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THE CHANT OF THE BRAZEN HEAD.
Brazen companion of my solitary hours! do you, while I recline, pronounce a prologue to those sentiments of wisdom and virtue, which are hereafter to be the oracles of statesmen, and the guides of philosophers. Give me to-night a proem of our essay, an opening of our case, a division of our subject. Speak!"
-(Slow music. The Friar falls asleep. The Head chants as follows.)—The BRAZEN HEAD.
“ I THINK, whatever mortals crave,
With impotent endeavor,
The world goes round forever;
And therefore I determine
Who will not read a sermon.
“I think you've look'd through many hearts,
And mused on many actions.
And nature's compound fractions;
From foreigner and neighbor,
And you have lost your labor.
“ I think the studies of the wise,
The hero's noisy quarrel,
The poet's cherished laurel;
And all that charms or troublesThis bubble is more bright than that,
But still they all are bubbles.
“ I think the thing you call Renown,
The unsubstantial vapor
The sonneteer a taper,
The horseman leaves behind him ; He cannot mark its wreaths arise,
Or, if he does, they blind him.
“ I think one nod of Mistress Chance
Makes creditors of debtors, * And shifts the funeral for the dance,
The sceptre for the fetters; I think that Fortune's favored guest,
May live to gnaw the platters; And he that wears the purple vest
May wear the rags and tatters.
“ I think the Tories love to buy
• Your Lordships' and · Your Graces, By loathing common honesty,
And lauding common places ;
I think that some are very wise,
And some are very funny,
And some by telling money.
And very like the Tories, Who doubt that Britain rules the waves,
And ask the price of glories; I think that many fret and fume
At what their friends are planning, And Mr. Hume hates Mr. Brougham
As much as Mr. Canning.
“ I think that friars and their hoods,
Their doctrines and their maggots,
And far too many fagots ;
And fight for two or seven,
And rather more to Heaven.
“ I think that, thanks to Paget's lance,
And thanks to Chester's learning, The hearts that burned for fame in France,
At home are safe from burning; I think the Pope is on his back,
And, though 'tis fun to shake him, I think the Devil not so black,
As many people make him.
“ I think that Love is like a play
Where tears and smiles are blended, Or like a faithless April day,
Whose shine with shower is ended ; Like Colnbrook pavement, rather rough,
Like trade, exposed to losses, And like a Highland plaid, all stuff,
And very full of crosses.
“ I think the world, though dark it be,
Has aye one rapturous pleasure, Conceal'd in life's monotony,
For those who seek the treasure;
One blossom on a briar-
One woman not a liar !
“I think poor beggars court St. Giles,
Rich beggars court St. Stephen; And Death looks down with nods and smiles,
And makes the odds all even;
And some upon the billow,
And some beneath a willow.
“ I think that very few have sigh’d,
When Fate at last has found them, Though bitter foes were by their side,
And barren moss around thern;