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1. Nothing so difficult as a beginning
In poesy, unless perhaps the end;
The race, he sprains a wing, and down we tend, Like Lucifer when hurld from heaven for sinning ;
Our sin the same, and hard as his to mend, Being pride, which leads the mind to soar too far, Till our own weakness shows us what we are.
And sharp adversity, will teach at last
That neither of their intellects are vast : While youth's hot wishes in our red veins revel,
We know not this—the blood flows on too fast; But as the torrent widens towards the ocean, We ponder deeply on each past emotion.
And wish'd that others held the same opinion ; They took it up when my days grew more mellow,
And other minds acknowledged my dominion : Now my sere fancy “falls into the yellow
Leaf,” and imagination droops her pinion, And the sad truth which hovers o'er
my desk Turns what was once romantic to burlesque.
IV. And if I laugh at any mortal thing,
'T is that I may not weep; and if I weep, 'T is that our nature cannot always bring
Itself to apathy, which we must steep
Ere what we least wish to behold will sleep.
Against the creed and morals of the land,
I don't pretend that I quite understand
But the fact is that I have nothing plann'd,
This way of writing will appear exotic :
Who sung when chivalry was more Quixotic, And revell’d in the fancies of the time,
True knights, chaste dames, huge giants, kings despotic; But all these, save the last, being obsolete, I chose a modern subject as more meet.
Perhaps no better than they ’ve treated me
Not what they saw, but what they wish'd to see :
This is a liberal age, and thoughts are free ;
To their own hearts' mosi sweet society ;
; Sigh’d to behold them of their hours bereft,
Though foe to love ; and yet they could not be Meant to grow old, but die in happy spring, Before one charm or hope had taken wing.
Pure blood to stagnate, their great hearts to fail ;
But, like the climes that know nor snow nor hail,
And shiver them to ashes, but to trail
Thus was another Eden; they were never
Cut from its forest root of years—the river Damm'd from its fountain the child from the knee
And breast maternal wean'd at once for ever, Would wither less than these two torn apart; Alas! there is no instinct like the heart
Thrice fòrtunate! who, of that fragile mould,
Break with the first fall : they can ne'er behold The long year link'd with heavy day on day,
And all which must be borne, and never told ; While life's strange principle will often lie Deepest in those who long the most to die.
And many deaths do they escape by this :
The death of friendship, love, youth, all that is,
Awaits at least even those whom longest miss The old archer's shafts, perhaps the early grave Which men weep over may be meant to save.
The heavens, and earth, and air, seem'd made for them; They found no fault with Time, save that he fled;
They saw not in themselves aught to condemn.
like a gem,
The least glance better understood than words,
A language, too, but like to that of birds,
As but to lovers a true sense affords;
And children still they should have ever been;
A busy character in the dull scene ; But like two beings born from out a rill,
A nymph and her beloved, all unseen To pass
their lives in fountains and on flowers, And never know the weight of human hours.
XVI. Moons changing had rollid on, and changeless found
Those their bright rise had lighted to such joys As rarely they beheld throughout their round:
And these were not of the vain kind which cloys ; For theirs were buoyant spirits, never bound
By the mere senses; and that which destroys
XVII. Oh beautiful! and rare as beautiful !
But theirs was love in which the mind delights To lose itself, when the old world grows dull,
And we are sick of its hack sounds and sights, Intrigues, adventures of the common school,
Its petty passions, marriages, and flights, Where Hymen's torch but brands one strumpet more, Whose husband only knows her not a wh-re.
XVIIJ Hard words; harsh truth; a truth which many know.
Enough.—The faithful and the fairy pair, . Who never found a single hour too slow,
What was it made them thus exempt from care?
Which perish in the rest, but in them were
XIX. This is in others a factitious state,
An opium dream of too much youth and reading; But was in them their nature or their fate: No novels e'er had set their
young hearts bleeding, For Haidee's knowledge was by no means great,
And Juan was a boy of saintly breeding ;
Dear unto all, but dearest to their eyes,
Of love had first o'erwhelm'd them from such skies,
And twilight saw them link'd in passion's ties; Charm'd with each other, all things charm’d, that brought The past still welcome as the present thought.
Even as they gazed, a sudden tremor came,
Like the wind o'er a harp-string, or a flame,
And thus some boding flash'd through either frame,
And follow far the disappearing sun,
With his broad, bright, and dropping orb were gone. Juan gazed on her as to ask his fate
He felt a grief, but knowing cause for none,
Which makes not others smile ; then turn'd aside :
And master'd by her wisdom or her pride. When Juan spoke, too_it might be in sport
Of this their mutual feeling, she replied “ If it should be so,-but-it cannot beOr I at least shall not survive to see."
His lips to hers, and silenced him with this,
Defying augury with that fond kiss ;
Some people prefer wine-—'t is not amiss :
a part take