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EVENING SHADOWS SWEEPING THROUGH A SCULPTURE HALL.
But lo! the East is deepening; and the shade
Floats in grey softness down the gorgeous hall,
Veiling the crimson cheek and glossy braid;
And wreathing in its slow and sweeping pall
Mirror, and bust, and Parian capital.
Silence is throned,-in distance dies the tread, -
And in the gloom its kings and champions all,
Sitting with truncheon'd band and hoary head,
Seem spirits from the grave, a council of the dead !
He, in the firmament of honour, stands
Like a star, fix’d, not moved with any thunder
Of popular applause, or sudden lightning
Of self opinion ; he hath saved his country,
And thinks 'twas but his duty.
Against their nature, are all bent for him,
And, like a field of standing corn that's moved
With a stiff gale, their heads bow all one way.
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
Proud words, when deeds come short, are seasonable;
Look, Hassan, on yon crescent moon, emblazon'd
Upon that shatter'd flag of fiery cloud
Which leads the rear of the departing day,
Wan emblem of an empire fading now!
See how it trembles in the blood-red air,
And like a migbty lamp whose oil is spent,
Shrinks on the horizon's edge, while, from above,
One star with insolent and victorious light,
Hovers above its fall, and with keen beams,
Like arrows through a fainting antelope,
Strikes its weak form to death.
Honour consists not in a bare opinion ;
By doing any act that feeds content,
Brave in appearance, 'cause we think it brave.
Such honour comes by accident, not nature,
Proceeding from the vices of our passion,
Which makes our reason drunk. But real honour
Is the reward of virtue, and acquired
By justice or by valour, which, for basis,
Hath justice to uphold it. He, then, fails
In honour who, for lucre of revenge,
Commits thefts, murders, treason, or adulteries,
With such like, by intrenching on just laws,
Whose sovereignty is but preserved by justice.
Thus, as you see how, honour must be grounded
On knowledge, not opinion,- for opinion
Relies on probability and accident,
But knowledge on necessity and truth.
What! Keep a week away! seven days and nights ?
Eight score eight hours,—and lovers' absent hours,-
More tedious than the dial eight score times?
O weary reckoning !
The noise of life begins again,
And ghastly through the drizzling rain,
On the bald street breaks the blank day.
Shall I be like thee yet? The clouds have past-
And like some mighty victor, he returns
To his red city in the west, that now
Spreads all her gates, and lights her torches up,
In triumph for her glorious conqueror.
Consider, my most honour'd lords,
If to receive a favour make a servant,
And benefits are bonds to tie the taker
To the imperious will of him who gives,
There's none but slaves will receive courtesies,
Since they must fetter us to our dishonours.
Can it be call’d magnificence in a prince
down riches with a liberal hand
Upon a poor man's wants, if that must bind him
To play the soothing parasite to his vices ?
Or any man, because he saved my hand,
Presume my heart and head are at his service ?
Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land !
Whose heart bath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd,
From wandering on a foreign strand !
If such there breathe, go, mark him well ;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth, as wish can claim :
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
Every man in this age has not a soul
Of crystal, for all men to read their actions through.
Men's hearts and faces are so far asunder,
That they hold no intelligence.
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
A Sculptured Vase...
An Old Tale
Ode to a Nightingale
The Poet's Task
A Sleeping Youth ...
The Bower of Bliss
Pleasure and Pain ...
Hymn to Pan
The Human Season
20 28 57 82 84 92 110 112 144 236 307 334 336 363 390 391 418 430 434
Hymn to the Night
The Beleaguered City
The Spirit of Poetry
The Village Blacksmith
The Song of the Silent Land
The Old Clock on the Stairs
The Day is Done
To Althea ...