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“Eam moriens praecepit incendi."
Thou didst well, Maro, to decree
With thy last breath, that burned should be
The Eneid, every line;
Not that unworthy it to live,
But that unworthy we to receive
The gift almost divine. (Walking from BICHELSEE to ESCHLIKON in Canton THURGAU, July 11, 1862.)
THE art of speaking 's not, to speak the truth,
But to persuade your hearers you speak true;
For words the arms are, of the man of peace,
As swords and guns are, of the man of war,
And no great captain or great speaker yet
Set other aim before him than success.
It 's no great harm that right be on your side,
And truth in all your words, but if you can't
Persuade men that they are so, your breath 's lost,
And grosser than the grossest wrong, your right,
And fouler than the foulest lie, your truth.
Woe to you! woe! and woe again! vae victis! (Walking from LÜTISBURG to Gossay, in the CANTON ST. GALLEN, July 12, 1862.]
"Some music 's bad, some music 's good,
But there 's no music is not rude;"
To my own Mary Ann I said,
Charmer of my heart and head,
As at a friend's we sipped our tea,
One summer evening, I and she -
“What! must we cease our chat, and sit
Mumchance, because Adele thinks fit
To turn her back on us, and squall
To her piano and the wall ?
It is, I doubt not, very fine;
Air, voice, and instrument, divine;
But I don't choose to have mine ear
Taken by storm and forced to hear;
And, least of all, choose, when I 've thee,
Sweet Mary Ann, for company,
Sitting and prattling at my side,
In thy youth and beauty's pride.
Silence, and listen
she has begun;
Not one word dare, until she has done:
Come, Patience, to thy votary's aid –
What a fine piece! - now that it 's played.” [Walking from HILLESHEIM to LOSHEIM in the EIFEL, Aug. 20–21, 1862.)
Life is a duty, not a privilege;
A cup which must be drained, taste how it will;
A road which, rough or smooth, one has to travel.
Lament not, therefore, the approach of death,
But rejoice, rather, that the cup is drunk,
The road come to an end, discharged the duty.
Still thou lamentest? ah! thy life has been
A sweet cup, pleasant road, and grateful duty. (ROSAMOND, RATHGAR ROAD, DUBLIN, June 15, 1860.].
MINE eye lights never on a bearded fop,
Sir Capel or Sir Lionel or Earl Vane,
Compound impertinent of ignorance
And little-mindedness and valorous seeming,
But I bethink me of the ditch - side weed
Which makes so great show with its yellow flower
And tall rank stalk in seed, and lion's fangs,
But in whose veins, instead of lion's blood,
Runs a weak, milky, and ignoble ichor,
And all whose ways are groveling and lowly,
And Piscialletto whose appropriate name. (Rosamond, RATHGAR ROAD, DUBLIN, April 3, 1863.]
No cat has two tails, I have heard
And steadfastly believe;
A cat has more tails than no cat,
Or people me deceive.
Now though it 's only one tail more
A cat has, than no cat,
A cat has three tails, I have proved;
You 'll surely grant me that. [RoSAMOND, Dec. 18, 1863.]
SHORTER, like the morning shadow,
Hope, gay. Hope grows, every moment;
Like the evening shadow, longer
Grows sad Memory, every moment;
Shorter Hope and Memory longer,
Longer Memory and Hope shorter,
Till Hope shortest, Memory longest,
Die together on the grave's brink
And in topple with their owner,
EDGE is nought, for whether thou know'st much,
Or whether little, thou must bow to Fashion;
Nay, less than nought, for he who knows the most,
Has most his nose wrung by the reigning Fashion.
(Walking from RosaMOND to DALKEY, Nov. 30, 1862.)
My old grandfather sported a very old wig;
My old grandmother thought it a trifle too big
Or a trifle too little, I don't well know which,
And away the old wig went pop into the ditch.
My old grandfather got a bad cold in his head,
And his nose went drip-drop, like the spout at the shed,
And he coughed and he wheezed, and he couldn't sleep at night,
And, with his red night-cap, all day looked a fright;
And no one who saw him but thought he would die,
And he thought so himself too, and bid us good bye.
But away my old grandmother trotted to town,
And laid out the siller she had saved for a gown,
To buy him a new wig and half pound of snuff,
And next day my old grandfather 's all right enough,
But has never stopped saying from that day to this,
The old wig was a fit, and the new one a miss;
Sometimes it 's too little, sometimes it 's too big,
And he'd rather, a hundred times, have the old wig.
[RoSAMOND, RATHGAR ROAD, DUBLIN, Dec. 17, 1863.]