
And—but no matter, all those things are over ; Still I have no dislike to learned natures,
For sometimes such a world of virtues cover;
Humboldt, “ the first of travellers,” but not
The last, if late accounts be accurate, Invented, by some name I have forgot,
As well as the sublime discovery's date,
To ascertain the atmospheric state,
(1) [MS. -“ Not having look'd at many of that hue,
Nor garters - save those of the 'honi soit' - which lie Round the Patrician legs which walk about,
The ornaments of levee and of rout.”] (2) [The cyanometer — an instrument invented for ascertaining the in. tensity of the blue colour of the sky. On the summit of high mountains, elevated above the grosser portions of the atmosphere, it might be curious to compare experiments with those made with the same kind of instrument by M. Saussure on the Alps; but it is mere ostentation to talk, as M. de Humboldt does, of such experiments made at sea with a view of being useful to navigation. We prefer, as more simple and more correct, that
With slaves to sell off in the capital,
At anchor under the seraglio wall ; Her cargo, from the plague being safe and sound,
Were landed in the market, (4) one and all, And there with Georgians, Russians, and Circassians, Bought up for different purposes and passions.
natural diaphanometer, which for ages has regulated the prognostics of mariners — “a great paleness of the setting sun, a wan colour, an extraordinary disfiguration of its disc;” though we should be cautious in ad. mitting that these meteorological phenomena are the unequivocal signs of a tempest. The marine barometer is far more important to the mariner than hygrometers or cyanometers. By this instrument a change of weather never fails to be indicated by the least rising or falling of the mer. cury in the tube; the descent, in tropical latitudes, of an eighth of an inch, when at a distance from the land, is the unequivocal indication of an approaching storm. Many a ship has been saved from destruction by the timely notice given by this instrument to prepare for a storm; and no ship should be permitted to go to sea without one. - BARROW.] (3) [MS. — “I'll back a London · Bas' against Peru." Or,
“ I'll bet some pair of stockings beat Peru."
“ And so, old Sotheby, we'll measure you."] (4) [“ The slave-market is a quadrangle, surrounded by a covered gal. lery, and ranges of small and separate apartments.
Here the poor wretches sit in a melancholy posture. Before they cheapen them, they turn them about from this side to that, survey them from top to bottom, put them to exercise whatever they have learned, and this several times a day, without coming to any agreement. Such of them, both men and women, to whom dame Nature has been niggardly of her charms, are set apart for the vilest purposes ; but such girls as have youth and beauty, pass their time well enough. The retailers of this human ware are the Jews, who take good care of their slaves' education, that they may sell the better : their choicest they keep at home, and there you must go, if you would have better than ordinary; for it is here, as in markets for horses, the handsomest do not always appear, but are kept within doors.” TOURNEFORT.]
Some went off dearly; fifteen hundred dollars
For one Circassian, a sweet girl, were given, Warranted virgin ; beauty's brightest colours
Had deck'd her out in all the hues of heaven: Her sale sent home some disappointed bawlers,
Who bade on till the hundreds reach'd eleven ; But when the offer went beyond, they knew 'Twas for the Sultan, and at once withdrew.
Twelve negresses from Nubia brought a price
Which the West Indian market scarce would bring; Though Wilberforce, at last, has made it twice
What 'twas ere Abolition; and the thing Need not seem very wonderful, for vice
Is always much more splendid than a king: The virtues, even the most exalted, Charity, Are saving — vice spares nothing for a rarity.
(1) [The manner of purchasing slaves is thus described in the plain and unaffected narrative of a German merchant, “ which,” says Mr. Thornton, as I have been able to ascertain its general authenticity, may be relied upon as correct.” The girls were introduced to me one after another. A Circassian maiden, eighteen years old, was the first who presented herself: she was well.dressed, and her face was covered with a veil. She advanced towards me, bowed down and kissed my hand: by order of her master she walked backwards and forwards, to show her shape and the easiness of her gait and carriage. When she took off her veil, she displayed a bust of the most attractive beauty: she rubbed her cheeks with a wet napkin, to prove that she had not used art to heighten her complexion; and she opened her inviting lips, to show a regular set of teeth of pearly whiteness. I was permitted to feel her pulse, that I might be convinced of the good state of her health and constitution. She was then ordered to retire while we deliberated upon the bargain. The price of this beautiful girl was four thousand piastres." See Voyage de N. E. Kleeman, and also Thornton's Turkey, vol. ii. p. 289.]