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WELL, when her day is over, be it said,
That tho' a speck on the terrestrial globe,
Found with long search and in a moment lost,
She towered among the nations. Every sea
Was covered with her ships, in every port
Her language spoken; and the mightiest kings,
Each in his hour of strife exhausted, fallen,
Drew strength from her, their coffers from her own
Filled to o'erflowing. When her fleets of war
Had swept the ocean, not an adverse prow
From pole to pole, far as the sea-bird flies,
Ruffling the tide; and they themselves were gone,
Gone from the eyes and from the minds of men,
Their dreadful errands so entirely done,
Up rose her armies; on the land they stood,
Fearless, erect; and in an instant felled
Him with his legions. *
* An allusion to the battle of Waterloo. The illustrious Man who commanded there on our side, and who, in his anxiety to do justice to others, never fails to forget himself, said many years afterwards to the Author with some agitation, when relating an occurrence of that day, "It was a battle of giants!"
MAN to the last is but a froward child;
So eager for the future, come what may,
And to the present so insensible!
Oh, if he could in all things as he would,
Years would as days and hours as moments be;
He would, so restless is his spirit here,
Give wings to Time, and wish his life away!
The heart, they say, is wiser than the schools;
And well they may. All that is great in thought,
That strikes at once as with electric fire,
And lifts us, as it were, from earth to heaven,
Comes from the heart; and who confesses not
Its voice as sacred, nay almost divine,
When inly it declares on what we do,
Blaming, approving? Let an erring world
Judge as it will, we care not while we stand
Acquitted there; and oft, when clouds on clouds
Compass us round and not a track appears,
Oft is an upright heart the surest guide,
Surer and better than the subtlest head;
Still with its silent counsels thro' the dark
Onward and onward leading.
GRENVILLE, to thee my gratitude is due
For many an hour of studious musing here,
For many a day-dream, such as hovered round
Hafiz or Sadi; thro' the golden East,
Search where we would, no fairer bowers than these,
Thine own creation; where, called forth by thee,
"Flowers worthy of Paradise, with rich inlay,
Broider the ground," and every mountain-pine
Elsewhere unseen (his birth-place in the clouds,
His kindred sweeping with majestic march
From cliff to cliff along the snowy ridge
Of Caucasus, or nearer yet the Moon)
Breathes heavenly music.-Yet much more I owe
For what so few, alas, can hope to share,
Thy converse; when, among thy books reclined,
Or in thy garden-chair that wheels its course
Slowly and silently thro' sun and shade,
Thou speak'st, as ever thou art wont to do,
In the calm temper of philosophy;
-Still to delight, instruct, whate'er the theme.
WHOE'ER thou art, approach, and, with a sigh,
Mark where the small remains of Greatness lie. †
There sleeps the dust of FOX for ever gone;
How near the Place where late his glory shone!
And, tho' no more ascends the voice of Prayer,
Tho' the last footsteps cease to linger there,
Still, like an awful Dream that comes again,
Alas, at best, as transient and as vain,
Still do I see (while thro' the vaults of night
The funeral-song once more proclaims the rite)
The moving Pomp along the shadowy Isle,
That, like a Darkness, filled the solemn Pile;
The illustrious line, that in long order led,
Of those, that loved Him living, mourned Him dead;
Of those the Few, that for their Country stood
Round Him who dared be singularly good;
* After the Funeral of the Right Hon. CHARLES JAMES FOX. + Venez voir le peu qui nous reste de tant de grandeur, &c.-Bossuet. Oraison funébre de Louis de Bourbon.
All, of all ranks, that claimed him for their own;
And nothing wanting-but Himself alone!*
Oh say, of Him now rests there but a name;
Wont, as He was, to breathe ethereal flame?
Friend of the Absent, Guardian of the Dead!
Who but would here their sacred sorrows shed?
(Such as He shed on NELSON's closing grave;
How soon to claim the sympathy He gave!)
In Him, resentful of another's wrong,
The dumb were eloquent, the feeble strong.
Truth from his lips a charm celestial drew—
Ah, who so mighty and so gentle too?
What tho' with War the madding Nations rung,
'Peace,' when He spoke, was ever on his tongue!
Amidst the frowns of Power, the tricks of State,
Fearless, resolved, and negligently great!
In vain malignant vapours gathered round;
He walked, erect, on consecrated ground.
The clouds, that rise to quench the Orb of day,
Reflect its splendour, and dissolve away!
When in retreat He laid his thunder by,
For lettered ease and calm Philosophy,
Blest were his hours within the silent grove,
Where still his god-like Spirit deigns to rove;
Blest by the orphan's smile, the widow's prayer,
For many a deed, long done in secret there.
There shone his lamp on Homer's hallowed page.
There, listening, sate the hero and the sage;
* Et rien enfin ne manque dans tous ces honneurs, que celui à qui on les rend.—Ibid.