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The circle smil'd, then whisper'd, and then sneer'd;
The misses bridled, and the matrons frown'd;
Some hoped things might not turn out as they fear'd;
Some would not deem such women could be found;
Some ne'er believ'd one half of what they heard;
Some look'd perplex'd, and others look'd profound;
And several pitied, with sincere regret,
Poor Lord Augustus Fitz-Plantagenet.
The death-shot hissing from afar--
The shock--the shout--the groan of war--
Reverberate along that vale,
More suited to the shepherd's tale:
Though few the numbers--theirs the strife,
That neither spares, nor speaks for life.
The deceptions which the two sexes play off upon each other bring as many ill-sorted couples into the bonds of Hymen as ever could be done by the arbitrary pairing of a legal matchmaker.
The dew of compassion is a tear.
The dewy morn, with breath all incense and with cheek all bloom.
The drying up a single tear has more
Of honest fame, than shedding seas of gore.
The earth has nothing like a she epistle,
And hardly heaven--because it never ends.
I love the mystery of a female missal,
Which, like a creed, ne'er says all it intends.
* * * You had better
Take care what you reply to such a letter.
The fall of waters! rapid as the light,
The flashing mass foams shaking the abyss;
The hell of waters! where they howl and hiss,
And boil in endless torture; while the sweat
Of their great agony, wrung out from this
Their Phlegethon, curls round the rocks of jet
That gird the gulf around, in pitiless horror set,
And mounts in spray the skies, and thence again
Returns in an unceasing shower, which round,
With its unemptied clouds of gentle rain,
Is an external April to the ground,
Making it all one emerald:--how profound
The gulf! and how the giant element
From rock to rock leaps with delirious bound,
Crushing the cliffs, which downward worn and rent
With his fierce footsteps, yield in chasms a fearful vent
To the broad column which rolls on.
The feast of vultures, and the waste of life.
The first dark day of nothingness. The last of danger and distress.
The heart is like the sky, apart of heaven,
But changes, night and day, too, like the sky;
Now o'er it clouds and thunder must be driven,
And darkness and destruction as on high;
But when it hath been scorch'd and pierc'd and riven,
Its storms expire in water-drops; the eye
Pours forth, at last, the heart's blood turn'd to tears.
The heart will break, yet broken live on.
The hearts within thy valleys bred,
The fiery souls that might have led
Thy sons to deeds sublime,
Now crawl from cradle to the grave,
Slaves--nay, the bondsmen of a slave,
And callous, save to crime.
The incessant fever of that arid thirst
Which welcomes as a well the clouds that burst
Above their naked heads, and feels delight
In the cold drenchings of the stormy night.
The madness of the heart.
The many still must labor for the one! It is nature's doom.
The mind that broods o'er guilty woes
Is like a scorpion girt by fire.
The mind, the music breathing from her face.
The mountains look on Marathon,
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone
I dream'd that Greece might still be free. For standing on the Persians' grave
I could not deem myself a slave.
The night shows stars and women in a better light.
The only pleasure of fame is that it proves the way to pleasure; and the more intellectual our pleasure, the better for the pleasure and for us too.
The panting thirst, which scorches in the breath
Of those that die the soldier's fiery death,
In vain impels the burning mouth to crave
One drop--one last--to cool it for the grave.
The parted bosom clings to wonted home, if aught that's kindred cheer the welcome hearth.
The poetry of speech.
The present century was growing blind
To the great Marlborough's skill in giving knocks,
Until his late life by Archdeacon Coxe.
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