And lovely in repose ! thy summer form
Is beautiful, and when thy silver waves
Make music in earth's dark and winding caves,
I love to wander on thy pebbled beach,
Marking the sunlight at the evening hour,
And hearken to the thoughts thy waters teach,
Eternity Eternity. and Power.
[The following curious illustration of the power of words in the English
language has long been out of print] :
J? HINK not that strength lies in the big, round word,
Or that the brief and plain must needs be weak.
To whom can this be true who once has heard
The cry for help, the tongue that all men speak
When want, or woe, or fear is in the throat,
So that each word gasped out is like a shriek
Press'd from the sore heart, or a strange, wild note,
Sung by some fay or fiend ! There is a strength
Which dies if stretched too far or spun too fine,
Which has more height than breadth, more depth than
Let but this force of thought and speech be mine,
And he that will may take the sleek, fat phrase,
Which glows and burns not, though it gleam and shine;
Light, but not heat a flash without a blaze.
Nor is it mere strength that the short word boasts:
It serves of more than fight or storm to tell
The roar of waves that clash on rock-bound coasts,
The crash of tall trees when the wild winds swell,
THE CASKET OF POETICAL GEMS.
The roar of guns, the groans of men that die
On blood-stained fields. It has a voice as well
For them that far off on their sick beds lie,
For them that weep, for them that mourn the dead,
For them that laugh, and dance, and clap their hand;
To joy's quick step, as well as grief's low tread.
The sweet, plain words we learnt at first keep time,
And though the theme be sad, or gay, or grand,
With each, with all, these may be made to chime,
In thought, or speech, or song, or prose, or rhyme.
There was an old decanter,
and its mouth was gaping
wide; the rosy wine
had ebbed away
and the wind
sides it flew,
and through the
the wildest notes it
blew. I placed it in the
window, where the blast was
blowing free, and fancied that its
pale mouth sang the queerest strains
to me. . "They tell me puny con-
querors ! the Plague has slain his ten,
arid War his hundred thousands of the
very best of men; but I" 'twas thus
the bottle spoke "but I have con-
quered more than all your famous con-
querors, so feared and famed of yore.
Then come, ye youths and maidens,
come drink from out my cup, the bev-
erage that dulls the brain and burns
the spirit up; that puts to shame
the conquerors that slay their
scores below, for this has del-
uged millions with the lava
tide of woe. Though in the
path of battle, darkest
waves of blood may roll,
yet while I killed the body
I have damned the very
soul. The cholera, the
sword, such ruin never
wrought, as I, in mirth or
malice, on the innocent have
brought. And still I breathe
upon them, and they shrink
before my breath; and year
by year my thousands tread
THE TERRIBLE ROAD TO DEATH.
WHAT, and how great the virtue of the art,
To live on little with a cheerful heart.
Between excess and famine lies a mean,
Plain, but not sordid, though not splendid, clean.
Its proper power to hurt each creature feels:
Bulls aim their horns, and asses kick their heels.
Here Wisdom calls, " Seek virtue first, be bold;
As gold to silver, virtue is to gold."
"Let lands and houses have what lords they will,
Let us be fixed and our own masters still.
'T is the first virtue vices to abhor,
And the first wisdom to be fool no more.
Long as to him who works for debt, the day.
LINES AND COUPLETS. 237
Not to go back is somewhat to advance,
And mea must walk, at least, before they dance.
True, conscious honor is to feel no sin;
He 's armed without that 's innocent within.
For virtue's self may too much zeal be had,
The worst of madmen is a saint run mad.
If wealth alone can make and keep us blest,
Still, still be getting; never, never rest.
That God of nature who within us still
Inclines our actions, not constrains our will.
It is not poetry, but prose run mad.
Pretty in amber to observe the forms
Of hair, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms;
The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare, -
But wonder how the mischief they got there !
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.
Curst be the verse, how well soe'er it flow,
That tends to make one honest man my foe.
THE CASKET OF POETICAL GEMS.
Who shames a scribbler ? Break one cobweb through,
He spins the slight, self-pleasing thread anew;
Destroy his fib or sophistry, in vain,
The creature 's at his dirty work again,
Throned in the centre of his thin designs,
Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines.
He who, still wanting, though he lives on theft,
Steals much, spends little, yet has nothing left.
What future bliss He gives thee not to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
All nature is but art, unknown to thee,
All chance, direction which thou canst not see.
'T is education forms the common mind;
Just as the twig is bent the tree 's inclined.
Manners with fortunes, humors turn with climes,
Tenets with books, and principles with times.
Who shall decide when doctors disagree ?
And then mistook reverse of wrong for right.
That secret rare between the extremes to move,
Of mad good-nature and of mean self-love.
/ : M
LINES AND COUPLETS. 239
Ye little stars, hide your diminished rays.
Who builds a church to God, and not to fame,
Will never mark the marble with his name.
'T is strange the music should his cares employ
To gain those riches he can ne'er enjoy.
Something there is more needful than expense,
And something previous e'en to taste, 't is sense.
In all let Nature never be forgot,
But treat the goddess like a modest fair,
Not over-dress nor leave her wholly bare;
Let not each beauty everywhere be spied,
Where half the skill is decently to hide.
THERE are ten thousand tones and signs
We hear and see, but none defines
Involuntary sparks of thought
Which strike from out the heart o'erwrought,
And form a strange intelligence
Alike mysterious and intense;
Which link the burning chain that binds,
Without their will, young hearts and minds,
Conveying, as an electric wire,
We know not how, the absorbing fire.
LOVE is not love
Which alters when its alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no ! it is an ever fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth 's unknown, although its height be taken.
THERE is a comfort in the strength of Love;
'T will make a thing endurable, which else
Would overset the brain, or break the heart.
ALBUM VERSES. 241
FAREWELL, oh farewell, but whenever you give
A thought to the days that are gone,
Of the bright sunny things that in memory live
Let a thought of the writer be one.
The hope is but humble he asks but a share,
But a part of thy memories to be,
While no future to him can in rapture compare
To the past, made enchanting by thee.
THE joys of life are heightened by a friend;
The woes of life are lessened by a friend;
In all the cares of life, we by a friend
Assistance find who'd be without a friend?
WHY should I blush to own I love?
'T is Love that rules the realms above.
Why should I blush to say to all
That virtue holds my heart in thrall?
Why should I seek the thickest shade,
Lest Love's dear secret be betrayed?
Why the stern brow deceitful move,
When I am languishing with love ?
Is it a weakness thus to dwell
On passions that I dare not tell ?
Such weakness I would ever prove.
'T is painful, but 't is sweet to love !
HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
242 THE CASKET OF POETICAL GEMS. U
" I WILL not say I'd give the world
To win those charms divine;
I will not say I'd give the world
The world it is not mine.
The vow that's made thy love to win
In simple truth shall be;
My heart is all I have to give,
And give that all to thee."
But while I knelt at beauty's shrine,
And love's devotion paid,
I felt 't was but an empty vow
That passion's pilgrim made;
For while, in raptur'd gazing lost,
To give my heart I swore,
One glance from her soon made me feel
My heart was mine no more.
FRIENDSHIP is power and riches all to me;
Friendship 's another element of life;
Water and fire not of more general use
To the support and comfort of the world
Than Friendship to the being of my joy:
I would do everything to secure a friend.
SILENCE in love betrays more woe
Than words, though ne'er so witty;
A beggar that is dumb, you know,
Deserves a double pity.
SIR HENRY WOTTON.
ALBUM VERSES. 343
THE dart of Love was feather'd first
From Folly's wing, they say,
Until he tried his shaft to shoot
In Beauty's heart one day;
He miss'd the maid so oft, 't is said,
His aim became untrue,
And Beauty laugh'd, as his last shaft
He from his quiver drew;
"In vain," said she, "you shoot at me,
You little spiteful thing
The feather on your shaft I scorn,
When pluck'd from Folly's wing."
But Cupid soon fresh arrows found
And fitted to his string,
And each new shaft he feather'd from
His own bright glossy wing;
He shot until no plume was left
To waft him to the sky,
And Beauty smiled upon the child,
When he no more could fly;
" Now, Cupid, I am thine," she said,
" Leave off thy archer play,
For Beauty yields when she is sure
Love will not fly away."
OUR grandsire, ere of Eve possess'd, .
Alone, and e'en in Paradise unblest,
With mournful looks the blissful scene surveyed,
And wandered in the solitary shade;
The Maker saw, took pity, and bestowed
Woman, the last, the best reserved of God.
V , \
244 THE CASKET OF POETICAL GEMS.
I HOLD it true, whate'er befall
I feel it when I sorrow most
'T is better to have loved and lost,
Than never to have loved at all.
To Woman, whose best books are human hearts,
Wise Heaven a genius less profound imparts;
His awful hers is lovely; his should tell
How thunderbolts, and hers how roses fell.
Her rapid mind decides while his debates;
She feels a truth that he but calculates.
He, provident, averts approaching ill;
She snatches present good with ready skill.
That active perseverance his, which gains;
And hers, that passive patience which sustains.
YES ! Love indeed is light from heaven,
A spark of that immortal fire
With angels shared to mortals given,
To lift from earth our low desire.
Devotion wafts the mind above,
But heaven itself descends in love;
A feeling from the Godhead caught,
To wean from self each sordid thought;
A ray of Him who formed the whole;
A glory circling round the soul.
LOVE is a subject to himself alone,
And knows no other empire than his own.
ALBUM VERSES. 245
LIVES there the man too cold to prove
The joys of Friendship and of Love ?
Then let him die; when these are fled,
Scarce do we differ from the dead.
ALBUMS are records, kept by gentle dames,
To show us that their friends can write their names;
That Miss can draw, or brother John can write
"Sweet lines," or that they know a Mr. White.
The lady comes, with lowly grace upon her.
" 'T will be so kind," and " do her book such honor; "
We bow, smile, deprecate, protest, read o'er
The names to see what has been done before,
Wish to say something wonderful, but can't,
And write, with modest glory, " William Grant."
Johnson succeeds, and Thompson, Jones, and Clarke,
And Cox with an original remark
Out of the speaker; then come John's " sweetjines,"
Fanny's "sweet airs," and Jenny's "sweet designs:"
Then Hobbs, Cobbs, Dodds, Lord Strut, and Lady Brisk,
And, with a flourish underneath him, Fisk.
Alas ! why sit I here, committing jokes
On social pleasures and good-humor'd folks,
That see far better with their trusting eyes,
Than all the blinkings of the would-be wise ?
Albums are, after all, pleasant inventions,
Make friends more friendly, grace one's good intentions,
Brighten dull names, give great ones kindred looks,
Nay, now and then produce right curious books,
And make the scoffer (now the case with me)
Blush to look round on deathless company.
THE CASKET OF POETICAL GEMS.
BEWARE of sudden friendship; 't is a. flower
That thrives but in the sun; its bud is fair,
And it may blossom in the summer hour,
But winter's withering tempests will not bear.
True Friendship is a tree, whose lasting strength
Is slow of growth, but proves, whate'er befall,
Through life our hope and haven, and at length
Yields but to death the power that conquers all.
As o'er the cold sepulchral stone
Some name arrests the passer-by,
Thus, when thou view'st this page alone,
May mine attract thy pensive eye !
And when by thee that name is read,
Perchance in some succeeding year,
Reflect on me as on the dead,
* And think my heart is buried here.
HERE is one leaf reserved for me,
From all thy sweet memories free;
And here my simple song might tell
The feelings thou must guess so well.
But could I thus within thy mind
One little vacant corner find,
Where no impression yet is seen,
Where no memorial yet has been;
O, it should be my sweetest care
To write my name forever there !'
ALBUM VERSES. 247
A PEPPER-CORN is very small, but seasons every dinner
More than all other condiments, although 't is sprinkled
Just so a little Woman is, if Love will let you win her
There 's not a joy in all the world you will not find within
And as within the little rose you find the richest dyes,
And in the little grain of gold much price and value lies,
As from a little balsam much odor doth arise,
So in a little Woman there 's a taste of paradise.
FROM THE SPANISH OF DE HITA.
YE are stars of the night, ye are gems of the morn,
Ye are dewdrops whose lustre illumines the thorn;
And rayless that night is, that morning unblest,
When no beams in your eye light up peace in the breast.
And the sharp thorn of sorrow sinks deep in the heart,
Till the sweet lip of Woman assuages the smart;
'T is hers o'er the couch of misfortune to bend,
In fondness a lover, in firmness a friend;
And prosperity's hour, be it ever confessed,
From Woman receives both refinement and zest;
And adorn'd by the bays or enwreath'd with the willow,
Her smile is our need, and her bosom our pillow.
LOVE ! What a volume in a word ! an ocean in a tear !
A seventh heaven in a glance ! a whirlwind in a sigh !
The lightning in a touch a millennium in a moment !
What concentrated joy, or woe, in blest or blighted love !
248 THE CASKET OF POETICAL GEMS.
DIE when you will, you need not wear
At heaven's court a form more fair
Than beauty here on earth has given.
Keep but the lovely looks we see
The voice we hear and you will be
An angel ready made for heaven.
I HAVE seen the wild flowers springing,
In wood, and field, and glen,
Where a thousand birds were singing,
And my thoughts were of thee then;
For there 's nothing gladsome round me,
Or beautiful to see,
Since thy beauty's spell has bound me,
But is eloquent of thee.
FRIEND after friend departs;
Who hath not lost a friend ?
There is no union here of hearts
That finds not here an end.
Were this frail world our only rest,
Living or dying, none were blest.
Thus star by star declines,
Till all are passed away,
As morning high and higher shines
To pure and perfect day;
Nor sink those stars in empty night,
They lose themselves in heaven's own light.
J ALBUM VERSES. 249
DOUBT thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt Truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love !
FOR me I'm woman's slave confessed
Without her, hopeless and unblest;
And so are all, gainsay who can,
For what would be the life of man,
If left in desert or in isle,
Unlightened up by beauty's smile ?
Even tho' he boasted monarch's name,
And o'er his own sex reign'd supreme,
With thousands bending to his sway,
If lovely Woman were away,
What were his life ? What could it be ?
A vapor on a shoreless sea;
A troubled cloud in darkness toss'd,
Amongst the waste of waters lost;
A ship deserted in the gale,
Without a steersman or a sail,
A star, or beacon-light before,
Or hope of haven evermore;
A thing without a human tie,
Unloved to live, unwept to die.
OH, fairest of creation ! last and best
Of all God's works ! creature in whom excelled
Whatever, can to sight or thought be form'd
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet !
THE CASKET OF POETICAL GEMS.
I HAVE heard of reasons manifold
Why Love must needs be blind;
But this the best of all I hold
His eyes are in his mind.
What outward form and feature are
He guesseth but in part;
But what within is good and fair
He seeth with the heart.
S. T. COLERIDGE.
WOMAN'S truth and woman's love
Blest on earth, is blest above.
Ministering oft in sorrow's hour,
Proving e'er affection's power.
Ne'er forgetting, ne'er forgot;
Ever be her happy lot.
THE light that beams from Woman's eye,
And sparkles through her tear,
Responds to that impassion'd sigh
Which love delights to hear.
'T is the sweet language of the soul,
On which a voice is hung,
More eloquent than ever stole
From saint's or poet's tongue.
ALBUM VERSES. 251
THE sunshine of the heart be mine,
That beams a charm around;
Where'er it sheds its ray divine,
Is all enchanted ground !
No fiend of care may enter there,
Tho' Fate employ her art:
Her power, tho' mighty, bows to thine,
Bright sunshine of the heart !
FAITH is the star that gleams above,
Hope is the flower that buds below;
Twin tokens of celestial love
That out from Nature's bosom grow;
And still alike, in sky, on sod,
That star and blossom ever point to God.
As half in shade, and half in sun,
This world along its path advances,
Oh ! may that side the sun shines on
Be all that ever meets thy glances;
May Time, who casts his blight on all,
And daily dooms some joy to death,
On thee let years so gently fall
They shall not crush one flower beneath.
LONGEST joys won't last forever
Make the most of every day;
Youth and beauty Time will sever,
But Content hath no decay.
252 THE CASKET OF POETICAL GEMS.
YE flowers that droop, forsaken by the spring;
Ye birds that, forsaken by the summer, cease to sing;
Ye trees that fade when autumn heats remove,
Say, is not Absence death to those who love ?
NOT purple violets in the early spring
Such graceful sweets, such tender beauties bring;
The orient blush which does thy cheeks adorn,
Makes coral pale vies with the rosy morn.
THIS is the charm, by sages often told,
Converting all it touches into gold;
Content can soothe, where'er by fortune placed,
Can rear a garden in a desert waste.
HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
DUTY has pleasures with no satiety.
Duties fulfilled are always pleasures to the memory.
Duty makes pleasure doubly sweet by contrast.
THERE is a jewel which no Indian mine can buy,
No chemic art can counterfeit;
It makes men rich in greatest poverty,
Makes water wine, turns wooden cups to gold,
The homely whistle to sweet music's strain;
Seldom it comes -to few from Heaven sent-
That much in little all in thought Content.
ALBUM VERSES. 253
HOPE is the lover's staff:
Walk thou with that,
And manage it against despairing thought.
O GRANT me, Heav'n, a middle state,
Neither too humble nor too great;
More than enough for nature's ends,
With something left to treat my friends.
WHAT will it matter
By and by,
Whether our path below was bright;
Whether it shone th.rough dark or light
Under a gray or golden sky
What will it matter,
By and by ?
THOU'RT fairer than the poets can express,
Or happy painters fancy when they love.
LOVE is to my impassion'd soul
Not, as with others, a mere part
Of its existence; but the whole
The very life-breath of my heart.
So like. the chances are of Love and War,
That they alone in this distinguished are:
In Love, the victors from the vanquished fly
They fly that wound, and they pursue that die.
254 THE CASKET OF POETICAL GEMS.
IN Christian world Mary the garland wears !
Rebecca sweetens on a Hebrew ear;
Quakers for pure Priscilla are more clear;
And the light Gaul by amorous Ninon swears.
Among the lesser lights how Lucy shines !
What air of fragrance Rosamond throws round !
How like a hymn doth sweet Cecilia sound !
Of Marthas and of Abigails few lines
Have bragg'd in verse. Of coarsest household stuff
Should homely Joan be fashion'd. But can
You Barbara resist, or Marian ?
And is not Clare for love excuse enough ?
Yet, by my faith in numbers, I profess
These all than Saxon Edith please me less.
SMALL service is true service where it lasts:
Of friends, however, scorn not one:
The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,
Protects the lingering dew-drop from the sun.
WELL chosen friendship, 'the most noble
Of virtues, all our joys makes double,
And into halves divides our trouble.
LOVE reckons hours for months, and days for years;
And every little absence is an age.
A THING of beauty is a joy forever;
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness.
ALBUM VERSES. 255
THEY say that Love had once a book
(The urchin likes to copy you)
Where all who came the pencil took,
And wrote, like us, a line or two.
'T was innocence, the maid divine,
Who kept this volume bright and fair,
And saw that no unhallowed line
Or thought profane should enter there.
Beneath the touch of Hope, how soft,
How light the magic pencil ran !
Till Fear would come, alas ! as oft,
And, trembling, close what Hope began.
A tear or two had dropped from Grief ;
And Jealousy would, now and then,
Ruffle in haste some snowy leaf,
Which Love had still to smooth again.
But oh ! there was a blooming boy
Who often turned the pages o'er,
And wrote therein such words of joy
As all who read still sighed for more.
And Pleasure was this spirit's name;
And though so soft his voice and look,
Yet Innocence, whene'er he came,
Would tremble for her spotless book !
For oh ! 't would make you weep to see
How Pleasure's honeyed hand had torn
And stained the page where Modesty
A rose's bud had freshly drawn.
And Fancy's emblems lost their glow;
And Hope's sweet lines were all defaced:
And Love himself could hardly know
What Love himself had lately traced.
Beware of Pleasure and his lures;
In virtue's ranks he finds no place.
Those pleasures only should be yours
That spring from thoughts and deeds of grace.
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