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T J 720 PERSONAL POEMS. l

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Yet sure of heaven themselves, as if they'd cribbed | Who looks on erring souls as straying pigs,
The impression of St. Peter's keys in wax That must be lashed by law, wherever found,
And driven to church as to the parish pound.
I do confess, without reserve or wheedle,
I view that grovelling idea as one
Worthy some parish clerk's ambitious son,
A charity-boy who longs to be a headle.
On such a vital topic sure 't is odd
How much a man can differ from his neighbor;
One wishes worship freely given to God,
Another wants to make it statute-labor, –
The broad distinction in a line to draw,
As means to lead us to the skies above,
You say, - Sir Andrew and his love of law,
And I, - the Saviour with his law of love.

Of such a character no single trace
Exists, I know, in my fictitious face.
There wants a certain cast about the eye;
A certain lifting of the nose's tip;
A certain curling of the nether lip, w
In scorn of ali that is, beneath the sky;
In brief, it is an aspect deleterious,
A face decidedly not serious,
A face profane, that would not do at all
To make a face at Exeter Hall, -
That Hall where bigots rant and cant and pray,
And laud each other face to face,
Till every farthing-candle ray
Conceives itself a great gaslight of grace Spontaneously to God should tend the soul,
Like the magnetic needle to the Pole ;
But what were that intrinsic virtue worth,
Suppose some fellow, with more zeal than knowl.
edge -

Fresh from St. Andrew's college,

Should nail the conscious needle to the north

Well – be the graceless lineaments confest
I do enjoy this bounteous beauteous earth;
And dote upon a jest
“Within the limits of becoming mirth "; —
No solemn sanctimonious face I pull,
Northink I'm pious when I'm only bilious – I do confess that I abhor and shrink

Nor study in my sanctum supercilious From schemes, with a religious willy-nilly,
To frame a Sabbath Bill or forge a Bull. That frown upon St. Giles's sins, but blink
I pray for grace, — repent each sinful act, — The peccadilloes of all Piccadilly, -
Peruse, but underneath the rose, my Bible; My soul revolts at such bare hypocrisy
And love my neighbor far too well, in fact, And will not, dare not, fancy in acori

To call and twit him with a godly tract The Lord of Hosts with an exclusive lord
That's turned by application to a libel. Of this world's aristocracy.

My heart ferments not with the bigot's leaven, It will not own a notion so unholy
All creeds I view with toleration thorough. As thinking that the rich by easy trips
--- * ... or -

And have a horror of regarding heaven May go to heaven, whereas the poor and lowly
As anybody's rotten borough. Must work their passage, as they do in ships.

I've no ambition to enact the spy One place there is, – beneath the burial-sod,
On fellow-souls, a spiritual Pry, - Where all mankind are equalized by death;
'T is said that people ought to guard their noses Another place there is, - the fane of God,
Who thrust them into matters none of theirs; Where all are equal who draw living breath; –

| And, though no delicacy discomposes Juggle who will elsewhere with his own soul, Your saint, yet I consider faith and prayers Playing the Judas with a temporal dole, o Amongst the privatest of men's affairs. He who can come beneath that awful cope, - In the dread presence of a Maker just I do not hash the Gospel In my books, - Who metes | every pinch of no inst And thus upon the public mind intrude it, One even measure of immortal hope, – As is I thought, like Otahgitan cooks, He who can stand within that holy door, No food was fit to eat till I had chewed it. With soul unbowed by that pure spirit-level, On Pible stilts I don't affect to stalk ; And frame unequal laws for rich and poor, − Nor lard with Scripture my familiar talk, - Might sit for Hell, and represent the Devil For man may pious texts repeat, - - - - And yet religion have no inward seat; The humble records of my life to search, 'T is not so plain as the old Hill of Howth, I have not herded with mere pagan beasts; A man has got his belly full of meat But sometimes I have “sat at good men's feasts," Because he talks with victuals in his mouth ! And I have been “where bells have knolled to - - - - - church.” I honestly confess that I would hinder Dear bells how sweet the sounds of village holls The Scottish member's legislative rigs, When on the undulating air they swim That spiritual Pindar, Now loud as welcomes faint, now, as farewells! i

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And trembling all about the breezy dells,
As fluttered by the wings of cherubim.
Meanwhile the bees are chanting a low hymn;
And, lost to sight, the ecstatic lark above
Sings, like a soul beatified, of love,
With, now and then, the coo of the wild pigeon;–
O pagans, heathens, infidels, and doubters
If such sweet sounds can't woo you to religion,
Will the harsh voices of church cads and touters ?

A man may cry Church Church at every word,
With no more piety than other people, –
A daw's not reckoned a religious bird
Because it keeps a-cawing from a steeple;
The Temple is a good, a holy place,
But quacking only gives it an ill savor,
While saintly mountebanks the porch disgrace,
And bring religion's self into disfavor
Church is “a little heaven below,
I have been there and still would go,” —
Yet I am none of those who think it odd
A man can pray unbidden from the cassock,
And, passing by the customary hassock,
Kneel down remote upon the simple sod,
And sue in forma pauperis to God.

As for the rest, — intolerant to none,
Whatever shape the pious rite may bear,
Even the poor pagan's homage to the sun
I would not harshly scorn, lest even there
I spurned some elements of Christian prayer, —
An aim, though erring, at a “world ayont,” —
Acknowledgment of good, - of man's futility,
A sense of need, and weakness, and indeed
That very thing so many Christians want, —
Humility.
I have not sought, 'tis true, the Holy Land,
As full of texts as Cuddie Headrigg's mother,
The Bible in one hand,
And my own commonplace-book in the other;
But you have been to Palestine — alas !
Some minds improve by travel; others, rather,
Resemble copper wire or brass,
Which gets the narrower by going farther

Worthless are all such pilgrimages—very
If Palmers at the Holy Tomb contrive
The human heats and rancor to revive
That at the Sepulchre they ought to bury.
A sorry sight it is to rest the eye on,
To see a Christian creature graze at Sion,
Then homeward, of the saintly pasture full,
Rush bellowing, and breathing fire and smoke,
At crippled Papistry to butt and poke,
Exactly as a skittish Scottish bull
Hunts an old woman in a scarlet cloke.

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Gifted with noble tendency to climb, Yet weak at the same time, Faith is a kind of parasitic plant, That grasps the nearest stem with tendril-rings; And as the climate and the soil may grant, So is the sort of tree to which it clings. Consider, then, before, like Hurlothrumbo, You aim your club at any creed on earth, That, by the simple accident of birth, You might have been High-Priest to Mumbo Jumbo.

For me, – through heathen ignorance perchance,
Not having knelt in Palestine, – I feel
None of that griffinish excess of zeal
Some travellers would blaze with here in France.
Dolls I can see in Virgin-like array,
Nor for a scuffle with the idols hanker
Like crazy Quixotte at the puppet's play,
If their “offence be rank,” should mine be rancorf
Suppose the tender but luxuriant hop
Around a cankered stem should twine,
What Kentish boor would tear away the prop
So roughly as to wound, nay, kill the bine !

The images, ’tis true, are strangely dressed,
With gauds and toys extremely out of season ;
The carving nothing of the very best,
The whole repugnant to the eye of Reason,
Shocking to Taste, and to Fine Arts a treason, —
Yet ne'er o'erlook in bigotry of sect
One truly Catholic, one common form,
At which unchecked
All Christian hearts may kindle or keep warm.

Say, was it to my spirit's gain or loss,
One bright and balmy morning, as I went
From Liege's lovely environs to Ghent,
If hard by the wayside I found a cross,
That made me breathe a prayer upon the spot, —
While Nature of herself, as if to trace
The emblem's use, had trailed around its base
The blue significant Forget-Me-Not?
Methought, the claims of Charity to urge
More forcibly along with Faith and Hope,
The pious choice had pitched upon the verge
Of a delicious slope,
Giving the eye much variegated scope –
“Look round,” it whispered, “on that prospect
rare,
Those vales so verdant, and those hills so blue;
Enjoy the sunny world, so fresh and fair,
But” (how the simple legend pierced me through 1)
“PRIEZ Pouk LEs MALHEUREUx.”

With sweet kind natures, as in honeyed cells, Religion lives, and feels herself at home;

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But only on a formal visit dwells
Where wasps instead of bees have formed the
comb.
Shun pride, O Rae – whatever sort beside
You take in lieu, shun spiritual pride
A pride there is of rank, -a pride of birth,
A pride of learning, and a pride of purse,
A London pride, – in short, there be on earth
A host of prides, some better and some worse;
But of all prides, since Lucifer's attaint,
The proudest swell's a self-elected Saint.

To picture that cold pride so harsh and hard,
Fancy a peacock in a poultry-yard.
Behold him in conceited circles sail,
Strutting and dancing, and now planted stiff,
In all his pomp of pageantry, as if
He felt “the eyes of Europe" on his tail :
As for the humble breed retained by man,
He scorns the whole domestic clan, –
He bows, he bridles,
He wheels, he sidles,
As last, with stately dodgings in a corner,
He pens a simple russet hen, to scorn her
Full in the blaze of his resplendent fan

“Look here,” he cries, (to give him words,) “Thou feathered clay, thou scum of birds!”— Flirting the rustling plumage in her eyes, – “Look here, thou vile predestined sinner, Doomed to be roasted for a dinner, Behold these lovely variegated dyes | These are the rainbow colors of the skies, That heaven has shed upon me con amore, — A Bird of Paradise — a pretty story ! I am that Saintly Fowl, thou paltry chick : Look at my crown of glory ! Thou dingy, dirty, dabbled, draggled jill 1" And off goes Partlett, wriggling from a kick, With bleeding scalp laid open by his bill

That little simile exactly paints
How sinners are despised by saints.
By saints — the Hypocrites that ope heaven's
door
Obsequious to the sinful man of riches;
But put the wicked, naked, barelegged poor
In parish stocks, instead of breeches.

Thrice blessed, rather, is the man with whom
The gracious prodigality of nature,
The balm, the bliss, the beauty, and the bloom,
The bounteous providence in every feature,
Recall the good Creator to his creature,
Making all earth a fane, all heaven its dome

To his tuned spirit the wild heather-bells
Ring Sabbath knells;
The jubilate of the soaring lark
Is chant of clerk ;
For choir, the thrush and the gregarious linnet;
The sod's a cushion for his pious want :
And, consecrated by the heaven within it,
The sky-blue pool, a font.
Each cloud-capped mountain is a holy altar;
An organ breathes in every grove;
And the full heart's a Psalter,
Rich in deep hymns of gratitude and love :
Once on a time a certain English lass
Was seized with symptoms of such deep decline,
Cough, hectic flushes, every evil sign,
That, as their wont is at such desperate pass,
The doctors gave her over — to an ass.

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