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BEAUTIES

OF

MODERN BRITISH POETRY.

TRUE DIGNITY.

(RUE Dignity is his, whose tranquil mind
Virtue has raised above the things below;

Who, every hope and fear to Heaven resigned,

Shrinks not, though Fortune aim her deadliest blow.

BEATTIE.

TRUE COURAGE; OR, THE HAPPY WARRIOR.

HO is the happy warrior? Who is he

Whom every man in arms should wish to be?
-It is the generous spirit, who, when brought

Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought
Upon the plan that pleased his childish thought:
Whose high endeavours are an inward light
That makes the path before him always bright:
Who, with a natural instinct to discern
What knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn;
Abides by this resolve, and stops not there,
But makes his moral being his prime care;
Who, doomed to go in company with pain,

And fear, and bloodshed,-miserable train!
Turns his necessity to glorious gain;

In face of these doth exercise a power
Which is our human nature's highest dower;
Controls them and subdues, transmutes, bereaves
Of their bad influence, and their good receives;
By objects which might force the soul to abate
Her feeling, rendered more compassionate;
Is placable-because occasions rise

So often that demand such sacrifice;

More skilled in self-knowledge, even more pure,
As tempted more; more able to endure,
As more exposed to suffering and distress;
Thence, also, more alive to tenderness;
'Tis he whose law is reason; who depends
Upon that law as on the best of friends;
Whence, in a state where men are tempted still
To evil for a guard against worse ill,
And what in quality or act is best
Doth seldom on a right foundation rest,
He fixes good on good alone, and owes
To virtue every triumph that he knows;
-Who if he rise to station of command,
Rises by open means; and there will stand
On honourable terms, or else retire,
And in himself possess his own desire;
Who comprehends his trust, and to the same
Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim;
And therefore does not stoop, nor lie in wait
For wealth, or honours, or for worldly state;
Whom they must follow; on whose head must fall,
Like showers of manna if they come at all:
Whose powers shed round him in the common strife,
Or mild concerns of ordinary life,

A constant influence, a peculiar grace;

But who, if he be called upon to face

Some awful moment to which Heaven has joined
Great issues, good or bad for human kind,

Is happy as a lover; and attired

With sudden brightness, like a man inspired
And through the heat of conflict, keeps the law
In calmness made, and sees what he foresaw;
Or if an unexpected call succeed

Come when it will, is equal to the need.

WORDSWORTH.

THE GOOD ALONE ARE GREAT.

HEN winds the mountain oak assail,

And lay its glories waste,

Content may slumber in the vale,

Unconscious of the blast.

Through scenes of tumult while we roam,
The heart, alas! is ne'er at home;
It hopes in time to roam no more:
The mariner, not vainly brave,
Combats the storm and rides the wave,
To rest at last on shore.

Ye proud, ye selfish, ye severe,

How vain your mask of state!
The good alone have joy sincere,—
The good alone are great:

Great, when, amid the vale of peace,
They bid the plaint of sorrow cease,
And hear the voice of artless praise;
As when along the trophied plain
Sublime they lead the victor train,
While shouting nations gaze.

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H, I would walk

BEATTIE.

A weary journey, to the furthest verge Of the big world, to kiss that good man's hand,

Who, in the blaze of wisdom and of art,
Preserves a lowly mind; and to his God,
Feeling the sense of his own littleness,
Is as a child in meek simplicity!

What is the pomp of learning? the parade
Of letters and of tongues?—even as the mists
Of the gray morn before the rising sun,
That pass away and perish.—Earthly things
Are but the transient pageants of an hour;
And earthly pride is like the passing flower,
That springs to fall, and blossoms but to die.

WHITE.

INTERPOSITION.

HEN urged by strong temptation to the brink
Of guilt and ruin, stands the virtuous mind,
With scarce a step between; all-pitying
Heaven,

Severe in mercy, chastening in its love,
Ofttimes, in dark and awful visitation,
Doth interpose, and lead the wanderer back
To the straight path, to be for ever after
A firm, undaunted, onward-bearing traveller,
Strong in humility, who swerves no more.

JOANNA BAILLIE.

VIRTUE.

(HE heart, unaltered in its mood,
That joys alone in doing good,
And follows in the heavenly road,
And steps where once an angel trod,-
The joys within such heart that burn,
No loss can quench, nor time o'erturn!

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