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Then stepped a gloomy phantom up,
Pale, cypress-crowned, Night's awful daughter,
And proffered him a fearful cup,
Full to the brim of bitter water:
Poor CHILDHOOD bade her tell her name,
And when the beldame muttered "SORROW,"
He said, "Don't interrupt my game;
I'll taste it, if I must, to-morrow."
The MUSE of Pindus thither came,
And wooed him with the softest numbers
TO CHILDHOOD it was all a riddle,
That noisy woman with the fiddle."
Then WISDOM stole his bat and ball,
And taught him with most sage endeavour,
Why bubbles rise, and acorns fall,
And why no toy may last for ever:
She talked of all the wondrous laws
Sleep on, sleep on!-Oh! MANHOOD's dreams
A more delicious trance is given,
SOME years ago, ere Time and Taste
Back flew the bolt of lissom lath;
Fair Margaret, in her tidy kirtle, Led the lorn traveller up the path,
Through clean-clipt rows of box and myrtle; And Don and Sancho, Tramp and Tray, Upon the parlour steps collected,
Wagged all their tails, and seemed to say, "Our master knows you; you 're expected."
Up rose the Reverend Doctor Brown,
Up rose the Doctor's "winsome marrow;" The lady laid her knitting down,
Her husband clasped his ponderous Barrow : Whate'er the stranger's caste or creed,
Pundit or Papist, saint or sinner,
He found a stable for his steed,
And welcome for himself, and dinner.
If, when he reached his journey's end,
And twenty curious scraps of knowledge;If he departed as he came,
With no new light on love or liquor,— Good sooth, the traveller was to blame, And not the Vicarage, or the Vicar.
His talk was like a stream which runs
It passed from Mahomet to Moses;
The planets in their radiant courses, And ending with some precept deepFor dressing eels, or shoeing horses.
He was a shrewd and sound divine,
The Deist sighed with saving sorrow;
And dreamed of tasting pork to-morrow.
His sermon never said nor show'd
That Earth is foul, that Heaven is gracious, Without refreshment on the road
From Jerome, or from Athanasius ;
And sure a righteous zeal inspired
The hand and heart that penn'd and plann'd them,
For all who understood admired,
And some who did not understand them.
And he was kind, and loved to sit
In the low hut, or garnished cottage, And praise the farmer's homely wit,
And share the widow's homelier pottage; At his approach complaint grew mild,
And when his hand unbarred the shutter,
The clammy lips of Fever smiled
The welcome, which they could not utter.
always had a tale for me
Of Julius Cæsar, or of Venus:
From him I learned the Rule of Three,
To steal the staff he put such trust in;
When he began to quote Augustin.
Alack the change! in vain I look
For haunts in which my boyhood trifled.The level lawn, the trickling brook,
The trees I climbed, the beds I rifled: The church is larger than before;
You reach it by a carriage entry; It holds three hundred people more; And pews are fitted up for gentry.
Sit in the Vicar's seat: you'll hear
Whose style is very Ciceronian.
Where is the old man laid?
And construe on the slab before you,
"Hic jacet GULIELMUS BROWN,
Vir nulla non donandus lauro."
(THE WORD IS "CAMPBELL," THE POET.)
COME from my First, ay, come!
The battle-dawn is nigh;
And the screaming trump and the thund'ring drum
Are calling thee to die!
Fight as thy fathers fought,
Fall as thy fathers fell!
Thy task is taught, thy shroud is wrought;—
So-forward! and farewell!