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τι τούτο; ή άρτι δακρύετε; ου γάρ πάλαι ίστε ότι εξ ότου περ έγενόμην, κατε ψηφισμένος ήν μον υπό της φύσεως ο θάνατος;
Xenophontis Defensio Socratica.
“ WEEP ye to think a mortal friend must die,
And thus fulfil his human destiny?
And know ye not that all the things of earth,-
Imperfect, fragile, fleeting,—at their birth
Receive the stamp of premature decay,
Bloom but to wither, live, to die away?
That all the joys within life's widest scope
Are but the breathings of an infant's hope?
Ere childhood ends, the restless hope is fled;
Ere youth is past, life's sickly joys are dead.
The throbbing pulses of the hero's breast
Bound for a moment,-pause, and are at rest;
The lover's passion, and the conqueror's pride,
Alike are human, and alike subside ;
The statesman's policy;— the patriot's zeal,-
His deep devotion to his country's weal ;-
The poet's realm of brightly-fancied forms,
Where, high above the reach of earthly storms,
He reigns entranced, untroubled, and alone,
Forgetful of all worlds except his own ;-
The Sage's reasoning upon Nature's laws,
His vague conjectures upon Nature's cause ;--
All these must pass, and scarcely leave behind
A trace, or token of the extinguished mind.
Wit, wisdom, genius, honour, glory, power,-
Each, each is but a frail and fruitless flower.
That soon must spend its faint, unfelt perfume
In transient fragrance o'er its owner's tomb!
“ Know ye not this, my friends? Then murmur not
That I, a mortal, prove a mortal's lot;
That I, a thing of earthly hopes and fears,
Of human joys and sorrows, smiles and tears,
Inherit, jointly with the wise and brave -
Earth's choicest sons — existence and a grave!
“Or weep ye that I fall in reason's prime,
With powers unwithered by the touch of Time ;-
With mind still vigorous in the search of truth,
With feelings fresh as in the spring of youth?
Weep not for this, ye faithful ones! but think
How ye had doubly wept to see me sink
“Beneath the weight of years,—by dull degrees,
Resigning life's ennobling energies :
The kindly feelings that were wont to shed
Their warmth upon my heart, worn out and dead; .
The intellectual brightness that had shone
In glory round my spirit, quenched and gone.
Think, my beloved! how ye then had mourned
To see a gloomy void, where once had burned
The genius of your Socrates ; each spark
Of mind extinct—its dwelling cold and dark ;
And bless the merciful decree that gives
To death my body, while my soul still lives :
Yes! bless that harsh, that undeserved decree,-
Its author's bane, but merciful to me.
“My actual life must finish now, but long
Shall live my story in the poet's song;
Throughout the world shall each succeeding age
Inscribe my wrongs upon the’ Historian's page :
And many a passing century shall find
In Greece's memory my name enshrined ;
While Athens-drooping Athens- still shall mourn
With love maternal o'er my mouldering urn."
Calm, imperturbed, the' undaunted Heathen died,
Strong in his virtue's self-depending pride ;
Armed with the hope of an enduring name,
And soothed by dreams of philosophic fame;
Perchance, too, feebly fluttering, hovered o'er
His dying couch, a hope scarce known before,
A half-formed vision of some future state-
Secure from envy, malice, falsehood, hate.
Perchance some twilight gleams of comfort stole
Upon the darkness of his parting soul---
Faint emanations of Eternal love,
To guide the wanderer to its home above.
Oh! had the certainty of saving grace,
Of full redemption for a guilty race,
Of everlasting bliss,—to him been given,
How had that Heathen's spirit longed for Heaven!
How had it rested on the hope divine
Of endless life!-Christian! that hope is thine !
THE LOVERS OF VIRE.
BY THE AUTHOR OF “RICHELIEU.”
The sun was shining as fair as the sun could shine in a beautiful May morning; bright, yet gentle; warm, but fresh ; midway between the watering-pot of April and the warming-pan of June, when, in the beautiful valley of Vire-everybody knows Vire — but, lest there should be anybody in the wide world who does not, dearly beloved reader, I will tell you all about it.
Get into the stage-coach, which journeyeth diurnally between London and Southampton; enjoy the smoothness of the road, bless Mr. M’Adam, put up at the Dolphin, and yield yourself to the full delights of an English four-post bed, for no such sweets shall you know from the moment you set your foot on board the steamboat for Havre, till the same steam-boat, or another, it matters not which, lands you once more on the English strand.