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A POET's EPITAPH.
What bird in beauty, flight, or song
Can with the bard compare, Who sang as sweet, and soared as strong
As ever child of air ?
His plume, his note, his form, could Burns
For whim or pleasure change ; He was not one, but all by turns,
With transmigration strange :
The blackbiru, oracle of spring,
When flowed his moral lay ; The swallow, wheeling on the wing,
Capriciously at play:
Stor, mortal ! Here thy brother lies,
The poet of the poor.
The meadow and the moor;
The tyrant, and the slave,
The palace, and the grave! Sin met thy brother everywhere !
And is tliy brother blamed ?
He no exemption claimed.
He feared to scorn or hate ;
The equal of the great, He blessed the steward, whose wealth makes
The poor man's little more ; Yet loathed the haughty wretch that takes
From plundered labor's store.
A heart to feel and dare,
The humming-bird from bloom to bloom
Inhaling heavenly balın ;
The halcyon, in the calm ;
In “auld Kirk Alloway," the owl,
At witching time of night ; By “ Bonny Doon,” the earliest fowl
That carolled to the light.
He was the wren amidst the grove,
When in his homely vein ; At Bannockburn the birl of Jove,
With thunder in his train ;
The wood-lark, in his mournful hours ;
The goldfinch, in his mirth ; The thrush, a spendthrift of his powers,
Enrapturing heaven and earth;
The swan, in majesty and grace,
Contemplative and still ; But, roused, no falcon in the chase
Could like his satire kill.
The linnet in simplicity,
In tenderness the dove ; But more than all beside was he
The nightingale in love.
Rear high thy bleak majestic hills,
Thy sheltered valleys proudly spread, And, Scotia, pour thy thonsand rills,
And wave thy heaths with blossoms red ; But, ah ! what poet now shall tread
Thy airy heights, thy woodland reign, Since he, the sweetest bard, is dead,
That ever breathed the soothing strain ? As green thy towering pines may grow,
As clear thy streams may speed along, As bright thy summer suns may glow,
As gayly charm thy feathery throng; But now unheeded is the song,
And dull and lifeless all around, For his wild harp lies all unstrung,
And cold the hand that waked its sound. What though thy vigorous offspring rise,
In arts, in arms, thy sons excel ; Though beauty in thy daughters' eyes,
And health in every feature dwell ; Yet who shall now their praises tell
In strains impassioned, fond, and free, Since he no more the song shall swell
To love and liberty and thee !
O, had he never stooped to shame,
Nor lent a charm to vice, How had devotion loved to name
That bird of paradise !
Peace to the dead !- In Scotia's choir
Of minstrels great and small,
And his that music to whose tone
The common pulse of man keeps time, In cot or castle's mirth or moan,
In cold or sunny clime.
Through care and pain and want and woe,
With wounds that only death could heal, Tortures the poor alone can know,
The proud alone can feel,
His independent tongue and pen,
Pride of his fellow-men.
That heaven's beloved die early,
Prophetic Pity mourns ;
Died giant-hearted Burns.
That sank beneath his plough! Or, “neighbor meet,” that “skylark sweet !”
Say, are they nothing now? That mouse, “our fellow mortal,”
Lives deep in Nature's heart ;
Till earth and sky depart.
Is many minds in one;
Of glory's peasant son.
And might have been thy Tell ;
And would have fought as well.
of earth's unpolished gem ; And “Bonny Doon,” and “heaven aboon,”
For Burns hath hallowed them.
Strong sense, deep feeling, passions strong,
A hate of tyrant and of knave, A love of right, a scorn of wrong,
Of coward and of slave ;
A kind, true heart, a spirit high,
That could not fear and would not bow, Were written in his manly eye
And on his manly brow. Praise to the bard ! his words are driven,
Like flower-seeds by the far winds sown, Where'er beneath the sky of heaven
The birds of fame have flown.
Be proud, though sin-dishonored
And grief-baptized thy child ; As rivers run, in shade and sun,
He ran his courses wild.
Praise to the man! a nation stood
Beside his coffin with wet eyes, Her brave, her beautiful, her good,
As when a loved one dies. And still, as on his funeral day,
Men stand his cold earth-couch around, With the mute homage that we pay
To consecrated ground.
The last, the hallowed home of one
Though with the buried gone.
Grieve not though savage forests
Looked grimly on the wave, Where dim-eyed flowers and shaded howers
Seemed living in the grave.
Grieve not, though by the torrent
Its headlong course was riven, When o'er it came, in clouds and flame,
Niagara from heaven !
THE COURSE OF TIME." Take one example to our purpose quite. A man of rank, and of capacious soul, Who riches had, and fame, beyond desire, An heir of flattery, to titles born, And reputation, and luxurious life : Yet, not content with ancestorial name, Or to be known because his fathers were, He on this height hereditary stood, And, gazing higher, purposed in his heart
His is that language of the heart
In which the answering heart would speak, Thought, word, that bids the warm tear start,
Or the smile light the cheek ;
To take another step. Above him seemed, | Rocks, mountains, meteors, seas, and winds, and Alone, the mount of song, the lofty seat
storms Of canonized bards; and thitherward,
His brothers, younger brothers, whom he scarce By nature taught, and inward melody,
As equals deemed. All passions of all men, In prime of youth, he bent his eagle eye. The wild and tame, the gentle and severe ; No cost was spared. What books he wished, he All thoughts, all maxims, sacred and profane;
All creeds, all seasons, time, eternity; What sage to hear, he heard ; what scenes to see, All that was hated, and all that was dear; He saw.
And first in rambling school-boy days, All that was hoped, all that was feared, by man, Britannia's mountain-walks, and heath-girt lakes, He tossed about, as tempest-withered leaves ; And story-telling glens, and founts, and brooks, Then, smiling, looked upon the wreck he made. And maids, as dew-drops pure and fair, his soul With terror now he froze the cowering blood, With grandeur filled, and melody, and love. And now dissolved the heart in tenderness; Then travel came, and took him where he wished : Yet would not tremble, would not weep himself; He cities saw, and courts, and princely pomp ;
But back into his soul retired, alone, And mused alone on ancient mountain-brows; Dark, sullen, proud, gazing contemptuously And mused on battle-fields, where valor fought On hearts and passions prostrate at his feet. In other days; and mused on ruins gray So Ocean, from the plains his waves had late With years ; and drank from old and fabulous To desolation swept, retired in pride, wells,
Exulting in the glory of his might, And plucked the vine that first-born prophets And seemed to mock the ruin he had wrought. plucked ;
As some fierce comet of tremendous size, And mused on famous tombs, and on the wave To which the stars did reverence as it passed, Of ocean mused, and on the desert waste ; So he, through learning and through fancy, took The heavens and earth of every country saw ; His flights sublime, and on the loftiest top Where'er the old inspiring Genii dwelt ;
Of Fame's dread mountain sat; not soiled and worn, Aught that could rouse, expand, refine the soul, As if he from the earth had labored up, Thither he went, and meditated there.
But as some bird of heavenly plumage fair He touched his harp, and nations heard en- | He looked, which down from higher regions carne, tranced ;
And perched it there, to see what lay beneath. As some vast river of unfailing source,
The nations gazed, and wondered much and Rapid, exhaustless, deep, his numbers flowed,
praised. And opened new fountains in the human heart. Critics before him fell in humble plight; Where Fancy halted, weary in her flight,
Confounded fell; and made debasing signs In other men, his fresh as morning rose, To catch his eye; and stretched and swelled And soared untrodden heights, and seemed at themselves home,
To bursting nigh, to utter bulky words Where angels bashful looked. Others, though Of admiration vast ; and many too, great,
Many that aimed to imitate his flight, Beneath their argument seemed struggling whiles; With weaker wing, unearthly fluttering made, He, from above descending, stooped to touch And gave abundant sport to after days. The loftiest thought ; and proudly stooped, as Great man! the nations gazed and wondered though
much, It scarce deserved his verse. With Nature's self And praised ; and many called his evil good. He seemed an old acquaintance, free to jest Wits wrote in favor of his wickedness; At will with all her glorious majesty.
And kings to do him honor took delight. He laid his hand upon “the Ocean's mane," Thus full of titles, flattery, honor, fame; And played familiar with his hoary locks ; Beyond desire, beyond ambition, full, Stood on the Alps, stood on the Apennines, He died, — he died of what? Of wretchedness; And with the thunder talked as friend to friend ; Drank every cup of joy, heard every trump And wove his garland of the lightning's wing, Of fame; drank early, deeply drank; drank In sportive twist, the lightning's fiery wing, draughts Which, as the footsteps of the dreadful God, That common millions might have quenched, Marching upon the storm in vengeance seemed ; then died Then turned, and with the grasshopper, who sung Of thirst, because there was no more to drink. His evening song beneath his feet, conversed. His goddess, Nature, wooed, embraced, enjoyed, Suns, moons, and stars, and clouds his sisters Fell from his arms, abhorred ; his passions died, were ;
Died, all but dreary, solitary Pride ;
And all his sympathies in being died.
earth. His groanings filled the land his numbers filled ; And yet he seemed ashamed to groan. -- Poor
man ! Ashamed to ask, and yet he needed help.
But before I go, Tom Moore,
Here's a double health to thee! Here's a sigh to those who love me,
And a smile to those who hate ; And, whatever sky's above me,
Here's a heart for every fate ! Though the ocean roar around me,
Yet it still shall bear me on; Thongh a desert should surround me,
It hath springs that may be won. Were 't the last drop in the well,
As I gasped upon the brink, Ere my fainting spirit fell,
"T is to thee that I would drink.
With that water, as this wine,
The libation I would poir Should be, Peace with thine and mine,
And a health to thee, Tom Moort.
A BARD'S EPITAPH.
Come from my first, ay, come!
The battle dawn is nigh ;
Fight as thy father fought;
Fall as thy father fell ; Thy task is taught ; thy shroud is wrought;
So forward and farewell !
Toll ye my second ! toll !
Fling high the flambeau's light, And sing the hymn for a parted soul
Beneath the silent night! The wreath upon his head,
The cross upon his breast; Let the prayer be said and the tear be shed,
So, take him to his rest ! Call ye my whole, - ay, call
The lord of lute and lay ; And let him greet the sable pall
With a noble song to-day.
No fitter hand may crave
On the turf of a soldier's grave.
Is there a whim-inspired fool,
Let him draw near,
And drap a tear.
0, pass not by ! But, with a frater-feeling strong,
Here heave a sigh.
Wild as the wave ;
Survey this grave.
And sober flame ;
And stained his name ! Reader, attend, — whether thy soul Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole, Or darkly grubs this earthly hole,
In low pursuit ; Know prudent, cautious self-control
Is wisdom's root.
WINTHROP MACKWORTH PRAED
TO THOMAS MOORE.
My boat is on the shore,
And my bark is on the sea ;
Wouldst thou heare what man can say
(Sent to the Earl of Oxford with Dr. Parnell's Poems. published
ly the author after the said earl's imprisonment in the Tower, and In a little ? reader, stay !
retreat into the country, in the year 1721.) Underneath this stone doth lye As much beauty as could dye,
Such were the notes thy once-loved poet sung, Which in life did harbor give
Till death untimely stopped his tuneful tongue. To more vertue than doth live.
() just beheld, and lost ! admired and mourned ! If at all she had a fault,
With softest manners, gentlest arts adorned ! Leave it buried in this vault.
Blest in each science, blest in every strain ! One name was Elizabeth,
Dear to the Muse to Harley dear – in vain! The other, let it sleep with death :
For him, thou oft hast bid the world attend, Fitter where it dyed to tell,
Fond to forget the statesman in the friend ; Than that it lived at all. Farewell !
For Swift and him, despised the farce of state,
The sober follies of the wise and great ;
Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear,
(A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear,)
Recall those nights that closed thy toilsome days, On what foundations stands the warrior's pride, Still hear thy Parnell in his living lays, How just his hopes, let Swedish Charles decide : Who, careless now of interest, fame, or fate, A frame of adamant, a soul of fire,
Perhaps forgets that Oxford e'er was great ; No dangers fright him, and no labors tire ;
Or, deeming meanest what we greatest call, O'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain,
Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall. Unconquered lord of pleasure and of pain.
And sure, if aught below the seats divine No joys to him pacific sceptres yield,
Can touch immortals, 't is a soul like thine, War sounds the trump, he rushes to the field ;
A soul supreme, in each hard instance tried, Behold surrounding kings their power combine, Above all pain, all passion, and all pride, And one capitulate, and one resign ;
The rage of power, the blast of public breath, Peace courts his hand, but spreads her charmıs in the lust of lucre, and the dread of death.
In vain to deserts thy retreat is made, “Think nothing gained,” he cries, “till naught The Muse attends thee to thy silent shade: remain,
'Tis hers the brave man's latest steps to trace, On Moscow's walls till Gothic standards fly,
Rejudge his acts, and dignify disgrace. And all be mine beneath the polar sky." When interest calls off all her sneaking train, The march begins in military state,
And all the obliged desert, and all the vain ; And nations on his eye suspended wait ;
She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell, Stern famine guards the solitary coast,
When the last lingering friend has bid farewell. And winter barricades the realms of frost.
Even now she shades thy evening walk with bays He comes, nor want nor cold his course delay ;
(No hireling she, no prostitute to praise), Hide, blushing glory, hide Pultowa's day! Even now, observant of the parting ray, The vanquished hero leaves his broken bands,
Eyes the calm sunset of thy various day; And shows his miseries in distant lands; Through Fortune's cloud one truly great can see, Condemned a needy supplicant to wait,
Nor fears to tell, that Mortimer is he. While ladies interpose and slaves debate.