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HEAVEN from all creatures hides the book of Fate,
All but the page prescribed, their present state;
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know;
Or who could suffer being here below.
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleased to the last, he crops the flowery food,
And licks the hand just raised to shed his blood.
O blindness to the future! kindly given,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heaven,
Hope, humbly, then ; with trembling pinions soar; Wait the great teacher, Death ; and God adore. What future bliss, he gives not thee to know, But gives that hope to be thy blessing now. Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never is, but always to be blest : The soul, uneasy and confined from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
THE UNCERTAINTY OF POPULARITY.
“O LENNOX, who would wish to rule
This changeling crowd, this common fool ?
Hear’st thou,” he said “the loud acclaim,
With which they shout the Douglas name?
With like acclaim, the vulgar throat
Strain'd for King James their morning note;
With like acclaim, they hail'd the day
When first I broke the Douglas sway ;
And like acclaim would Douglas greet,
If he could hurl me from my seat.
Who o'er the herd would wish to reign,
Fantastic, fickle, fierce, and vain !
Vain as the leaf upon the stream,
And fickle as a changeful dream;
Fantastic as a woman's mood,
And fierce as frenzy's fever'd blood.
Thou many-headed monster-thing,
O who would wish to be thy king !"
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank !
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night,
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica : look, how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold ;
There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still choiring to the young-eyed cherubims :
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
We are never merry when we hear sweet music.
The reason is, our spirits are attentive :
For do but note a wild and wanton herd,
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neighing loud,
Which is the hot condition of their blood ;
If they but hear perchance a trumpet-sound,
Or any air of music touch their
You sball perceive them make a mutual stand,
Their savage eyes turn’d to a modest gaze,
By the sweet power of music : Therefore, the poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods;
Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
But music for the time doth change his nature :
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus :
Let no such man be trusted.
do credit it, For that yourself you daily such do see; But the true fair, that is the gentle wit
And virtuous mind, is much more praised of me. For all the rest, however fair it be,
Shall turn to naught, and lose that glorious hue ; But only that is permanent and free
From frail corruption, that doth flesh ensue. That is true beauty, that doth argue you
To be divine, and born of heavenly seed ;
Derived from that fair spirit from whom all true And perfect beauty did at first proceed.
He only fair, and what he fair hath made;
All other fair, like flowers untimely fade.
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk :
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,—
That thou, light-wing'd Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
green, and shadows numberless, Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O for a draught of vintage, that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth, Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance and Provençal song, and sun-burnt mirth! O for a beaker full of the warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stainèd mouth; That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim.