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Note 6. Stanza lxxxvi.
For that with me 's a sine qua."
Subauditur Non, omitted for the sake of euphony.
Note 7. Stanza xcvi.
In short upon that subject I 've some qualms very
Like those of the philosopher of Malmsbury. Hobbes; who, doubting of his own soul, paid that compliment to the souls of other people as to decline their visits, of which he had some apprehension.
1. The antique Persians taught three useful things,
To draw the bow, to ride, and speak the truth. This was the mode of Cyrus—best of kings-
A mode adopted since by modern youth. Bows have they, generally with two strings;
Horses they ride without remorse or ruth ; At speaking truth perhaps they are less clever, But draw the long-bow better now than ever.
The cause of this effect, or this defect,
"For this effect defective comes by cause,”Is what I have not leisure to inspect;
But this I must say in my own applause,
be her follies or her flaws In some things, mine 's beyond all contradiction The most sincere that ever dealt in fiction.
From any thing, this epic will contain
Which you might elsewhere hope to find in vain. 'T is true there be some bitters with the sweets,
Yet mix'd so slightly that you can't complain, But wonder they so few are, since my
tale is “De rebus cunctis et quibusdam aliis."
True is that which she is about to tell.
What then? I only know it so befel. Have you explored the limits of the coast,
Where all the dwellers of the earth must dwell? 'T is time to strike such puny doubters dumb as The sceptics who would not believe Columbus.
Turpin's or Monmouth Geoffry's Chronicle ;
Is always greatest at a miracle.
Who bids all men believe the impossible,
Believe :if ’t is improbable, you must;
'T is always best to take things upon trust. I do not speak profanely to recal
Those holier mysteries, which the wise and just Receive as gospel, and which grow more rooted, As all truths must, the more they are disputed.
That in the course of some six thousand years, All nations have believed that from the dead
A visitant at intervals appears ;
Is that whatever bar the reason rears 'Gainst such belief, there 's something stronger still In its behalf, let those deny who will.
The supper too discuss'd, the dames admired,
The song was silent, and the dance expired : The last thin petticoats were vanish’d, gone,
Like fleecy clouds into the sky retired, And nothing brighter gleam'd through the saloon Than dying tapers—and the peeping moon.
IX. The evaporation of a joyous day
Is like the last glass of champagne, without The foam which made its virgin bumper gay;
Or like a system coupled with a doubt;
Or none; or like-like nothing that I know
A thing, of which similitudes can show
Dyed purple, none at present can tell how,
Undressing is a woe; our robe de chambre
Thoughts quite as yellow, but less clear than amber. Titus exclaim'd, “I've lost a day!” Of all
The nights and days most people can remember (I 've had of both, some not to be disdain'd), I wish they 'd state how many they have gain'd.
XII. And Juan, on retiring for the night,
Felt restless, and perplexed, and compromised; He thought Aurora Raby's eyes more bright
Than Adeline (such is advice) advised ; If he had known exactly his own plight,
He probably would have philosophised ; A
great resource to all, and ne'er denied Till wanted; therefore Juan only sigh’d.
Where all sighs are deposited ; and now
As clear as such a climate will allow;
To hail her with the apostrophe—“Oh, thou!"
Shepherd, or swain, whoever may behold, Feel some abstraction when they gaze on her :
Great thoughts we catch from thence (besides a cold Sometimes, unless my feelings rather err);
Deep secrets to her rolling light are told ; The ocean's tides and mortals' brains she sways, And also hearts, if there be truth in lays.
For contemplation rather than his pillow;
Let in the rippling sound of the lake's billow,
Below his window waved (of course) a willow ;
XVI. Upon his table or his toilet—which
Of these is not exactly ascertain’d(I state this, for I’m cautious to a pitch
Of nicety, where a fact is to be gain'd)
Where many a gothic ornament remain'd,
His chamber-door wide open--and went forth
Long, furnish'd with old pictures of great worth, Of knights and dames heroic and chaste too,
As doubtless should be people of high birth. But by dim lights the portraits of the dead Have something ghastly, desolate, and dread.
Look living in the moon; and as you turn
Of your own footsteps_voices from the urn Appear to wake, and shadows wild and quaint
Start from the frames which fence their aspects stern, As if to ask how can you dare to keep A vigil there, where all but death should sleep.
The charms of other days, in starlight gleams
Along the canvas; their eyes glance like dreams
But death is imaged in their shadowy beams.'