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Cast up, from myriads of lamps that shine
Along her streets in many a starry line:
He wondering looks from his yet distant road,
And thinks the northern streamers are abroad.
"What hollow sound is that?" Approaching near,
The roar of many wheels breaks on his ear.
It is the flood of human life in motion!
It is the voice of a tempestuous ocean!
With sad but pleasing awe his soul is filled,
Scarce heaves his breast, and all within is stilled,
As many thoughts and feelings cross his mind, –
Thoughts, mingled, melancholy, undefined,
Of restless, reckless man, and years gone by,
And time fast wending to eternity.
ROM the dull confines of the drooping west, To see the day spring from the pregnant east, Ravisht in spirit, I come, nay more, I flie
To thee, blest place of my nativitie!
Thus, thus with hallowed foot I touch the ground,
With thousand blessings by thy fortune crown'd.
O fruitful genius! that bestowest here
An everlasting plenty, yeere by yeere.
O place! O people! manners! fram'd to please
All nations, customes, kindreds, languages!
I am a free-born Roman; suffer then,
That I amongst you live a citizen.
London my home is; though by hard fate sent
Into a long and irksome banishment,
Yet since call'd back, henceforward let me be,
O native countrey, repossest by thee!
For, rather then I'le to the west return,
I'le beg of thee first here to have mine urn.
Weak I am grown, and must in short time fall;
Give thou my sacred reliques buriall.
RANK abundance breeds,
In gross and pampered cities, sloth and lust
And wantonness and gluttonous excess.
In cities vice is hidden with most ease,
Or seen with least reproach; and virtue, taught
By frequent lapse, can hope no triumph there
Beyond the achievements of successful flight.
I do confess them nurseries of the arts,
In which they flourish most; where, in the beams
Of warm encouragement, and in the eye
Of public note, they reach their perfect size.
Such London is, by taste and wealth proclaimed
The fairest capital of all the world,
By riot and incontinence the worst.
There, touched by Reynolds, a dull blank becomes
A lucid mirror, in which Nature sees
All her reflected features. Bacon there
Gives more than female beauty to a stone,
And Chatham's eloquence to marble lips.
Nor does the chisel occupy alone
The powers of sculpture, but the style as much,
Each province of her art her equal care.
With nice incision of her guided steel
She ploughs a brazen field, and clothes a soil
So sterile with what charms soe'er she will
The richest scenery and the loveliest forms.
Where finds Philosophy her eagle eye,
With which she gazes at yon burning disk
Undazzled, and detects and counts his spots?
In London. Where her implements exact,
With which she calculates, computes, and scans,
All distance, motion, magnitude, and now
Measures an atom and now girds a world?
In London. Where has commerce such a mart,
So rich, so thronged, so drained, and so supplied,
As London, opulent, enlarged, and still
Increasing London? Babylon of old
Not more the glory of the earth than she,
A more accomplished world's chief glory now.
WAS August, and the fierce sun overhead Smote on the squalid streets of Bethnal Green, And the pale weaver, through his windows seen In Spitalfields, looked thrice dispirited;
I met a preacher there I knew, and said,
"Ill and o'erworked, how fare you in this scene ? 'Bravely!" said he; "for I of late have been
Much cheered with thoughts of Christ, the living bread."
O human soul! as long as thou canst so
Set up a mark of everlasting light,
Above the howling senses' ebb and flow,
To cheer thee, and to right thee if thou roam,
Not with lost toil thou laborest through the night!
Thou mak'st the heaven thou hop'st indeed thy home.
ROUCHED on the pavement close by Belgrave
A tramp I saw, ill, moody, and tongue-tied;
A babe was in her arms, and at her side
A girl; their clothes were rags, their feet were bare.
Some laboring men, whose work lay somewhere there,
Passed opposite; she touched her girl, who hied
Across, and begged, and came back satisfied.
The rich she had let pass with frozen stare.
Thought I: Above her state this spirit towers;
She will not ask of aliens, but of friends,
Of sharers in a common human fate.
She turns from that cold succor which attends
The unknown little from the unknowing great,
And points us to a better time than ours.
SIR RICHARD WHITTINGTON'S ADVANCEMENT.
"THERE is something so fabulous," says the editor of Old Ballads, following Grafton and Stow, "or at least, that has such a romantic appearance, in the history of Whittington, that I shall not choose to relate it, but refer my credulous readers to common tradition, or to the penny histories. Certain it is there was such a man; a citizen of London, by trade a mercer, and one who has left public edifices and charitable works enow behind him to transmit his name to posterity."
HERE must I tell the praise
Of worthy Whittington,
Known to be in his dayes
Thrice Maior of London.
But of poor parentage
Borne was he, as we heare,
And in his tender age
Bred up in Lancashire.
Poorely to London than
Came up this simple lad,
Where with a marchant-man
Soone he a dwelling had;
And in a kitchen plast,
A scullion for to be,
Whereas long time he past
In labour drudgingly.
His daily service was
Turning spitts at the fire;
And to scour pots of brasse,
For a poore scullions hire.
Meat and drinke all his pay,
Of coyne he had no store;