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VIII.

TO A SLEEPING CHILD.

II.

THINE eyelids slept so beauteously, I deem'd
No
eyes

could wake so beautiful as they :
Thy rosy cheeks in such still slumbers lay,
I lov’d their peacefulness, nor ever dream’d
Of dimples ;-for those parted lips so seem'd,
I never thought a smile could sweetlier play,
Nor that so graceful life could chase away
Thy graceful death,—till those blue eyes upbeam'd.
Now slumber lies in dimpled eddies drown'd,
And roses bloom more rosily for joy,
And odorous silence ripens into sound,
And fingers move to sound.-All-beauteous boy !
How thou dost waken into smiles, and prove,
If not more lovely, thou art more like Love !

IX.

THE World is with me, and its many cares,
Its woes- Lits wants—the anxious hopes and fears
That wait on all terrestrial affairs-

The shades of former and of future

years Foreboding fancies, and prophetic tears, Quelling a spirit that was once elate. Heavens! what a wilderness the world appears, Where Youth, and Mirth, and Health are out of date !

But no—a laugh of innocence and joy
Resounds, like music of the fairy race,
And, gladly turning from the world's annoy,
I gaze upon a little radiant face,
And bless, internally, the merry boy
Who “ makes a son-shine in a shady place.”

THE PLEA

OF

THE MIDSUMMER FAIRIES.

1827.

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I THANK my literary fortune that I am not reduced, like many better wits, to barter dedications, for the hope or promise of patronage, with some nominally great man ; but that where true affection points, and honest respect, I am free to gratify my head and heart by a sincere inscription. An intimacy and dearness, worthy of a much earlier date than our acquaintance can refer to, direct me at once to your name : and with this acknowledgment of your ever kind feeling towards me, I desire to record a respect and admiration for you as a writer, which no one acquainted with our literature, save Elia himself, will think disproportionate or misplaced. If I had not these better reasons to govern me, I should be guided to the same selection by your intense yet critical relish for the works of our great Dramatist, and for that favourite play in particular which has furnished the subject of my verses.

It is my design, in the following Poem, to celebrate, by an allegory, that immortality which Shakspeare has conferred on the Fairy mythology by his Midsummer Night's Dream. But for him, those tty children of our childhood would leave barely

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