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Loved-but as freemen love alone, He waved the sceptre o'er his kind By Nature's first great title-Mind! Resistless words were on his tongue
Then eloquence first flashed below; Full armed to life the portent sprung
Minerva from the Thunderer's brow! And his the sole, the sacred hand
That shook her ægis o'er the land. And throned immortal by his side,
A woman sits with eyes sublime,Aspasia, all his spirit's bride;
But, if their solemn love were crime, Pity the Beauty and Sage,— ·
Their crime was in their darkened age. He perished, but his wreath was won,He perished in his height of fame; Then sunk the cloud on Athens' sun,
Yet still she conquered in his name. Filled with his soul, she could not die; Her conquest was posterity.
JAMES HENRY LEIGH HUNT. 1784 1859
Captain Sword got up one day,
They heard him coming across the downs, Stepping in music and thunder sweet, With his drums sent before him into the
And lo! 'twas a beautiful sight in the sun; For first came his foot, all marching like one, With tranquil faces, and bristling steel, And the flag full of honour as though it could feel,
And the officers gentle, the sword that hold 'Gainst the shoulder, heavy with trembling gold,
And the massy tread, that in passing is heard,
Though the drums and the music say never a word.
And then came his horse, a clustering sound, Of shapely potency forward bound. Glossy black steeds, and riders tall Rank after rank, each looking like all ; 'Midst moving repose and a threatening calm,
With mortal sharpness at each right arm, And hues that painters and ladies love, And ever the small flag blushed above.
And ever and anon the kettledrums beat,
Of deeper instruments mingling well,
He, nevertheless, rode indifferent-eyed,
And thought him the noblest man ever was born,
And tears came into the bravest eyes,
And all that was weak, and all that was strong,
Seem'd to think wrong's self in him could not be wrong,
Such love, though with bosom about to be gored,
Did sympathy get for brave Captain Sword.
So half that night, as he stopped in the town,
'Twas all one dance going merrily down, With lights in windows and love in eyes And a constant feeling of sweet surprise; But all the next morning 'twas tears and
For the sound of his drums grew less and less,
Walking like carelessness off from distress And Captain Sword went whistling gay, "Over the hills and far away."
THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK. 1785-1866
LOVE AND AGE
I played with you 'mid cowslips blowing, When I was six and you were four ; When garlands weaving, flower-balls throw
With little playmates, to and fro We wandered hand in hand together; But that was sixty years ago.
Were pleasures soon to please no more. Through groves and meads, o'er grass and
You grew a lovely roseate maiden,
And still our early love was strong;
How dearly words want power to show ; I thought your heart was touched as nearly; But that was fifty years ago.
Then other lovers came around you,
Your beauty grew from year to year,
On rank and wealth your hand bestow ; Oh, then I thought my heart was breaking; But that was forty years ago.
And I lived on, to wed another :
No cause she gave me to repine; And when I heard you were a mother, I did not wish the children mine. My own young flock, in fair progression, Made up a pleasant Christmas row; My joy in them was past expression; But that was thirty years ago.
You grew a matron plump and comely,
Around the hearthstone's wintry glow, Than when my youngest child was christened :
But that was twenty years ago.
Time passed. My eldest girl was married, And I am now a grandsire grey;
One pet of four years old I've carried
Among the wild-flowered meads to play.