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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
That ever scattered wealth and fame
Upon a youthful poet's slumbers;
Though sweet the music of the lay,

TO CHILDHOOD it was all a riddle,
And "Oh," he cried, "do send away

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
Which NATURE's open book discloses,
And CHILDHOOD, ere she made a pause,
Was fast asleep among the roses.

Sleep on, sleep on!-Oh! MANHOOD's dreams
Are all of earthly pain, or pleasure,
Of GLORY'S toils, AMBITION's schemes,
Of cherished love, or hoarded treasure:
But to the couch where CHILDHOOD lies

A more delicious trance is given,
Lit up by rays from Seraph-eyes,
And glimpses of remembered heaven!

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SOME years ago, ere Time and Taste
Had turn'd our Parish topsy-turvy,
When Darnel Park was Darnel Waste,
And roads as little known as scurvy,
The man, who lost his way between
St. Mary's Hill and Sandy Thicket,
Was always shown across the Green,
And guided to the Parson's wicket.

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 warmed himself in court or college,
He had not gained an honest friend,

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
With rapid change from rocks to roses;
It slipped from politics to puns;

It passed from Mahomet to Moses;
Beginning with the laws which keep

The planets in their radiant courses, And ending with some precept deepFor dressing eels, or shoeing horses.

He was a shrewd and sound divine,
Of loud Dissent the mortal terror;
And when, by dint of page and line,
He 'stablished Truth, or started Error,
The Baptist found him far too deep;

The Deist sighed with saving sorrow;
And the lean Levite went to sleep,

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,
Cat's-cradle, leap-frog, and Quæ genus;
I used to singe his powder'd wig,

To steal the staff he put such trust in;
And make the puppy dance a jig,

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
The doctrine of a gentle Johnian,
Whose hand is white, whose tone is clear,

Whose style is very Ciceronian.

Where is the old man laid?

Look down,

And construe on the slab before you,


Vir nulla non donandus lauro."



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!

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