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A harvest of barren regrets. And

the worm That crawls on in the dust to the

definite term Of its creeping existence, and sees

nothing more Than the path it pursues till its

creeping be o'er, In its limited vision, is happier far Than the Half-Sage, whose course,

fix'd no friendly star Is by each star distracted in turn, and

who knows Each will still be as distant wherever

he goes

[From Lxuite.]

The banker, well known As wearing the longest philacteried gown

Of all the rich Pharisees England can boast of;

A shrewd Puritan Scot, whose sharp wits made the most of

This world and the next; having largely invested

Not only where treasure is never molested

By thieves, moth, or rust; but on this

earthly ball Where interest was high, and security


Of mankind there was never a theory yet

Not by some individual instance upset:

And so to that sorrowful verse of the Psalm

Which declares that the wicked expand like the palm

In a world where the righteous are stunted and pent,

A cheering exception did Ridley present.

Like the,. worthy of Uz, Heaven prospered his piety.

The leader of every religious society.

Christian knowledge he labored through life to promote

With personal profit, and knew how to quote

Both the stocks and the Scripture,

with equal advantage To himself and admiring friends, in

this Cant-Age.

(From Lucite.]

The poets pour wine; and, when 'tis new, all decry it;

But, once let it be old, every trifler must try it.

And Polonius, who praises no wine that's not Massic,

Complains of my verse, that my verse is not classic.

And Miss Tilburina, who sings, and not badly,

My earlier verses, sighs "Commonplace sadly 1"

As for you, O Poionius, you vex me

but slightly; But you. Tilburina, your eyes beam

so brightly In despite of their languishing looks,

on my word, That to see you look cross I can

scarcely afford. Yes! the silliest woman that smiles

on a bard Better far than Longinus himself can


The appeal to her feelings of which

she approves; And the critics I most care to please

are the Loves.

Alas, friend! what boots it, a stone

at his head And a brass on his breast, — when a

man is once dead? Ay! were fame the sole guerdon, poor

guerdon were then Theirs who, stripping life bare, stand

forth models for men. The reformer's ? — a creed by posterity learnt A century after its author is burnt! The poet's ? — a laurel that hides the

bald brow It hath blighted! The painters? —

ask Raphael now

Which Madonna's authentic! The statesman's — a name

For parties to blacken, or boys to declaim!

The soldier's? — three lines on the cohl Abbey pavement!

Were this all the life of the wise and the brave meant,

All it ends in, thrice better, Neaera, it were

Unregarded to sport with thine odorous hair, [ shade

Untroubled to lie at thy feet in the

And be loved, while the roses yet bloom overhead.

Than to sit by the lone hearth, and think the long thought,

A severe, sad, blind schoolmaster, envied for naught

Save the name of John Milton! For all men, indeed,

Who in some choice edition may graciously read, [note,

With fair illustration, and erudite

The song which the poet in bitterness wrote.

Beat the poet, and notably beat him, in this —

The joy of the genius is theirs, whilst

they miss The grief of the man: Tasso's song —

not his madness!

Dante's dreams — not his waking to

exile and sadness! Milton's music — but not Milton's

blindness! . . .

Yet rise,

My Milton, and answer, with those

noble eyes Which the glory of heaven hath

blinded to earth! Say — the life, in the living it, savors

of worth; That the deed, in the doing it, reaches

its aim:

That the fact has a value apart from

the fame: That a deeper delight, in the mere

labor, pays Scorn of lesser delights, and laborious


And Shakespeare, though all Shakespeare's writings were lost,

And his genius, though never a trace of it crossed

Posterity's path, not the less would have dwelt

In the isle with Miranda, with Hamlet have felt

All that Hamlet hath uttered, and

haply where, pure On its death-bed. wronged Love lay,

have moaned with the Moor!



Afraid of critics! an unworthy fear:

Great minds must learn their greatness and be bold.

Walk on thy way; bring forth thine own true thought;

Love thy high calling only for itself,

And find in working, recompense for work.

And Envy's shaft shall whiz at thee in vain. [ just;

Despise not censure; — weigh if it be And if it be — amend, whate'er the thought

Mack Ay.

Of him who cast it. Take the wise

man's praise, And love thyself the more that thou

couldst earn Meed so exalted; but the blame of


Let it blow over like an idle whiff
Of poisonous tobacco in the streets,
invasive of thy unoffending nose: —
Their praise no better, only more per-

The critics — let me paint them as they are.

Some few I know, and love them from my soul;

Polished, acute, deep read; of inborn

tasteCultured into a virtue; full of pith And kindly vigor, having won their


In the great rivalry of friendly mind, And generous to others, though unknown,

Who would, having a thought, let all

men know The new discovery. But these are


And if thou find one, take him to

thy heart, And think his unbought praise both

palm and crown, A thing worth living for, were nought


Fear thou no critic, if thou'rt true

thyself; — And look for fame now if the wise

approve, Or from a wiser jury yet unborn. The poetaster may be harmed enough, But criticasters cannot crush a bard.

If to be famous be thy sole intent, And greatness be a mark beyond thy reach,

Manage the critics, and thou'it w in

the game; Invite them to thy board, and give

them feasts, And foster them with unrclaxing


And they will praise thee in their

partial sheets, And quite ignore the worth of better


But if thou wilt not court them, let them go.

And scorn the praise that sells itself

for w ine, Or tacks itself upon success alone, Hanging like spittle on a rich man's


One, if thou'rt great, will cite from thy new book The tames; passage,— something that thy soul

Revolts at. now the inspiration's o'er, And would give all thou hast to blot from print

And sink into oblivion; — and will vaunt

The thing as beautiful, transcendent, rare —

The best thing thou hast done! Another friend. With finer sense, will praise thy

greatest thought, Yet cavil at it; putting in his "huts" And "yets," and little obvious hints. That though 'tis good, the critic could

have made A work superior in its every part.

Another, in a pert and savage mood, Without a reason, will condemn thee quite,

And strive to quench thee in a paragraph.

Another, with dishonest waggery, Will twist, misquote, and utterly pervert

Thy thoughts and words; and hug

himself meanwhile In the delusion, pleasant to his soul, That thou art crushed, and he a gentleman.

Another, with a specious fair pretence,

Immaculately wise, will skim thy book,

And, self-sufficient, from his desk

look down With undisguised contempt on thee

and thine; And sneer and snarl thee, from his

weekly court, From an idea, spawn of his conceit, That the best means to gain a great


For wisdom is to sneer at all the world,

With strong denial that a good exists;—

That all is bad, imperfect, feeble, stale.

Except this critic, who outshines mankind.

Another, with a foolish zeal, will prate

Of thy great excellence, and on thy head

Heap epithet on epithet of praise In terms preposterous, that thou wilt blush

To be so smothered with such fulsome lies.

Another, calmer, with laudations thin,

Unsavory and weak, will make it seem

That his good-nature, not thy merit, prompts

The baseless adulation of his pen. Another, with a bulldog's bark, will bay

Foul names against thee for some

fancied slight Which thou ne'er dream'dst of, and

will damn thy work For spite against the worker; while

the next,

Who thinks thy faith or politics a crime,

Will brav displeasure from his monthly stall,

And prove thee dunce, that disagre'st with him.

And, last of all, some solemn sage, whose nod Trimestral awes a world of little


Will carefully avoid to name thy name,

Although thy words are in the mouths of men,

And thy ideas in their inmost hearts, Moulding events, and fashioning thy time

To nobler efforts. Little matters it!

Whate'er thou art, thy value will appea r.

If thou art bad, no praise will buoy thee up;

If thou art good, no censure weigh

thee down, Nor silence nor neglect prevent thy


So fear not thou the critical Speak thy thought;

And, if thou'it worthy, in the people's love

Thy name shall live, while lasts thy mother tongue!

THE OI.D fogies.

Wk merry three

Old fogies be; The crow's-foot crawls, the wrinkle comes,

Our heads grow bare

Of the bonnie brown hair, Our teeth grow shaky in our gums. Gone are the joys that once we knew, Over the green, and under the blue. Our blood runs calm, as calm can be, And we're old fogies — fogies three.

Yet if we be

Old fogies three
The life still pulses in our veins;

And if the heart

Be dulled in part, There's sober wisdom in our brains. We may have heard that Hope's a knave,

And Fame a breath beyond the grave, But what of that — if wiser grown, We make the passing day our own, And find true joy where joy can be, And live our lives, though fogies three?

Ay — though we be

Old fogies three. We're not so dulled as not to dine;

And not so old

As to be cold To wit, to beauty, and to wine. Our hope is less, our memory more; Our sunshine brilliant as of yore. At four o'clock, 'twixt noon and


'Tis warm as morning, and as bright. And every age bears blessings free, Though we're old fogies — fogies three.


Jolly companions! three times three!
Let us confess what fools we be!
We eat more dinner than hunger

We drink our passage to early graves, And fill, and swill, till our foreheads burst,

For sake of the wine, and not of the thirst.

Jolly companions! three times three,
Let us confess what fools we be!

We toil and moil from morn to night,
Slaves and drudges in health'sdespite,
Gathering and scraping painful gold
To hold and garner till we're old;
And die, mayhap, in middle prime,
Loveless, joyless, all our time.
Jolly companions! three times three,
Let us confess what fools we be!

Or else we leave our warm fireside, Friends and comrades, bairns and bride,

To mingle in the world's affairs,
And vex our souls with public cares;
And have our motives misconstrued,
Reviled, maligned, misunderstood.
Jolly companions! three times three,
Let us confess what fools we be!


I've drunk good wine

From Rhone and Rhine,

And filled the glass

To friend or lass

Mid jest and song.

The gay night long,

And found the bowl

Inspired the soul, With neither wit nor wisdom richer Than comes from water in the pitcher.

I've ridden far In coach and car, Sped four-in-hand across the land; On gallant steed Have measured speed, With the summer wind That lagged behind; But found more joy for days together

In tramping o'er the mountain heather.

I've dined, long since,
With king and prince,
In solemn state,
Stiff and sedate;

And wished I might

Take space flight

And dine alone,

Unseen, unknown, On a mutton chop and a hot potato, reading my Homer, or my Plato.

It comes to this, The truest bliss For great or small Is free to all; Like the fresh air, Like flowerets fair, Like night or day, Like work or play; And books that charm or make us wiser.

Are better comrades than a Kaiser.

THE GP.EAT critics.

0 Whom shall we praise?

Let's praise the dead!
In no men's ways
Their heads they raise,

Nor strive for bread
With you or me,—
0 So, do you see?

We'll praise the dead I
Let living men

Dare but to claim
From tongue or pen

Their meed of fame,
We'll cry them down,
0 Spoil their renown,
Deny their sense,
wit, eloquence,
poetic lire,
All they desire.
Our say is said,
0 Long live the dcadl


As I was sitting in a wood.
Under an oak-tree's leafy cover,

Musing in pleasant solitude,
Who should come by but John, my

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