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For living thing, hath faculties
Which he has never used; that thought with him
Is in its infancy. The man whose eye
Is ever on himself doth look on one,
The least of Nature's works, one who might move
The wise man to that scorn which wisdom holds
Unlawful, ever. O be wiser, Thou!
Instructed that true knowledge leads to love,
True dignity abides with him alone
Who, in the silent hour of inward thought,
Can still suspect, and still revere himself,
In lowliness of heart.
CHARACTER OF THE HAPPY WARRIOR.
WHO is the happy Warrior? Who is he
That 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 make 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 skilful 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.
-T is 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:
-He who though thus endued as with a sense
And faculty for storm and turbulence,
Is yet a Soul whose master-bias leans
To homefelt pleasures and to gentle scenes;
Sweet images! which, wheresoe'er he be,
Are at his heart; and such fidelity
It is his darling passion to approve;
More brave for this, that he hath much to love:-
Tis, finally, the Man, who, lifted high
Conspicuous object in a Nation's eye,
Or left unthought-of in obscurity,—
Who, with a toward or untoward lot,
Prosperous or adverse, to his wish or not,
Plays, in the many games of life, that one
Where what he most doth value must be won:
Whom neither shape of danger can dismay,
Nor thought of tender happiness betray;
Who, not content that former worth stand fast,
Looks forward, persevering to the last,
From well to better, daily self-surpast :
Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth
For ever, and to noble deeds give birth,
Or He must go to dust without his fame,
And leave a dead unprofitable name,
Finds comfort in himself and in his cause;
And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws
His breath in confidence of Heaven's applause:
This is the happy Warrior; this is He
Whom every Man in arms should wish to be.
A POET'S EPITAPH.
Art thou a Statesman, in the van
Of public business trained and bred?
-First learn to love one living man; Then mayst thou think upon the dead.
A Lawyer art thou?-draw not nigh;
Go, carry to some fitter place
The keenness of that practised eye,
The hardness of that sallow face.
Art thou a Man of purple cheer?
A rosy Man, right plump to see?
Approach; yet, Doctor, not too near:
This grave no cushion is for thee.
Or art thou One of gallant pride,
A Soldier, and no man of chaff?
Welcome!-but lay thy sword aside,
And lean upon a Peasant's staff.
Physician art thou? One, all eyes,
Philosopher! a fingering slave,
One that would peep and botanize
Upon his mother's grave?
Wrapt closely in thy sensual fleece,
O turn aside, and take, I pray,
That he below may rest in peace,
That abject thing, thy soul, away!
Some silent laws our hearts will make,
Which they shall long obey:
We for the year to come may take
Our temper from to-day.
And from the blessed power that rolls About, below, above,
We'll frame the measure of our souls: They shall be tuned to love.
Then come, my Sister! come, I pray, With speed put on your woodland dress; -And bring no book: for this one day We'll give to idleness.
WHO HAD BEEN REPROACHED FOR TAKING LONG WALKS
DEAR Child of Nature, let them rail!
-There is a nest in a green dale,
A harbour and a hold,
Where thou, a Wife and Friend, shalt see Thy own delightful days, and be
A light to young and old.
There, healthy as a Shepherd-boy,
And treading among flowers of joy,
That at no season fade,
Thou, while thy Babes around thee cling,
Shalt shew us how divine a thing
A Woman may be made.
Thy thoughts and feelings shall not die,
Nor leave thee when grey-hairs are nigh
A melancholy slave;
But an old age serene and bright,
And lovely as a Lapland night,
Shall lead thee to thy grave.
WRITTEN IN EARLY SPRING.
I HEARD a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran; And much it grieved my heart to think What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And 't is my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played;
Their thoughts I cannot measure:-
But the least motion which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
But he is lean and he is sick,
His body, dwindled and awry,
Rests upon ancles swoln and thick;
His legs are thin and dry.
One prop he has, an only one,
His wife, an aged woman,
Lives with him, near the waterfall,
Upon the village Common.
Beside their moss-grown hut of clay,
Not twenty paces from the door,
A scrap of land they have, but they
Are poorest of the poor.
This scrap of land he from the heath
Enclosed when he was stronger;
« But what,» saith he, «avails the land, Which I can till no longer?»>
Oft, working by her Husband's side,
Ruth does what Simon cannot do;
For she, with scanty cause for pride,
Is stouter of the two.
And, though you with your utmost skill
From labour could not wean them,
Alas! 't is very little-all
Which they can do between them.
Few months of life has he in store,
As he to you will tell,
For still, the more he works, the more
Do his weak ancles swell.
My gentle Reader, I perceive
How patiently you 've waited,
And now I fear that you expect
Some tale will be related.
O Reader! had you in your mind
Such stores as silent thought can bring,
O gentle Reader! you would find
A tale in every thing.
What more I have to say is short,
And you must kindly take it:
It is no tale; but, should you think,
Perhaps a tale you'll make it.
One summer-day I chanced to see This Old Man doing all he could To unearth the root of an old tree,
A stump of rotten wood.
The mattock tottered in his hand;
So vain was his endeavour,
That at the root of the old tree
He might have worked for ever.
a You're overtasked, good Simon Lee,
Give me your tool,» to him I said;
And at the word right gladly he
Received my proffered aid.
I struck, and with a single blow
The tangled root I severed,
At which the poor Old Man so long
And vainly had endeavoured.
The tears into his eyes were brought,
And thanks and praises seemed to run
So fast out of his heart, I thought
They never would have done.
-I've heard of hearts unkind, kind deeds
With coldness still returning,
Alas! the gratitude of men
Hath oftener left me mourning.
CHARACTERISTIC OF A FAVOURITE DOG.
On his morning rounds the Master
Goes to learn how all things fare;
Searches pasture after pasture,
Sheep and cattle eyes with care;
And for silence or for talk,
He hath comrades in his walk;
Four dogs, each pair of different breed,
Distinguished two for scent, and two for speed.
TO THE MEMORY OF THE SAME DOG.
LIE here, without a record of thy worth,
Beneath a covering of the common earth!
It is not from unwillingness to praise,
Or want of love, that here no Stone we raise;
More thou deserv'st; but this Man gives to Man,
Brother to Brother, this is all we can.
Yet they to whom thy virtues made thee dear Shall find thee through all changes of the year: This Oak points out thy grave; the silent Tree Will gladly stand a monument of thee.
But for some precious boons vouchsafed to thee,
Found scarcely any where in like degree!
For love, that comes to all-the holy sense,
Best gift of God-in thee was most intense;
A chain of heart, a feeling of the mind,
A tender sympathy, which did thee bind
Not only to us Men, but to thy Kind:
Yea, for thy Fellow-brutes in thee we saw
The soul of Love, Love's intellectual law :-
Hence, if we wept, it was not done in shame;
Our tears from passion and from reason came,
And, therefore, shalt thou be an honoured name!
In the School of is a Tablet, on which are inscribed, in gilt letters, the Names of the several Persons who have been Schoolmasters there since the Foundation of the School, with the Time at which they entered upon and quitted their Office. Opposite one of those Names the Author wrote the following Lines.
IF Nature, for a favourite Child
In thee hath tempered so her clay,
That every hour thy heart runs wild
Yet never once doth go astray,
Read o'er these lines; and then review
This tablet, that thus humbly rears
In such diversity of hue
Its history of two hundred years.
-When through this little wreck of fame,
Cipher and syllable! thine eye
Has travelled down to Matthew's name,
Pause with no common sympathy.
And, if a sleeping tear should wake,
Then be it neither checked nor stayed:
For Matthew a request I make
Which for himself he had not made.
Poor Matthew, all his frolics o'er,
Is silent as a standing pool:
Far from the chimney's merry roar,
And murmur of the village school.
The sighs which Matthew heaved were sighs Of one tired out with fun and madness; The tears which came to Matthew's eyes Were tears of light, the dew of gladness.
Yet, sometimes, when the secret cup
Of still and serious thought went round,
It seemed as if he drank it up-
He felt with spirit so profound.
-Thou Soul of God's best carthly mould!
Thou happy Soul! and can it be
That these two words of glittering gold
Are all that must remain of thee?
THE TWO APRIL MORNINGS. WE walked along, while bright and red Uprose the morning sun;
And Matthew stopped, he looked, and said, «The will of God be done!»>
A village Schoolmaster was he,
With hair of glittering grey;
As blithe a man as you could see
On a spring holiday.
And on that morning, through the grass, And by the steaming rills,
We travelled merrily, to pass
A day among the hills.
« Our work,» said I, << was well begun; Then, from thy breast what thought, Beneath so beautiful a sun,
So sad a sigh has brought ?>>
A second time did Matthew stop;
And fixing still his eye
Upon the eastern mountain-top,
To me he made reply:
<< Yon cloud with that long purple cleft Brings fresh into my mind
A day like this which I have left
Full thirty years behind.
<< And just above yon slope of corn
Such colours, and no other,
Were in the sky, that April morn,
Of this the very brother.
« With rod and line I sued the sport
Which that sweet season gave,
And, coming to the church, stopped short
Beside my daughter's grave.
« Nine summers had she scarcely seen,
The pride of all the vale;
And then she sang ;-she would have been A very nightingale.
<< Six feet in earth my
And yet I loved her more,
For so it seemed, than till that day I e'er had loved before.
<«< And, turning from her grave, I met, Beside the churchyard Yew,
A blooming Girl, whose hair was wet
With points of morning dew.
« A basket on her head she bare;
Her brow was smooth and white:
To see a Child so very fair,
It was a pure delight!
«No fountain from its rocky cave
E'er tripped with foot so free;
She seemed as happy as a wave
That dances on the sea.
<<There came from me a sigh of pain Which I could ill confine;
I looked at her, and looked again: -And did not wish her mine.»>
Matthew is in his grave, yet now, Methinks, I see him stand,
As at that moment, with a bough Of wilding in his hand.