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Let a broad stream with golden sands
Through all his meadow's roll,
He's but a wretch with all his lands,
That wears a narrow soul.
He swells amidst his wealthy store,
And proudly poising what he weighs,
In his own scale he fondly lays
Huge heaps of shining ore.
He spreads the balance wide to hold
His manors and his farms,
And cheats the beam with loads of gold
He hugs between his arms.
So might the plough boy climb a tree,
When Croesus mounts his throne,
And both stand up, and smile to see
How long their shadows grown.
Alas! how vain their fancies be,
To think that shade their own!
Thus mingled still with wealth and state,
Croesus himself can never know;
His true dimensions and his weight
Are far inferior to their show.
Were I so tall to reach the pole,
Or grasp the ocean with my span,
I must be measured by my soul:
The mind's the standard of the man.
PLEASURES OF MEMORY.
SWEET MEMORY! wafted by thy gentle gale, the stream of Time I turn my sail,
To view the fairy-haunts of long-lost hours,
Blest with far greener shades, far fresher flowers.
When Joy's bright sun has shed his evening ray, And Hope's delusive meteors cease to play; When clouds on clouds the smiling prospect close, Still through the gloom thy star serenely glows: Like yon fair orb, she gilds the brow of night With the mild magic of reflected light.
And who can tell the triumphs of the mind
By truth illumined, and by taste refined?
When age has quenched the eye, and closed the ear,
Still nerved for action in her native sphere,
Oft will she rise-with searching glance pursue
Some long-loved image vanished from her view;
Dart through the deep recesses of the past,
O'er dusky forms in chains of slumber cast;
With giant-grasp fling back the folds of night,
And snatch the faithless fugitive to light.
Hail, MEMORY, hail! in thy exhaustless mine
From age to age unnumbered glories shine!
Thought and her shadowy brood thy call obey,
And Place and Time are subject to thy sway!
Thy pleasures most we feel, when most alone;
The only pleasures we can call our own.
Lighter than air, Hope's summer-visions fly,
If but a fleeting cloud obscure the sky;
If but a beam of sober Reason play,
Lo, Fancy's fairy frost-work melts away!
But can the wiles of Art, the grasp of Power,
Snatch the rich relics of a well-spent hour?
These, when the trembling spirit wings her flight,
Pour round her path a stream of living light;
And gild those pure and perfect realms of rest,
Where Virtue triumphs, and her sons are blest.
THE Sailor sighs as sinks his native shore,
As all its lessening turrets bluely fade;
He climbs the mast to feast his eye once more,
And busy fancy fondly lends her aid.
Ah! now, each dear, domestic scene he knew,
Recalled and cherished in a foreign clime,
Charms with the magic of a moonlight view;
Its colours mellowed, not impaired, by time.
True as the needle, homeward points his heart,
Through all the horrors of the stormy main;
This, the last wish that would with life depart,
To see the smile of her he loves again.
When Morn first faintly draws her silver line,
Or Eve's grey cloud descends to drink the wave;
When sea and sky in midnight darkness join,
Still, still he views the parting look she gave.
Her gentle spirit, lightly hovering o'er,
Attends his little bark from pole to pole;
And, when the beating billows round him roar,
Whispers sweet hope to soothe his troubled soul.
Carved is her name in many a spicy grove,
In many a plantain-forest, waving wide;
Where dusky youths in painted plumage rove,
And giant palms o'er-arch the golden tide.
But lo, at last he comes with crowded sail!
Lo, o'er the cliff what eager figures bend!
And hark, what mingled murmurs swell the gale!
In each he hears the welcome of a friend.
-'Tis she, 'tis she herself! she waves her hand!
Soon is the anchor cast, the canvas furled;
Soon through the whitening surge he springs to land,
And clasps the maid he singled from the world!
A CERTAIN artist (I forget his name)
Had got for making Spectacles a fame,
Or Helps to Read-
-as when the first were sold
Was writ, upon his glaring sign, in gold;
And, for all uses to be had from glass,
His were allowed, by readers, to surpass.
There came a man into his shop one day-
"Are you the spectacle-contriver, pray?"
Yes, sir," said he, "I can, in that affair, "Contrive to please you, if you want a pair." "Can you?-pray do then."-So, at first, he chose To place a youngish pair upon his nose;
And book produced, to see how they would fit; Asked how he liked them." Like them? not a bit." "Then, sir, I fancy, if you please to try,
"These, in my hand, will better suit your eye."
"No, but they don't."-"Well, come, sir, if you please,
"Here is another sort, we'll even try these;
"Still somewhat more they magnify the letter:
"Now, sir?" ___"" Why now-I'm not a bit the better."
"No! here, take these, which magnify still more;
"How do they fit ?""Like all the rest before."
In short, they tried a whole assortment through,
But all in vain, for none of them would do:
The operator, much surprised to find
So odd a case, thought, sure the man is blind;
"What sort of eyes can you have got?" said he
Why, very good ones, friend, as you may see."
Yes, I perceive the clearness of the ball-
Pray, let me ask you-can you read at all?"
No, you great blockhead! if I could, what need
"Of paying you for any helps to read?"
And so he left the maker in a heat,
Resolved to post him for an arrant cheat.
THE LAST MAN.
ALL wordly shapes shall melt in gloom,
The Sun himself must die,
Before this mortal shall assume
I saw a vision in my sleep,
That gave my spirit strength to sweep
Adown the gulf of Time!
I saw the last of human mould,
That shall Creation's death behold,
As Adam saw her prime !
The Sun's eye had a sickly glare,
The Earth with age was wan,
The skeletons of nations were
Around that lonely man!
Some had expired in fight, the brands
Still rusted in their bony hands;
In plague and famine some!
Earth's cities had no sound nor tread ;
And ships were drifting with the dead,
To shores were all was dumb!
Yet, prophet-like, that lone one stood,
With dauntless words and high,
That shook the sere leaves from the wood,
As if a storm passed by,
Saying, We are twins in death, proud Sun,
Thy face is cold, thy race is run,
'Tis Mercy bids thee go.
For thou ten thousand thousand years
Hast seen the tide of human tears,
That shall no longer flow.
What though beneath thee man put forth
His pomp, his pride, his skill;
And arts that made fire, flood, and earth,
The vassals of his will ;-
Yet mourn I not thy parted sway,
Thou dim discrowned king of day:
For all those trophied arts
And triumphs that beneath thee sprang,
Healed not a passion or a pang
Entailed on human hearts.