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His virtues (though I know that they are great),
Because he locks, then barricades, the gate
Within which they inhabit. Of his wit
And wisdom, you'll cry out when you are bit.
He is a pearl within an oyster-shell,
One of the richest of the deep. And there
Is English Peacock, with his mountain fair,—
Turned into a Flamingo, that shy bird
That gleams i' the Indian air. Have you not heard,
When a man marries, dies, or turns Hindoo,
His best friends hear no more of him? But you
Will see him, and will like him too, I hope,
With the milk-white Snowdonian antelope
Matched with this camelopard. His fine wit
Makes such a wound the knife is lost in it;
A strain too learned for a shallow age,
Too wise for selfish bigots;-let his page,
Which charms the chosen spirits of the time
Fold itself up for a serener clime
Of years to come, and find its recompense
In that just expectation. Wit and sense,
Virtue and human knowledge, all that might
Make this dull world a business of delight,
Are all combined in Horace Smith.-And these
(With some exceptions, which I need not teaze
Your patience by descanting on) are all
You and I know in London.
My thoughts, and bid you look upon the night.
As water does a sponge, so the moonlight
Fills the void, hollow, universal air.
What see you?-Unpavilioned heaven is fair;
Whether the Moon, into her chamber gone,
Leaves midnight to the golden stars, or wan
Climbs with diminished beams the azure steep;
Or whether clouds sail o'er the inverse deep,
Piloted by the many-wandering blast,
And the rare stars rush through them, dim and fast.
All this is beautiful in every land.
But what see you beside? A shabby stand
Of hackney-coaches-a brick house or wall
Fencing some lonely court, white with the scrawl
Of our unhappy politics;-
A wretched woman reeling by, whose curse,
Mixed with the watchman's, partner of her trade,
You must accept in place of serenade,
Or yellow-haired Pollonia murmuring
To Henry some unutterable thing.
I see a chaos of green leaves and fruit
Built round dark caverns, even to the root
Of the living stems who feed them, in whose bowers
There sleep in their dark dew the folded flowers.
Beyond, the surface of the unsickled corn
Trembles not in the slumbering air; and, borne
In circles quaint and ever-changing dance,
Like winged stars the fireflies flash and glance,
Pale in the open moonshine, but each one
Under the dark trees seems a little sun,
A meteor tamed, a fixed star gone astray
From the silver regions of the milky way.
Afar the contadino's song is heard,
Rude but made sweet by distance, and a bird
Which cannot be a nightingale, and yet
I know none else that sings so sweet as it
At this late hour:-and then all is still.
Now, Italy or London, which you will!
Next winter you must pass with me.
My house by that time turned into a grave
Of dead despondence and low-thoughted care,
And all the dreams which our tormentors are.
Oh, that Hunt,
With everything belonging to them fair!
We will have books, Spanish, Italian, Greek;
And ask one week to make another week
As like his father as I'm unlike mine.
Though we eat little flesh and drink no wine,
Yet let's be merry. We'll have tea and toast;
Custards for supper; and an endless host
Ot syllabubs and jellies and mince-pies,
And other such lady-like luxuries,—
Feasting on which we will philosophize.
And we'll have fires out of the Grand-Duke's wood,
To thaw the six weeks' winter in our blood.
And then we'll talk ;-what shall we talk about?
Oh! there are themes enough for many a bout
Of thought-entangled descant! As to nerves-
With cones and parallelograms and curves
I've sworn to strangle them if once they dare
To bother me, when you are with me there;
And they shall never more sip laudanum
-From Helicon or Himeros. Well, come,
And in despite of and of the devil
We'll make our friendly philosophic revel
Outlast the leafless time; till buds and flowers
Warn the obscure inevitable hours
Sweet meeting by sad parting to renew :-
"To-morrow to fresh woods and pastures new."
I STOOD within the city disinterred;
And heard the autumnal leaves like light footfalls
Of spirits passing through the streets; and heard
The Mountain's slumberous voice at intervals
Thrill through those roofless halls.
The oracular thunder penetrating shook
The listening soul in my suspended blood;
I felt that Earth out of her deep heart spoke
I felt, but heard not. Through white columns glowed The isle-sustaining ocean-flood,
A plane of light between two heavens of azure.
Around me gleamed many a bright sepulchre, Of whose pure beauty Time, as if his pleasure Were to spare Death, had never made erasure; But every living lineament was clear
As in the sculptor's thought, and there
The wreaths of stony myrtle, ivy, and pine,
Like winter leaves o'ergrown by moulded snow,
Seemed only not to move and grow
Because the crystal silence of the air
Weighed on their life, even as the Power divine
Which then lulled all things brooded upon mine.
EPODE II. B.
Then gentle winds arose,
With many a mingled close
Of wild Eolian sound and mountain odour keen.
And where the Baian ocean
Welters, with air-like motion,
Within, above, around its bowers of starry green,
Moving the sea-flowers in those purple caves,
Even as the ever stormless atmosphere
Floats o'er the elysian realm,
It bore me, (like an angel, o'er the waves
Of sunlight, whose swift pinnace of dewy air
No storm can overwhelm).
I sailed where ever flows
Under the calm serene
A spirit of deep emotion
From the unknown graves
Of the dead kings of melody.
Shadowy Aornos darkened o'er the helm
The horizontal ether; heaven stripped bare
Its depths over Elysium, where the prow
Made the invisible water white as snow;
From that Typhæan mount, Inarime,
There streamed a sunlit vapour, like the standard
Of some etherial host;
Whilst from all the coast,
Louder and louder, gathering round, there wandered Over the oracular woods and divine sea
Prophesyings which grew articulate
They seize me--I must speak them ;-be they fate!
NAPLES! thou heart of men which ever pantest
Naked beneath the lidless eye of heaven!
Elysian City, which to calm enchantest
The mutinous air and sea,-they round thee, even
As Sleep round Love, are driven !
Metropolis of a ruined paradise
Long lost, late won, and yet but half regained !
Bright altar of the bloodless sacrifice
Which armed Victory offers up unstained
To Love the flower-enchained!
Thou which wert once, and then didst cease to be,
Now art, and henceforth ever shalt be, free,
If Hope and Truth and Justice can avail,—
Hail, hail, all hail!
STROPHE II. ß.
Thou youngest giant birth
Which from the groaning earth
Leap'st, clothed in armour of impenetrable scale!
Last of the intercessors
Who 'gainst the crowned transgressors
Pleadest before God's love! arrayed in wisdom's mail,
Wave thy lightning lance in mirth;
Nor let thy high heart fail,
Though from their hundred gates the leagued oppressors With hurried legions move! Hail, hail, all hail !
What though Cimmerian Anarchs dare blaspheme
Freedom and thee? Thy shield is as a mirror
To make their blind slaves see, and with fierce gleam
To turn his hungry sword upon the wearer;
Shall theirs have been-devoured by their own hounds!
Be thou like the imperial basilisk,
Killing thy foe with unapparent wounds!
Gaze on Oppression, till, at that dread risk
Aghast, she pass from the earth's disk;
Fear not, but gaze-for freemen mightier grow,
And slaves more feeble, gazing on their foe.
If Hope and Truth and Justice may avail,
Thou shalt be great.-All hail !
ANTISTROPHE II. B.
From Freedom's form divine,
From Nature's inmost shrine,
Strip every impious gawd, rend error veil by veil :
O'er Ruin desolate,
O'er Falsehood's fallen state,
Sit thou sublime, unawed; be the Destroyer pale!
And equal laws be thine,
And winged words let sail,
Freighted with truth even from the throne of God!
That wealth, surviving fate, be thine.-All hail !