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[THE THRONE OF DEATH.]
Methought I saw the footsteps of a throne
Sick, hale, old, young, who cried before that cloud,
With her face up to heaven; that seemed to have
[THE SHOCK OF BEREAVEMENT.]
Surprised by joy-impatient as the Wind.
I turned to share the transport-Oh! with whom
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
To my most grievous loss?—That thought's return
[Concluding sonnet of the series 'To the River Duddon,' 1820.]·
I thought of Thee, my partner and my guide,
Still glides the Stream, and shall for ever glide;
Enough, if something from our hands have power
And if, as toward the silent tomb we go,
We feel that we are greater than we know.
From low to high doth dissolution climb,
Which they can hear who meddle not with crime,
Truth fails not; but her outward forms that bear
His crown of weeds, but could not even sustain
TO LADY FITZGERALD, IN HER SEVENTIETH YEAR.
Such age how beautiful! O Lady bright,
ON THE DEPARTURE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT FROM ABBOTSFORD, FOR NAPLES.
A trouble, not of clouds, or weeping rain,
Lift up your hearts, ye Mourners! for the might
Than sceptred king or laurelled conqueror knows,
[PAST YEARS OF HOME.]
Wansfell!1 this Household has a favoured lot,
To watch while Morn first crowns thee with her rays,
As soon we shall be, may these words attest
Thy visionary majesties of light,
How in thy pensive glooms our hearts found rest.
1 The Hill that rises to the south east, above Ambleside.
[SAMUEL ROGFRS was born at Stoke Newington in 1763 and died in 1855. The dates of his principal poems are-Pleasures of Memory 1793, Epistle to a Friend 1798, Human Life 1819, Italy (complete edition) 1834]
When a poet has become a poet of the past and in the natural course of things his poetry has ceased to be talked about, it is not easy to ascertain how far it may or may not have ceased to be read. Has it ceased to be bought? The answer to that question might be accepted in most cases as answering the other. But in the case of Rogers an element of ambiguity was introduced long since. When a well-known firm some fifty years ago expressed a doubt whether the public would provide a market for a volume he wished them to publish, Rogers, in a tone half serious, half comic, said—‘I will make them buy it ;' and being a rich man and a great lover of art, he sent for Turner and Stothard, and a volume appeared with such adornments as have never been equalled before or since. It was called by a sarcastic friend of mine 'Turner illustrated.'
The Pleasures of Memory is an excellent specimen of what Wordsworth calls 'the accomplishment of verse'; and it was well worthy to attract attention and admiration at the time when it appeared; for at that time poetry, with few exceptions, was to be distinguished from prose by versification and little else. The Pleasures of Memory is an essay in verse, not wanting in tender sentiment and just reflection, expressed, gracefully no doubt, but with a formal and elaborate grace, and in studiously pointed and carefully poised diction, such as the heroic couplet had been trained to assume since the days of Pope. In 1793 very different days were approaching-days in which poetry was to break its chains, and formality to be thrown to the winds. The didactic dullness of the eighteenth century was presently to be supplanted by the romantic