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There's nothing in the world (that is in Trinity)

To make us poets happy;-I detest
Your Hebrew Greek, and heathenish Latinity,

And Mathematics are a bore at best;
And as I'm one who feel the full divinity

Of a fair face in woman, I protest
I'm sick of this unvaried regularity
Of whisker'd cheeks and chins of black barbarity.


"Tis a vile world-a world of dung and draymen,

And filthy streets, and noises beyond bearing; Knife-grinders, fish-wives, ballad-singers, gay men

(Though last not least,) carousing, shouting, swearing, With oaths enough to shock both priests and laymen,

Haunt me o' nights; and I can't take the air in The morning, but I'm bored with butcher's shops, And markets-and prize odes--and hay-and hops.


In me these things breed legions of blue devils ;

These, and some thoughts which will not pass away, Of powers decay'd, and time mis-spent in revels ;

Of many a wasted hour and useless lay;
While the dark future, with its host of evils

Muster'd in grim and terrible array,
Looks none the sweeter for the thought that I
Have been the maker of my misery.


And that fond dream, which lured me on for ever

Through a long boyhood, saying I might earn The poet's laurel with serene endeavour,

And write my name on an enduring urn, Hath now departed; while ambition's fever,

Unquench'd, though aimless, hath not ceas'd to burn With self-exciting fire, and thirst supplied By longings which can ne'er be satisfied.

Here am I now, at twenty-three, inditing

Dull verses in a style which I despise,
And once abjured—just when I should be fighting

With nobler weapons for a brighter prize;
But that no longer have I hope or might in

My soul, to rush at famous destinies; No occupation for

my pen more meet Than scribbling nonsense at so much per sheet.


“ Time's pasť—I should have nurs’d the seed, and cherish'd

The weak spring blossoms which shall bud no more,
And water'd their young roots, before they perish’d,

From the rich founts of old poetic lore;
And, in the beams of high devotion, nourish'd

Their growing ripeness, and laid up a store
Of thought, and kept my fancy in controul,
And made the Muse task-mistress of



I should have been more cautious in my diet,

Eaten less butcher's meat, and drunk no wine;
Abstain’d from evening punch, and midnight riot;

Lov'd but one maid, instead of eight or nine;
Kept all my pulses and my passions quiet;

And then my poems would have been divine,
Whereas I've been so wicked and unwise
As to waste all the better sympathies,

Affections, tastes, and impulses, which should,

Under the care of Study and of Nature,
Have fed my spirit with the proper food,

And made it reach the true poetic stature.
I should have then been strong, and wise, and good,

In short, a very different sort of creature;
Yet my friends like me still (at least I think so,)
Which is the reason why I eat and drink so.


But thou, Ione, wilt thou not despise

Thy poet, for this vain and heartless song ?Wilt thou not tell him, with upbraiding eyes,

That he hath done his better nature wrong,
Mingling with base and ribald phantasies

Some thoughts which to a deeper vein belong,
And idly mocking at the gifts which he,
With his first love, did consecrate to thee?


Oh! 'tis most true—too justly thou disdainest

The wretch who still (though hopeless) half aspires Alas! I know the heart, in which thou reignest,

Should be a temple for all high desires,
Pure thoughts, and noble darings;—not the vainest

And basest that e'er felt poetic fires;
And yet could’st thou but know how thou hast been
My dream, my star, my radiant Faery Queen-

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How, ere that silent phantom, which I fear'd,

Had ceas'd to haunt me with its blighting eyes, And, in my dim horizon, Hope appear’d,

My spirit turn'd to thee, and hung with sighs On thy sweet image, in the region sphered

Of its lost dreams and sainted memories; And how each meaner wish I did remove, That I might love thee with a perfect love;


How, when fears rose, which I could not repress,

That the mad revel, and the frantic brawl, And the pale harlot's passionless caress,

Might soon my crush'd and grovelling soul enthral Through long, long years of toil and hopelessness,

Till pleasure on my weary sense should pall, And crimes be to me more familiar things Than e'er were Fancy's dreams, or Faith's imaginings


I said,

“ This must not be; I still can cherish The inspiration of thy wild, wild eyes; Though hopes, once strong within me, wane and perish,

Though years have chill'd my earlier sympathies, Though soaring thoughts no more my soul can nourish,

Nor the old visions at my beck arise, Thy shrine is still unshaken-thou must be My harden'd nature's last idolatry.”

Could'st thou know this- -But why do I awaken

Vain thoughts and idle yearnings ?-am not I
By the sweet sunshine of thine


Am I not far from every social tie ?
Hath not each hope of my fond soul been shaken,

Save one, which wanders through eternity ?
And shall I still avert a lingering glance
From the lone path in which I must advance ?


Must I not waste the best



my youth In a cold, barren apathy, uncheer'd By the kind looks of love and constant truth,

And beauty, by her radiant smiles endear'a,
And children's voices ?—and shall I, forsooth,

Still madly hope my verse may be revered
In my land's language?-that I yet may shrine
Thy name, Ione, in a living line ?


“ Wisdom doth live with children round her knees,”

Says Wordsworth; and he says what's very true; But then, to nurse the children, if you please,

I'd rather have the children's mother too;
Indeed, without such trifling aids as these,

I'm very sure my Muse could never do;
She's grown cross lately, and refused to sing,
Because she wants to wed-or some such thing.


you know

Spirit which art within me -or art not,

(I rather think the latter, and In the year twenty, when my

blood was hot, I took the liberty to tell you so,At least to hint some notions which I'd got

Just then, that all your flash, and smoke, and glow, Was quite—or very nearly-all' my eye, — A sort of barren fancy's tympany;


The passage I allude to you may find

Not far from the beginning of Godiva,) I now request you, with a sober mind,

To tell me your intentions, and not drive a Poor devil like myself, who's nearly blind,

On a blind errand; tell me whether I've a Chance of succeeding in your trade, and whether You'll aid me soon, or cut me altogether.

you and

XXX. In fact, Miss Muse, there's been enough coquetting, During the last six years, 'twixt

me; And boyish follies scarce are worth regretting;

But now I've fairly taken my degree,
And shut my Euclid up, and should be getting

Grave, for you know I'm turn'd of twenty-three:
A point at which you'll own its nearly time
To think of Reason more, and less of Rhyme.


Therefore I tell you fairly, once for all,
That if

your visits are to be renew'd,
I'll thank you to be serious when you call,

Not (in a manner which to me seems rude)
Lifting me up that you may let me fall,

Then scampering off in your capricious mood;
But with a sober mien and decent carriage,
As if your aim was not intrigue, but marriage.

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