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Note 6. Stanza lxxxvi.
For that with me 's a " sine qua."
Subauditur Non, omitted for the sake of euphony.
Note 7. Stanza xcvi.
In short upon that subject I've some qualms very
Like those of the philosopher of Malmsbury.
Hobbes; who, doubting of his own soul, paid that compliment to the souls of other people as to decline their visits, of which he had some apprehension.
THE antique Persians taught three useful things,-
The cause of this effect, or this defect,—
But this I must say in my own applause,
Whate'er may be her follies or her flaws
And as she treats all things, and ne'er retreats
A wilderness of the most rare conceits,
Which you might elsewhere hope to find in vain. 'T is true there be some bitters with the sweets, Yet mix'd so slightly that you can't complain, But wonder they so few are, since my "De rebus cunctis et quibusdam aliis."
But of all truths which she has told, the most
True is that which she is about to tell.
I said it was a story of a ghost—
What then? I only know it so befel.
Have you explored the limits of the coast,
Where all the dwellers of the earth must dwell? 'T is time to strike such puny doubters dumb as The sceptics who would not believe Columbus.
Some people would impose now with authority,
Is always greatest at a miracle.
But Saint Augustine has the great priority,
And therefore, mortals, cavil not at all;
'T is always best to take things upon trust. I do not speak profanely to recal
Those holier mysteries, which the wise and just Receive as gospel, and which grow more rooted, As all truths must, the more they are disputed.
I merely mean to say what Johnson said,
That in the course of some six thousand years,
And what is strangest upon this strange head,
'Gainst such belief, there's something stronger still In its behalf, let those deny who will.
The dinner and the soirée too were done,
The supper too discuss'd, the dames admired, The banqueters had dropp'd off one by one— The song was silent, and the dance expired: The last thin petticoats were vanish'd, gone,
Like fleecy clouds into the sky retired, And nothing brighter gleam'd through the saloon Than dying tapers-and the peeping moon.
The evaporation of a joyous day
Is like the last glass of champagne, without
Or like an opiate which brings troubled rest,
A thing, of which similitudes can show
But next to dressing for a rout or ball,
Thoughts quite as yellow, but less clear than amber. Titus exclaim'd, "I've lost a day!" Of all
The nights and days most people can remember (I've had of both, some not to be disdain'd), I wish they'd state how many they have gain'd.
And Juan, on retiring for the night,
Felt restless, and perplexed, and compromised;
He probably would have philosophised;
He sigh'd :—the next resource is the full moon,
To hail her with the apostrophe-"Oh, thou!"
Of amatory egotism the tuism,
Which further to explain would be a truism.
But lover, poet, or astronomer,
Shepherd, or swain, whoever may behold, Feel some abstraction when they gaze on her:
Great thoughts we catch from thence (besides a cold
Sometimes, unless my feelings rather err);
Deep secrets to her rolling light are told;
The ocean's tides and mortals' brains she sways,
Juan felt somewhat pensive, and disposed
Below his window waved (of course) a willow;
Upon his table or his toilet-which
Of these is not exactly ascertain'd—
Then, as the night was clear though cold, he threw
Long, furnish'd with old pictures of great worth,
As doubtless should be people of high birth. But by dim lights the portraits of the dead Have something ghastly, desolate, and dread.
The forms of the grim knights and pictured saints
Of your own footsteps-voices from the urn
Start from the frames which fence their aspects stern,
As if to ask how can you dare to keep
A vigil there, where all but death should sleep.
And the pale smile of beauties in the grave,
But death is imaged in their shadowy beams.