VIRTUE LIVETH AFTER DEATH. The glories of our blood and state

Are shadows, not substantial things; There is no armour against fate; Death lays his icy hand on Kings :

Sceptre and crown

Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,

And plant fresh laurels where they kill; But their strong nerves at last must yield; They tame but one another still;

Early or late

They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death.

The garlands wither on your brow,

Then boast no more your mighty deeds;
Upon Death's purple altar now
See where the victor-victim bleeds :

All heads must come

To the cold tomb,
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.




“ No writing lifts exalted man so high,

As sacred and soul-moving poesy ;
No kind of work requires so nice a touch,
And if well finished, nothing shines so much.”



My sister! my sweet sister! if a name
Dearer and purer were, it should be thine.
Mountains and seas divide us, but I claim
No tears but tenderness to answer mine:
Go where I will, to me thou art the same
A loved regret which I would not resign.

There yet are two things in my destiny -
A world to roam through, and a home with thee.

The first were nothing—had I still the last,
It were the haven of my happiness ;
But other claims and other ties thou hast,
And mine is not the wish to make them less.
A strange doom is thy father's son's, and past
Recalling; as it lies beyond redress :

Reversed for him our grandsire's fate of yore,
He had no rest at sea, nor I on shore.

If my inheritance of storms hath been
In other elements, and on the rocks
Of perils, unlook'd or unforeseen,
I have sustain’d my share of worldly shocks,
The fault was mine; nor do I seek to screen
My errors with defensive paradox;

I have been cunning in mine overthrow,
The careful pilot of my proper woe.
Mine were my faults, and mine be their reward.
My whole life was a contest since the day
That gave me being, gave me that which marr'd
The gift,-a fate, or will, that walk' astray;
And I at times have found the struggle hard,
And thought of shaking off my bonds of clay :

But now I fain would for a time survive, If but to see what next can well arrive.

Kingdoms and empires in my little day
I have outlived, and yet I am not old;
And when I look on this, the pretty spray
Of my own years of trouble, which have rollid

« ElőzőTovább »