Page images

The fondness or the flowers;
Yet oft their withered witchery
Revives its wonted thrill,
Remembered—not with Passion's sigh,
But, oh! remembered still:
And even from your side, Love,
And even from this scene,
One look is o'er the tide, Love,
One thought with Josephine !

Alas! your lips are rosier,
Your eyes of softer blue,
And I have never felt for her
As I have felt for you;
Our love was like the bright snow-flakes,
Which melt before you pass
Or the bubble on the wine, which breaks
Before you lip the glass.
You saw these eye-lids wet, Love,
Which she has never seen;
But bid me not forget, Love,
My poor Josephine !



“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 proëm 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 BBAZEN IIEAD.

“I THINK, whatever mortals crave,
With impotent endeavour,
A wreath—a rank—a throne—a grave—
The world goes round forever;
I think that life is not too long,
And therefore I determine
That many people read a Song,
Who will not read a sermon.

“I think you’ve looked through many hearts,

And mused on many actions,
And studied man's component parts,
And nature's compound fractions;
I think you’ve picked up truth by bits
From foreigner and neighbour,
I think the world has lost its wits,
And you have lost your labour.

“I think the studies of the wise,
The hero's noisy quarrel,
The majesty of woman's eyes,
The poet's cherished laurel;
And all that makes us lean or fat,
And all that charms or troubles—
This bubble is more bright than that,
But still they all are bubbles.

“I think the thing you call Renown,
This unsubstantial vapour
For which a soldier burns a town,
The sonneteer a taper,
Is like the mist which, as he flies,
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 favoured guest
May live to gnaw the platters;
And he that wears the purple west
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 grow rich by telling lies,
And some by telling money.

“I think the Whigs are wicked knaves,
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,
Have lighted up too many feuds,
And far too many fagots;
I think while zealots fast and frown,
And fight for two or seven,
That there are fifty roads to town,
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 fears 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,
Concealed in life's monotony,
For those who seek the treasure;
One planet in a starless night—
One blossom on a brier—
One friend not quite a hypocrite—
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.

I think some die upon the field,
And some upon the billow,

« PreviousContinue »