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41. ON MY DEAR SON
CAN I, who have for others oft compiled
The songs of death, forget my sweetest child,
Which, like a flower crushed, with a blast is dead,
And ere full time hangs down his smiling head,
Expecting with clear hope to live anew,
Among the angels fed with heavenly dew?
We have this sign of joy, that many days,
While on the earth his struggling spirit stays,
The name of Jesus in his mouth contains,
His only food, his sleep, his ease from pains.
O may that sound be rooted in my mind,
Of which in him such strong effect I find.
Dear Lord, receive my son, whose winning love
To me was like a friendship, far above.
The course of nature, or his tender age;
Whose looks could all my bitter griefs assuage;
Let his pure soul-ordained seven years to be
In that frail body, which was part of me-
Remain my pledge in heaven, as sent to show
How to this port at every step I go.
WHY slander we the times ?
Have days and years, that we
Thus charge them with iniquity?
If we would rightly scan,
It's not the times are bad, but man.
The times prove good, be thou But such thyself, and surely know That all thy days to thee Shall spite of mischief happy be. JOSEPH BEAUMONT.
43. IF THOU WILT EASE THINE HEART
IF thou wilt ease thine heart
Of love and all its smart,
Then sleep, dear, sleep;
And not a sorrow
Hang any tear on your eyelashes;
Lie still and deep,
Sad soul, until the sea-wave
But wilt thou cure thine heart
Of love and all its smart,
Then die, dear, die;
'Tis deeper, sweeter,
Than on a rose-bank to lie dreaming
With folded eye;
And there alone, amid the
Of love's stars, thou'lt meet her
In eastern sky.
T. L. BEDDOES (Death's Jest-Book).
44. LOVE IN FANTASTIC TRIUMPH SAT LOVE in fantastic triumph sat,
Whilst bleeding hearts around him flowed: For whom fresh pains he did create,
And strange tyrannic power he showed. From thy bright eyes he took his fires, Which round about in sport he hurled; But 'twas from mine he took desires
Enough to undo the amorous world.
From me he took his sighs and tears,
From thee his pride and cruelty;
From me his languishments and fears,
And every killing dart from thee.
Thus thou and I the God have armed,
And set him up a deity,
But my poor heart alone is harmed,
Whilst thine the victor is, and free.
45. THE PROSPECT IN AMERICA THE Muse, disgusted at an age and clime Barren of every glorious theme,
In distant lands now waits a better time,
Producing subjects worthy fame.
In happy climes, where from the genial sun
And virgin earth such scenes ensue,
The force of art by nature seems outdone,
And fancied beauties by the true :
In happy climes, the seat of innocence,
Where nature guides and virtue rules,
Where men shall not impose for truth and sense
The pedantry of courts and schools:
There shall be sung another golden age,
The rise of empire and of arts,
The good and great inspiring epic rage,
The wisest heads and noblest hearts.
Not such as Europe breeds in her decay;
Such as she bred when fresh and young,
When heavenly flame did animate her clay,
By future poets shall be sung.
Westward the course of empire takes its way;
The four first acts already past,
A fifth shall close the drama with the day;
Time's noblest offspring is the last.
G. BERKELEY (On the Prospect of planting
Arts and Learning in America).
46. I CARE FOR NOBODY, NOT I
THERE was a jolly miller once
Lived on the river Dee;
He worked and sang from morn
And this the burden of his
For ever used to be:-
I care for nobody, not I,
If no one cares for me.
I. BICKERSTAFFE (Love in a Village).
No lark more blithe than he.
Of the good man is peace! How calm his exit !
Night-dews fall not more gently to the ground,
Nor weary worn-out winds expire so soft.
Behold him! in the evening tide of life,
A life well spent, whose early care it was
His riper years should not upbraid his green :
By unperceived degrees he wears away;
Yet, like the sun, seems larger at his setting!
High in his faith and hopes, look how he reaches
After the prize in view! and, like a bird
That's hampered, struggles hard to get away!
Whilst the glad gates of sight are wide expanded
To let new glories in, the first fair fruits
Of the fast-coming harvest.
48. FROM AUGURIES OF INNOCENCE'
A ROBIN redbreast in a cage
Puts all Heaven in a rage.
A dove-house filled with doves
Shudders Hell through all its
A dog starved at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.
A horse misused upon the road
Calls to Heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.
A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipped and armed
Does the rising sun affright.
Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from Hell a human soul.
The wild deer, wandering here and
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misused breeds public
And yet forgives the butcher's
He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be beloved by men.
He who the ox to wrath has
Shall never be by woman loved.
The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's
Weaves a bower in endless night.
The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the last judgement draweth nigh.
He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.
49. THE BUILDING OF JERUSALEM AND did those feet in ancient time | Walk upon England's mountains green?
Bring me my bow of burning gold!
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Bring me my arrows of desire ! Bring me my spear O clouds,
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant
W. BLAKE (Milton).
50. A TEAR IS AN INTELLECTUAL THING
BUT vain the sword and vain the bow,
They never can work War's overthrow.
The hermit's prayer and the widow's tear
Alone can free the world from fear.
For a tear is an intellectual thing,
And a sigh is the sword of an angel king,
And the bitter groan of the martyr's woe,
Is an arrow from the Almighty's bow.
I TOLD my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart;
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears,
Ah! she doth depart.
W. BLAKE (The Grey Monk).
Soon as she was gone from me,
A traveller came by,
O! was no deny.
52. THE NEW DISPENSATION
JESUS was sitting in Moses' chair.
They brought the trembling woman there.
Moses commands she be stoned to death.
What was the sound of Jesus' breath?
He laid His hand on Moses' law;
The ancient Heavens, in silent awe,
Writ with curses from pole to pole,
All away began to roll.
W. BLAKE (The Everlasting Gospel).
LITTLE Lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Gave thee life, and bid thee feed, By the stream and o'er the mead; Gave thee clothing of delight, Softest clothing, woolly, bright; Gave thee such a tender voice, Making all the vales rejoice ? Little Lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee?
Little Lamb, I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb, I'll tell thee:
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb.
He is meek, and He is mild;
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little Lamb, God bless thee !
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
54. MOCK ON, MOCK ON, VOLTAIRE, ROUSSEAU
Mock on, mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau;
Mock on, mock on; 'tis all in vain!
You throw the sand against the wind,
And the wind blows it back again.
And every sand becomes a gem
Reflected in the beams divine;
Blown back they blind the mocking eye,
But still in Israel's paths they shine.
55. THE LITTLE BLACK BOY
My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And am black, but O my soul is white;
White as an angel is the English child,
But I am black, as if bereaved of light.
My mother taught me underneath a tree,
And, sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissèd me,
And, pointing to the east, began to say:
'Look on the rising sun,-there God does live,
And gives His light, and gives His heat away;
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
Comfort in morning, joy in the noonday.
'And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love;
And these black bodies and this sunburnt face
Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.
'For when our souls have learned the heat to bear,
The cloud will vanish, we shall hear His voice,
Saying: "Come out from the grove, My love and care,
And round My golden tent like lambs rejoice."