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As roves from gaudier tints the aching eye
There, as a river in its hidden course,
away From life-and crumbling in its proud decay-There wildest flowerets bloom—and nightly there Wails with mysterious voice the wandering Air-Amid the stars--the dews--the eternal hills--And the far voices of the dashing rills--
Amid the haunted darkness of the night,
Beneath a church's chancel there were laid
THE END OF MILTON.
ON THE VANITY OF SMALL SUCCESSES.
Ergo hominum genus incassum frustràque laborat
LUCRET. Lib. 5. 1. 1429.
Sick, wearied, worn; the harsh Ixion wheel
Within the heart shall have a moment's rest; And thoughts---deep thoughts, I would but rarely feel,
Shall not be now represt.
Out on this curse of earth! we toil--we yearn,
We coil and shrivel the smooth heart with care ; We make each hour a'task--And our return ?--
GO---ask our tombs---'tis there!
O God, that from this small and wizard ring
The pent but all-impatient soul could strain! Lo! round the air-within the exulting wing-
Why this eternal chain ?
We see-we feel-we pant--and we aspire,
Ay; for one hour we dream we have arisen ; Earth fades below---we wake
behold the mire, And grating of our prison !
Oh! that our youth had dreamt to what an urn
Of dust our quick and high desires would shrink ! We stand upon the beach-and ask return,
For barks ordained to sink !
There's not one plank on which we freight an aim
Purer than aught by life's coarse natures sought, Which the harsh sea engulphs not :---can we blame
Those who adventure nought? But in a calm and chill philosophy
Suppress within them each more vague desire; For them no half-felt feelings pant and sigh;
No unfledg’d hopes expire !
Mother of Fate---primæval Night--thine old
And unvex'd oracles are round me still; The sybil Stars, and She who lost her cold
Name on the Carian Hill !
Say thou,--..for in thy weird and demon homes
Thou shroud'st the spectres of departed lore, Dread Egypt's mysteries, and the mouldering tomes,
From which the Samian bore
The treasure of his doctrine !---All that glow'd
Out from the heart of man in ages gone Like perish'd stars into thy black abode,
Without a dirge have wonne !
Say-boots our labour?---Were it not more wise
To drink Life's tide unwitting where it flows, Renounce the high-sould toil, and only prize
The Cnidian vine and rose ?
True, for some few on whom her lavish smile,
Fame--the false Lais of the doting sage-Bestows;-there may be somewhat to beguile
Youth's travail into Age!
The laurel lulls the aching brow it decks ;
And the loud pæäns of the gazing horde,
Bring no disdained reward.
But here, among the dense and struggling herd,
For me no proud success and glory wait;
The Envy and the Hate
Envy and Hate !--for what ?--for boons so slight,
That I could gnaw my heart that mine they are, Did I not know that proud heart's baffled flight
Sought meeds how different far !
O Night !---my woo'd and won, and earliest friend,
Was it for this my soul I shaped and bowed, And from my dreams' Olympus did descend
To the self-yassal'd crowd?