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O shallow flatterer, self-interest is thy thought,
Hopeless of partaking in the like, thou too wouldest scorn the giver.
Money hath its value; and the scatterer thereof his thanks :
Few men, drinking at a rivulet, stop to consider its source.
The hand that closeth on an alm, be it for necessities or zeal,
Hath small scruple whence it came: Vespasian rejoiceth in his tribute ;
Therefore have colleges and hospitals risen upon orphans' wrongs,
Chapels and cathedrals have thriven on the welcome wages of iniquity,
And fraud, in evil compensation, hath salved his guilty conscience,
Not by restoring to the cheated, but by ostentatious giving to the grateful.
So, those who reap rejoice; and reaping, bless the sower:
No one is eager to discover, where discovery tendeth unto loss;
Yet, if knowledge of a theft make gainers thereby guilty,
Can he be altogether innocent who never asked the honesty of gain ?
Therefore, O preacher, zealous for charity, temper thy warm appeal,-
Warning the debtor and unjustly rich, they may not dare to give :
* To do good is a privilege and guerdon : how shouldest thou rejoice
If ill-got gifts of presumptuous fraud be offered on the altar ?
The question is not of degrees; unhallowed alms are evil :
Discourage and reject alike the obolus or talent of iniquity.,
Yet more, be careful that, unworthily, thou gain not an advantage over
weakness, Unstable souls, fervent and profuse, fluttered by the feeling of the moment: For eloquence swayeth to its will the feeble and the conscious of defect : Rashly give they, and afterwards are sad,—a gift that doubly erred. It was the worldliness of priestcraft that accounted almsgiving for charity; And many a father's penitence hath steeped his son in penury: Yet, considered he lightly the guilt of a deathbed selfishness That strove to take with him, for gain, the gold no longer his ; So he died in a false peace, and dying robbed his kindred; The cunning friar at his side having cheated both the living and the dead.
Charity sitteth on a fair hill-top, blessing far and near,
But her garments drop ambrosia, chiefly on the violets around her :
She gladdeneth indeed the maplike scene, stretching to the verge of the
For her angel face is lustrous and beloved, even as the moon in heaven:
But the light of that beatific vision gloweth in serener concentration,
The nearer to her heart, and nearer to her home,-that hill-top where she
Therefore is she kind unto her kin, yearning in affection on her neighbours,
Giving Gifts to those around who know and love her well.
But the counterfeit of charity, an hypocrite of earth, not a grace of heaven,
Seeketh not to bless at home, for her nearer aspect is ill-favoured :
Therefore hideth she for shame, counting that pride humility,
And none of those around her hearth are gladdened by her gifts :
Rather, with an overreaching zeal, flingeth she her bounty to the stranger,
And scattered prodigalities abroad compensate for meanness in her home;
For benefits showered on the distant shine in unmixed beauty,
So that even she may reap their undiscerning praise :
Therefore native want hath pined, where foreign need was fattened;
Woman been crushed by the tyrannous hand that upheld the flag of lib-
erality; Poverty been prisoned up and starved by hearts that are maudlin upon crime; And freeborn babes been manacled by men who liberate the sturdy slave.
Policy counselleth a gift, given wisely and in season,
And policy afterward approveth it, for great is the influence of gifts.
The lover, unsmiled upon before, is welcomed for his jewelled bauble ;
The righteous cause without a fee must yield to bounteous guilt :
How fair is a man in thine esteem whose just discrimination seeketh thoo,
And so, discerning merit, honoureth it with gifts !
Yea, let the cause appear sufficient, and the motive clear and unsuspicious,
As given unto one who cannot help, or proving honest thanks,
There liveth not one among a million who is proof against the charm of
And flattery, that boon of praise, hath power with the wisest.
Man is of three natures, craving all for charity :
It is not enough to give him meats, withholding other comfort ;
For the mind starveth, and the soul is scorned, and so the human animal
Eateth its unsatisfying pittance, a thankless, heartless pauper :
Yet would he bless thee and be grateful, didst thou feed his spirit,
And teach him that thine almsgivings are charities, are loves.
--I saw a beggar in the street, and another beggar pitied him;
Sympathy sank into his soul, and the pitied one felt happier :
Anon passed by a cavalcade, children of wealth and gayety ;
They laughed and looked upon the beggar, and the gallants Alung him
gold; He, poor spirit-humbled wretch, gathered up their givings with a curse, And went—to share it with his brother, the beggar who had pitied him !
Thou mightier than Manoah's son, whence is thy great strength,
And wherein the secret of thy craft, О charmer charming wisely ?--
For thou art strong in weakness, and in artlessness well-skilled,
Constant in the multitudes of change, and simple amidst intricate com-
Folly's shallow lip can ask the deepest question,
And many wise in many words should answer, what is beauty ?
Who shall separate the hues that flicker on a dying dolphin,
Or analyze the jewelled lights that deck the peacock's train,
Or shrewdly mix upon a pallette the tints of an iridescent spar,
Or set in rank the wandering shades about a watered silk ?
For beauty is intangible, vague, ill to be defined:
She hath the coat of a chameleon, changing while we watch it.
Strangely woven is the web, disorderly yet harmonious,
A glistening robe of mingled mesh, that may not be unravelled.
It is shot with heaven's blue, the soul of summer skies,
And twisted strings of light, the mind of noonday suns,
And ruddy gleams of life, that roll along the veins,
A coat of many colours, running curiously together.
There is threefold beauty for man; twofold beauty for the animal ;
And the beauty of inanimates is single: body, temper, spirit.
Multiplied in endless combination, issue the changeable results ;
Each class verging on the other twain, with imperceptible gradation ;
And every individual in each having his propriety of difference,
So that the meanest of creation bringeth in a tribute of the beautiful.
Yea, from the worst in favour shineth out a fitness of design,
The patent mark of beauty, its Maker's name imprest.
For the great Creator's seal is set to all his works ;
Its quarterings are Attributes of praise, and all the shield is beauty.
So, that heraldic blazon is Creation's common signet ;
And the universal family of life goeth in the colours of its Lord;
But each one, as a several son, shall bear those arms with a difference :
Beauty, various in phase, and similar in seeming oppositions.
The coins of old Rome were struck with a diversity for each,
Barely two be found alike in every Cæsar's image :
So, note thou the seals, ranged around the charters of the Universe,
The finger of God is the stamp upon them all, but each hath its separate
Beauty, theme of innocence, how may guilt discourse thee ?
Let holy angels sing thy praise, for man hath marred thy visage.
Still, the maimed torso of a Theseus can gladden taste with its proportions ;
Though sin hath shattered every limb, how comely are the fragments !
And music leaveth on the ear a memory of sweet sounds ;
And broken arches charm the sight with hints of fair completeness.
So, while humbled at the ruin, be thou grateful for the relics ;
Go forth, and look on all around with kind uncaptious eye:
Freely let us wander through these unfrequented ways,
And talk of glorious beauty filling all the world.
For beauty hideth every where, that Reason's child may seek her,
And having found the gem of price, may set it in God's crown.
Beauty nestleth in the rosebud, or walketh the firmament with planets,
She is heard in the beetle's evening hymn, and shouteth in the matins of
The cheek of the peach is glowing with her smile, her splendour blazeth
in the lightning,
She is the dryad of the woods, the naiad of the streams;
Her golden hair hath tapestried the silkworm's silent chamber,
And to her measured harmonies the wild waves beat in time:
With tinkling feet at eventide she danceth in the meadow,
Or, like a Titan, lieth stretched athwart the ridgy Alps;
She is rising in her veil of mist a Venus from the waters,
Men gaze upon the loveliness,-and lo, it is beautiful exceedingly;
She, with the might of a Briareus, is dragging down the clouds upon the
mountain,Men look upon the grandeur,—and lo, it is excellent in glory. For I judge that beauty and sublimity be but the lesser and the great, Sublime, as magnified to giants, and beautiful, diminished into fairies. It were a false fancy to solve all beauty by desire, It were a lowering thought to expound sublimity by dread. Cowardly men with trembling hearts have feared the furious storm, Nor felt its thrilling beauty : but is it then not beautiful ? And careless men, at summer's eve, have loved the dimpled waves ; O that smile upon the seas,—hath it no sublimity ? Dost thou nothing know of this,-to be awed at woman's beauty? Nor, with exhilarated heart, to hail the crashing thunder ? Thou hast much to learn, that never found a fearfulness in flowers, Thou hast missed of joy, that never basked in beauties of the terrible.
Show me an enthusiast in aught; he hath noted one thing narrowly;
And lo, his keenness hath detected the one dear hiding-place of beauty.
Then he boasteth, simple soul, flattered by discovery,
Fancying that no science else can show so fair and precious :
He hath found a ray of light, and cherisheth the treasure in his closet,
Mocking at those larger minds, that bathe in flooods of noon;
Lo, what a jewel hath he gotten,—this is the monopolist of beauty,
And lightly heeding all beside, he poured his yearnings thitherward :
Be it for love, or for learning, habit, art, or nature,
Exclusive thought is all the cause of this particular zeal.
But the like intensity of fitness, kind and skilful beauty,
So pleasant to his mind in one thing, filleth all beside :
From the waking minute of a chrysalis to the perfect cycle of chronology,
From the centipede’s jointed armour to the mammoth’s fossil ribs,
From the kingfisher's shrill note to the cataract's thundering bass,
From the greensward's grateful hues to the fascinating eye of woman,
Beauty, various in all things, setteth up her home in each,
Shedding graciously around an omnipresent smile.
There is beauty in the rolling clouds, and placid shingle beach,
In feathery snows, and whistling winds, and dun electric skies ;
There is beauty in the rounded woods, dank with heavy foliage,
In laughing fields, and dinted hills, the valley and its lake ;