And ere to bed
Go we, go we,
Down by the ashes
We kneel on the knee;
Thus then live I,
Till, breaking the gloom
Of winter, the bold sun
Is with me in the room!
Then the clouds part,
Swallows soaring between:
The spring is awake,
And the meadows are green,—
I jump up like mad;
Break the old pipe in twain;
And away to the meadows,
The meadows again!
JAMES MONTGOMERY’S “THE COMMON LOT”
(See Letter 535, page 938)
A Birth-day Meditation, during a solitary winter walk of seven miles, between a village in Derbyshire and Sheffield, when the ground was covered with snow, the sky serene, and the morning air intensely pure.
in the flight of ages past,
There lived a man:—and WHO was HE?
—Mortal! howe’er thy lot be cast,
That man resembled Thee.
the region of his birth,
The land in which he died unknown:
His name has perish’d from the earth;
This truth survives alone:—
joy and grief, and hope and fear,
Alternate triumph’d in his breast;
His bliss and woe,—a smile, a tear!—
Oblivion hides the rest.
bounding pulse, the languid limb,
The changing spirits’ rise and fall;
We know that these were felt by him,
For these are felt by all.
suffer’d,—but his pangs are o’er;
Enjoy’d,—but his delights are fled;
Had friends,—his friends are now no more;
And foes,—his foes are dead.
loved,—but whom he loved, the grave
Hath lost in its unconscious womb:
O. she was fair!—but nought could save
Her beauty from the tomb.
saw whatever thou hast seen;
Encounter’d all that troubles thee:
He was—whatever thou hast been;
He is—what thou shalt be.
rolling seasons, day and night,
Sun, moon, and stars, the earth and main,
Erewhile his portion, life and light,
To him exist in vain.
clouds and sunbeams, o’er his eye
That once their shades and glory threw,
Have left in yonder silent sky
No vestige where they flew.
annals of the human race,
Their ruins, since the world began,
Of HIM afford no other trace
Than this,—THERE LIVED A MAN!
November 4, 1805. BARRY CORNWALL’S “EPISTLE TO CHARLES LAMB;
ON HIS EMANCIPATION FROM CLERKSHIP”
(WRITTEN OVER A FLASK OF SHERRIS)
FROM ENGLISH SONGS