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And being so- -the absent are the dead,
Who haunt us from tranquillity, and spread
A dreary shroud around us, and invest
With sad remembrances our hours of rest.
The absent are the dead-for they are cold,
And ne'er can be what once we did behold;
And they are changed, and cheerless,—or if yet
The unforgotten do not all forget,
Since thus divided-equal must it be
If the deep barrier be of earth, or sea;
It may be both-but one day end it must
In the dark union of insensate dust.
The under-earth inhabitants-are they
But mingled millions decomposed to clay ?
The ashes of a thousand ages spread
Wherever man has trodden or shall tread ?
Or do they in their silent cities dwell
Each in his incommunicative cell?
Or have they their own language? and a sense
Of breathless being ?-darken'd and intense
As midnight in her solitude ?-Oh Earth!
Where are the past ?—and wherefore had they birth?
The dead are thy inheritors-and we
But bubbles on thy surface; and the key
Of thy profundity is in the grave,
The ebon portal of thy peopled cave,
Where I would walk in spirit, and behold
Our elements resolved to things untold,
And fathom hidden wonders, and explore
The essence of great bosoms now no more.
Diodati, July, 1816.
BRIGHT be the place of thy soul !
No lovelier spirit than thine
E'er burst from its mortal control,
In the orbs of the blessed to shine.
On earth thou wert all but divine,
As thy soul shall immortally be;
And our sorrow may cease to repine
When we know that thy God is with thee.
Light be the turf of thy tomb!
May its verdure like emeralds be!
There should not be the shadow of gloom
In aught that reminds us of thee.
Young flowers and an evergreen tree
May spring from the spot of thy rest :
But nor cypress nor yew let us see;
For why should we mourn for the blest?
THEY say that Hope is happiness;
But genuine Love must prize the past, And Memory wakes the thoughts that bless : They rose the first-they set the last;
And all that Memory loves the most
Was once our only Hope to be,
And all that Hope adored and lost
Hath melted into Memory.
Alas! it is delusion all:
The future cheats us from afar, Nor can we be what we recall,
Nor dare we think on what we are.
SO, WE'LL GO NO MORE A ROVING
So, we'll go no more a roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.
Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a roving
By the light of the moon.
TO THOMAS MOORE
WHAT are you doing now,
Oh Thomas Moore ?
What are you doing now,
Oh Thomas Moore ?
Sighing or suing now,
Rhyming or wooing now,
Billing or cooing now,
Which, Thomas Moore ?
But the Carnival's coming,
Oh Thomas Moore !
The Carnival's coming,
Oh Thomas Moore !
Masking and humming,
Fifing and drumming,
Guitarring and strumming,
Oh Thomas Moore !
My boat is on the shore,
And my bark is on the sea;
But, before I go, Tom Moore,
Here's a double health to thee!
Here's a sigh to those who love me,
And a smile to those who hate;
And, whatever sky's above me,
Here's a heart for every fate.
Though the ocean roar around me,
Yet it still shall bear me on;
Though a desert should surround me,
It hath springs that may be won.
Were't the last drop in the well,
As I gasp'd upon the brink,
Ere my fainting spirit fell,
'Tis to thee that I would drink.
With that water, as this wine,
The libation I would pour
Should be peace with thine and mine,
And a health to thee, Tom Moore.
EPISTLE FROM MR. MURRAY TO
DEAR Doctor, I have read your play,
Which is a good one in its way,-
Purges the eyes and moves the bowels,
And drenches handkerchiefs like towels
With tears, that, in a flux of grief,
Afford hysterical relief
To shatter'd nerves and quicken'd pulses,
Which your catastrophe convulses.
I like your moral and machinery;
Your plot, too, has such scope for scenery;
Your dialogue is apt and smart:
The play's concoction full of art;
Your hero raves, your heroine cries,
All stab, and everybody dies.
In short, your tragedy would be
The very thing to hear and see:
And for a piece of publication,
If I decline on this occasion,
It is not that I am not sensible
To merits in themselves ostensible,
But-and I grieve to speak it-plays
Are drugs-mere drugs, sir-now-a-days.
I had a heavy loss by "Manuel,'
Too lucky if it prove not annual,-
And Sotheby, with his " Orestes,"
(Which, by the by, the author's best is,)
Has lain so very long on hand,
That I despair of all demand.
I've advertised, but see my books,
Or only watch my shopman's looks ;-
Still Ivan, Ina, and such lumber,
My back-shop glut, my shelves encumber.
There's Byron too, who once did better,
Has sent me, folded in a letter,
A sort of-it's no more a drama
Than Darnley, Ivan, or Kehama :
So alter'd since last year his pen is,
I think he's lost his wits at Venice.
In short, sir, what with one and t'other,
I dare not venture on another.
I write in haste; excuse each blunder;
The coaches through the streets so thunder !
My room's so full-we've Gifford here
Reading MS., with Hookham Frere,
Pronouncing on the nouns and particles
Of some of our forthcoming Articles.
The Quarterly-Ah, sir, if you
Had but the genius to review !-
A smart critique upon St. Helena,
Or if you only would but tell in a