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When the world's up, and every swain abroad,
Keep well thy temper, mix not with each clay;
Despatch necessities; life hath a load
Which must be carried on, and safely may;
Yet keep those cares without thee; let the heart
Be God's alone, and choose the better part.
THE lopped tree in time may grow again,
The naked plants renew both leaf and flower;
The sorriest wight may find release of pain,
The driest soil suck in some moistening shower.
Times go by turns, and changes come by course,
From foul to fair, from better hap to worse.
Not always fall of leaf, nor always spring,
Not endless night, yet not eternal day :
The saddest birds a season find to sing,
The roughest storm a calm may soon allay.
Thus, with succeeding turns, God tempereth all,
That man may hope to rise, yet fear to fall.
A chance may win that2 by mischance was lost,
The net that holds no great, takes little fish;
In some things all, in all things none are crost;
Few all they need, but none have all they wish!
Unmingled joys here to no man befal :
Who least, hath some, who most, hath never all.
WHAT constitutes a State?
Not high-raised battlement or laboured mound,
Thick wall, or moated gate;
Not cities proud, with spires and turrets crowned;
Not bays and broad-armed ports,
Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride;
(1) The pithiness of these lines countenances Pope's assertion that poetry is emphatically the language of brevity. They are of the same date as the last. (2) That-that which.
Not starred and spangled courts,
Where low-bred baseness wafts perfume to pride;
No-men, high-minded men,
With powers as far above dull brutes endued,
In forest, brake, or den,
As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude:
Men, who their duties know,
But know their rights; and, knowing, dare maintain;
Prevent the long-aimed blow,
And crush the tyrant, while they rend the chain.
These constitute a State;
And sovereign Law,' that state's collected will,
O'er thrones and globes elate,
Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill.
Smit by her sacred frown,
The fiend Dissension like a vapour sinks;
And e'en the all-dazzling Crown
Hides his faint rays, and at her bidding shrinks.
THE NEW MOON.2
WHEN, as the garish day is done,
Heaven burns with the descended sun,
'Tis passing sweet to mark
Amid that flush of crimson light,
The new moon's modest bow grow bright,
As earth and sky grow dark.
Few are the hearts too cold to feel
A thrill of gladness o'er them steal,
When first the wandering eye
Sees faintly, in the evening blaze,
That glimmering curve of tender rays
Just planted in the sky.
(1) It may not be inappropriate to quote here Hooker's eulogy on Law ("Ecclesiastical Polity," book i.) "Of law there can be no less acknowledged than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world; all things in heaven and earth do her homage, the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power."
(2) The quiet beauty of these lines well befits their subject, and reminds us of the similar tone of Campbell's" Rainbow" (see p. 7), and Montgomery's "Daisy" (see "Select Poetry for Children,” p. 220).
The sight of that young crescent brings,
Thoughts of all fair and youthful things-
The hopes of early years;
And childhood's purity and grace,
And joys that like a rainbow chase
The passing shower of tears.
The captive yields him to the dream
Of freedom, when that virgin beam
Comes out upon the air;
And painfully the sick man tries
To fix his dim and burning eyes
On the soft promise there.
And there do thoughtful men behold
A type of errors, loved of old,
Forsaken and forgiven;
And thoughts and wishes not of earth,
Just opening in their early birth,
Like that new light in heaven.
EPISTLE TO JOSEPH HILL, ESQ.2
DEAR Joseph-five and twenty years ago—
Alas, how time escapes !-'tis even so-
With frequent intercourse, and always sweet,
And always friendly, we were wont to cheat
A tedious hour-and now we never meet!
As some grave gentleman in Terence says,
('Twas therefore much the same in ancient days)
Good lack, we know not what to-morrow brings-
Strange fluctuation of all human things!
True. Changes will befal, and friends may part,
But distance only cannot change the heart;
And, were I called to prove the assertion true,
One proof should serve a reference to you.
Whence comes it then, that, in the wane of life,
Though nothing have occurred to kindle strife,
We find the friends we fancied we had won,
Though numerous once, reduced to few or none?
(1) A type, &c.-The new moon is a type of purification and restoration.
(2) "The epistle to Hill is quite Horatian."-Quarterly Review. Horace's epistles are characterised by freedom and ease of style, liveliness of tone, and apt delineation of character.
Can gold grow worthless that has stood the touch?
No; gold they seemed, but they were never such.
Horatio's servant once, with bow and cringe,
Swinging the parlour-door upon its hinge,
Dreading a negative, and overawed
Lest he should trespass, begged to go abroad.
Go, fellow!-whither ?"-turning short about"Nay-stay at home-you're always going out.""Tis but a step, Sir, just at the street's end.""For what ?"- An't please you, Sir, to see a friend.”— "A friend!" Horatio cried, and seemed to start'Yea, marry' shalt thou, and with all my heart.
And fetch my cloak; for, though the night be raw,
I'll see him too-the first I ever saw!"
I knew the man, and knew his nature mild,
And was his plaything often when a child;
But somewhat at that moment pinched him close,
Else he was seldom bitter or morose.
Perhaps his confidence just then betrayed,
His grief might prompt him with the speech he made;
Perhaps 'twas mere good-humour gave it birth,
The harmless play of pleasantry and mirth:
Howe'er it was, his language, in my mind,
Bespoke at least a man that knew mankind.
But not to moralize too much, and strain
To prove an evil of which all complain;
(I hate long arguments verbosely spun)
One story more, dear Hill, and I have done.
Once on a time an emperor, a wise man,
No matter where, in China or Japan,
Decreed, that whosoever should offend
Against the well-known duties of a friend,
Convicted once should ever after wear
But half a coat, and show his bosom bare;
The punishment importing this, no doubt,
That all was naught within, and all found out.
O happy Britain! we have not to fear
Such hard and arbitrary measures here;
Else could a law like that which I relate,
Once have the sanction of our triple state,
(1) An't-for an it, which is an obsolete expression for if it.
(2) Marry-a corruption of the word Mary, formerly employed as a kind of oath," By Mary." It is used above in the sense of indeed, to be sure.
Some few that I have known in days of old
Would stand most dreadful risk of catching cold;
While you, my friend, whatever wind should blow,
Might traverse England safely to and fro,
An honest man, close-buttoned to the chin,
Broad-cloth without, and a warm heart within.
I. ON A YOUNG LADY.
UNDERNEATH this stone doth lie
As much virtue as could die;
Which when alive did vigour give
To as much beauty as could live.
II. ON THE COUNTESS OF PEMBROKE.1
UNDERNEATH this marble hearse
Lies the subject of all verse,
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother;
Death! ere thou hast slain another,
Learned and fair and good as she,
Time shall throw his dart at thee!
III. INTENDED FOR SIR ISAAC NEWTON.
NATURE and Nature's laws lay hid in night:
God said, "Let Newton be!" and all was light.
IV. FOR THE TOMB OF MR. HAMILTON.
PAUSE here, and think: a monitory rhyme
Demands one moment of thy fleeting time.
Consult life's silent clock, thy bounding vein;
Seems it to say "Health here has long to reign?"
Hast thou the vigour of thy youth? an eye
That beams delight? a heart untaught to sigh?
Yet fear. Youth, ofttimes healthful and at ease,
Anticipates a day it never sees;
And many a tomb, like Hamilton's, aloud
Exclaims, "Prepare thee for an early shroud!"
(1) This accomplished lady was the sister of Sir Philip Sidney, who has been styled by Coleridge "the star of serenest brilliancy in the glorious constellation of Elizabeth's court."