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For I had hope, by something rare,
To prove myself a poet : But, while I plan and plan, my hair
Is gray before I know it.
So fares it since the years began,
Till they be gathered up; The truth, that flies the flowing can,
Will haunt the vacant cup: And others' follies teach us not,
Nor much their wisdom teaches; And most, of sterling worth, is what
Our own experience preaches.
Ah, let the rusty theme alone!
We know not what we know. But for my pleasant hour, 't is gone,
’T is gone, and let it go. 'T is gone: a thousand such have slipt
Away from my embraces, And fallen into the dusty crypt
Of darkened forms and faces.
Go, therefore, thou! thy betters went
Long since, and came no more;
From many a tavern-door,
From misty men of letters;
Thine elders and thy betters.
Hours, when the poet's words and looks
Had yet their native glow:
Had made him talk for show;
He flashed his random speeches ;
His literary leeches.
So mix forever with the past,
Like all good things on earth! For should I prize thee, couldst thou last,
At half thy real worth ? I hold it good, good things should pass :
With time I will not quarrel : It is but yonder empty glass
That makes me maudlin-moral.
Head-waiter of the chop-house here,
To which I most resort,
For this good pint of port.
Marrow of mirth and laughter; And, wheresoe'er thou move, good luck
Shall fling her old shoe after.
But thou wilt never move from hence,
The sphere - thy fate allots :
Go down among the pots :
Thou battenest by the greasy gleam
In haunts of hungry sinners, Old boxes, larded with the steam
Of thirty thousand dinners.
We fret, we fume, would shift our skins,
Would quarrel with our lot;
To serve the hot-and-hot;
Returning like the pewit,
That trifle with the cruet.
Live long, ere from thy topmost head
The thick-set hazel dies;
The corners of thine eyes :
Our changeful equinoxes,
Shall call thee from the boxes.
But when he calls, and thou shalt cease
To pace the gritted floor,
Of life, shalt earn no more;
Shall show thee past to heaven :
CLARENCE'S DREAM. METHOUGHT that I had broken from the Tower
And was embarked to cross to Burgundy; And in my company, my brother Gloster: Who from my cabin tempted me to walk Upon the hatches: thence we looked toward England. And cited up a thousand heavy times, During the wars of York and Lancaster, That had befallen us. As we paced along Upon the giddy footing of the hatches, Methought that ster stumbled; and, in falling, Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard Into the tumbling billows of the main. O Heaven! methought what pain it was to drown ! What dreadful noise of water in mine ears ! What sights of ugly death within mine eyes ! Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks ; A thousand men, that fishes gnawed upon; Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl, Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels, All scattered in the bottom of the sea. Some lay in dead men's skulls; and in those holes Where eyes did once inhabit there were crept (As 't were in scorn of eyes) reflecting gems, That wooed the slimy bottom of the deep, And mocked the dead bones that lay scattered by.
I passed, methought, the melancholy flood,
THE MURDER OF THE YOUNG PRINCES.
THE tyrannous and bloody act is done ;
The most arch deed of piteous massacre