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Reads us a syllogism, a dry prelection;
Yét for his brilliant wit's sake and his keen
Well mérited scourgings of that vicious age,
And for the noble height at which he stood
Above religion's vile hypocrisy
I could forgive his frailties and forget,
Hád he but with more conscientious hand,
More skilled, more diligent, less imaginative,
Painted his English portrait of great Homer
Thou must go dówn, Pope, I love others better.
Stand up, weak little-finger; thou art Goldsmith,
Simple and tenderhearted to a fault,
The bútt of witlings, even of his best friends,
Jóhnson and Burke and Reynolds, coarser natures
But little capable of understanding,
Or dúly valuing had they understood,
The poet's almost childish inexpertness
In life's conventionalities, masquerade,
And súbtle thimble-rig and hocus - pocus.
Yét his sweet Aúburn, Traveller, Venison - Haunch,
Good, simple Vicar and queer Tony Lumpkin
Shall fill their separate niches in Fame's temple
When few shall ask what was 't churl Johnson wrote,
Burke tálked about, or cold Sir Joshua painted.
Still áll too soft thy gentle genius, Goldsmith,
And more the wax resembling which receives,
Thán the hard stone which stamps, the strong impression;
I love thee well, but yet thou must go down.
Stand úp, left thumb here; thou art mighty Homer,
Bright morning sun of poesie heroic,
Whose beams far- darting west are with redoubled
Splendor and beauty from the disks reflected
Of the great Mantuan and British planets.
I know not, Homer, whence thou in thy turn
Thy light hadst, whether from some farther sun
Whose rays direct have never reached our eyes,
Ór from a fount in thine own self inherent,
But this I know at least: those sceptics err
Who seé indeed and recognise the light
But have no faith there ever was a Homer.
Well! let it be, so long as they cannot
Rób us same time of th’ Odyssey and Iliad,
Themselves, their species, of the noblest work
That issued ever from the hands of man;
Not perfect, some have said — alas! what 's perfect,
What can be perfect in imperfect eyes,
That múst, were 't but for change, have imperfection?
So, blámed or blameless, get thee down, great Homer.
Stand úp, forefinger; nightingale of Andes,
That in the dewy evening's pleasant cool
Sángst out of húmble hazelbush sweet ditties
Of Córydon and Thyrsis, and how best
To twine the póllard with the vine's soft arms;
Then bólder grown pour’dst from the highest top
Of bírch or hólm - oak thy sonorous song
Of wárs and battles, Gods and Goddesses,
And Róme's foundation by the second Jason,
Adventurous like the first, and, like the first,
Perfidious, calculating, cold seducer,
Whóm with more complaisance than truth thou stylist
The tenderhearted - I blush fór thee, Virgil;
Hádst thou no other fault, thou must go down.
Stand up, strong middle finger; thou 'rt Venusium's World - famous lyrist, moralist, and critic,
My heart's delight, judicious, pithy Horace,
Who, frúgal in his plenty, never wastes
A word not by the sense required, and, liberal
Éven in the midst of his frugality,
Flings free the useful, necessary word.
Yét, Horace, thou 'rt for me something too much
The courtier; for a prince's smiles and favors
Too readily sold'st a poet's independance.
I can forgive the purchase by the great
Of ease and honors, dignities and fame,
Óf the vile populace' vivats and hurrahs,
Óf the priests únction and the lawyer's parchment,
Éven of Hygéa's ministers' leave to live
A life of sin and luxury and riot,
Bút I cannot forgive the poet's sale
Óf his fine soúl to the démon Patronage
Too, toó obsequious Horace, thou must down.
Stand up, ring finger; thou 'rt the Florentine,
The hápless, exiled, ever persecuted
But still undaúnted Dante, who in the dim
Dark middle age the first was to hold high
The beacon torch of rational enquiry
And bóldly speak the truth he boldly thought;
Wért thou less stérn, less terrible, less just,
Less Éschylean, hadst thou less of Moses,
Léss of that jealous and vindictive God
Who punishes children for their fathers' sins
Éven to the generation third and fourth,
And hádst thou taken Maro for thy real,
Not merely for thy nominal, leader through
Death's áwful, unexplored, Trans-Stygian land,
And hádst thou oftener slaked thy knowledge-thirst
Át the clear, wélling fountain of Lucretius,
And not kept drawing still unwholesome draughts
Out of Saint Básil's, Hilary's, Chrysostom's
And Áthanasius' duckmeat-mantled pools,
I doubt if in my heart I could have found it
To sáy, as now I say: Dante, go down.
Stand úp here, little finger; thou 'rt the pensive,
Délicate, gentle, nobleminded Schiller,
Ténder white - rose frostnipped in Weimar's garden
Ére it had raised its modest head above
Luxúriant Goethe's all too neighbouring shade.
Redundancy of words, enthusiasm,
Subjectiveness (youth's faults) are thý faults, Schiller!
Amiable weaknesses which every day
Of longer life had sobered, cúrtailed, cured
Diis aliter visum; so thou must go down.
Só, being a bóy, I used to count my fingers,
And só in mánhood sometimes count them still
In the late gloáming or the early morn
Or when I sleepless lie at deep midnight.
Walking from Sanct Anton on the ADLERBERG (German TYROL) to TEUFEN in Canton APPENZELL, Sept. 6—10, 1854.
“WHÝ 's a priest like a fingerpost, you dunce ?"
Said a schoolmáster to his pupil once;
"I think I know," replied the roguish elf;
"He points the way, but never goes himself.” Walking from UNTERBRUCK to KREUTZSTRASSEN near Munich, July 4, 1854.
THERE was a curious creáture
Lived many years ago;
Don't ásk me what its name was,
For I myself don't know;
But 'twás a curious creature,
So délicately made
It coúld not bear the súnshine,
It scárce could bear the shade.
Its júdgment was deféctive,
Its mémory was weak, Until it was two years old
Not one word could it speak.
Capricious in its témper,
And gráve by fits, then gay, It seldom liked tomorrow
The thing it liked today.
When 't mét a little troúble
'Twould heáve a doleful sigh, Clasp its forepaws together
And loúdly sob and cry;
And then when something pleased it