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English poet and writer
(1802 - 1839)

Still and pale
  Thou movest in thy silver veil,
    Queen of the night! the filmy shroud
      Of many a mild, transparent cloud
        Hides, yet adorns thee.
      - [Moon]

Tell him I love him yet,
  As in that joyous time;
    Tell him I ne'er forget,
      Though memory now be crime.
      - [Constancy]

Woman! thou loveliest gift that here below
  Man can receive, or Providence bestow.
      - [Women]

I think while zealots fast and frown,
  And fight for two or seven,
    That there are fifty roads to town,
      And rather more to Heaven.
      - Chant of Brazen Head (st. 8) [Religion]

I think, whatever mortals crave,
  With impotent endeavor,
    A wreath--a rank--a throne--a grave--
      The world goes round forever;
        I think that life is not too long,
          And therefore I determine,
            That many people read a song,
              Who will not read a sermon.
      - Chant of the Brazen Head [Songs]

Hail, blest Confusion! here are met
  All tongues, and times, and faces;
    The Lancers flirt with Juliet,
      The Brahmin talks of races.
      - Fancy Ball (st. 6) [Amusements]

I remember, I remember
  How my childhood fleeted by,--
    The mirth of its December,
      And the warmth of its July.
      - I Remember, I Remember [Memory]

I know the romance, since it's over,
  'Twere idle, or worse, to recall;--
    I know you're a terrible rover;
      But, Clarence, you'll come to our ball.
      - Our Ball [Dancing]

And when religious sects ran med,
  He held, in spite of all his learning,
    That if a man's belief is bad,
      It will not be improved by burning.
      - Poems of Life and Manners
         (pt. II, The Vicar, st. 9) [Belief]

Some lie beneath the churchyard stone,
  And some before the Speaker.
      - School and School Fellows [Lying]

Twelve years ago I made a mock
  Of filthy trades and traffics;
    I considered what they meant by stock;
      I wrote delightful sapphics;
        I knew the streets of Rome and Troy,
          I supped with fates and Fairies--
            Twelve years ago I was a boy,
              A happy boy at Drury's.
      - School and Schoolfellows [Education]

Apollo has peeped through the shutter,
  And awaken'd the witty and fair;
    The boarding-school belle's in a flutter,
      The twopenny post's in despair;
        The breath of the morning is flinging
          A magic on blossom and spray,
            And cockneys and sparrows are singing
              In chorus on Valentine's day.
      - Song for 14th of February [Valentines]

I saw her at a country ball;
  There when the sound of flute and fiddle
    Gave signal sweet in the old hall,
      Of hands across and down the middle
        Here was the subtlest spell by far
          Of all that sets young hearts romancing:
            She was our queen, our rose, our star;
              And when she danced--oh, heaven, her dancing!
      - The Belle of the Ball [Dancing]

He was a shrewd and sound divine
  Of loud Dissent the mortal terror;
    And when, by dint of page and line,
      He 'stablished Truth, or startled Error,
        The Baptist found him far too deep,
          The Deist sighed with saving sorrow,
            And the lean Levite went to sleep,
              And dreamt of eating port to-morrow.
      - The Vicar [Preaching]

His sermon never said or showed
  That Earth is foul, that Heaven is gracious,
    Without refreshment on the road
      From Jerome, or from Athanasius.
        And sure a righteous zeal inspired,
          The hand and head that penned and planned them,
            For all who understood, admired--
              And some who did not understand them.
      - The Vicar [Preaching]

His talk was like a stream which runs
  With rapid change from rock to roses;
    It slipped from politics to puns;
      It passed from Mahomet to Moses;
        Beginning with the laws that keep
          The planets in the radiant courses,
            And ending with some precept deep
              For dressing eels or shoeing horses.
      - The Vicar [Talk]

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