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“Be thou my light, and I thy chandelier ;
Be thou my dove, and I will be thy cote ;
My lily be, and I will be thy river ;
Be thou my life-and I will be thy liver.”
This, with more tender logic of the kind,
He pour'd into her small and shell-like ear, That timidly against his lips inclined;
Meanwhile her eyes glanced on the silver sphere That even now began to steal behind
A dewy vapour, which was lingering near, Wherein the duli moon crept all dim and pale, Just like a virgin putting on the veil :
Bidding adieu to all her sparks—the stars,
That erst had woo'd and worshipp'd in her train, Saturn and Hesperus, and gallant Mars
Never to flirt with heavenly eyes again. Meanwhile, remindful of the convent bars,
Bianca did not watch these signs in vain, But turn'd to Julio at the dark eclipse, With words, like verbal kisses, on her lips.
He took the hint full speedily, and back'd
By love, and night, and the occasion's meetness, Bestow'd a something on her cheek that smack'd
(Though quite in silence) of ambrosial sweetness; That made her think all other kisses lack'd
Till then, but what she knew not, of completeness : Being used but sisterly salutes to feel, Insipid things—like sandwiches of veal.
He took her hand, and soon she felt him wring
The pretty fingers all instead of one ; Anon his stealthy arm began to cling
About her waist that had been clasp'd by none: Their dear confessions I forbear to sing,
Since cold description would but be outrun;
For bliss and Irish watches have the power,
In twenty minutes, to lose half an hour !
ODE TO RAE WILSON, ESQ. A WANDERER, Wilson, from my native land, Remote, O Rae, from godliness and thee, Where rolls between us the eternal sea, Besides some furlongs of a foreign sand, Beyond the broadest Scotch of London Wall; Beyond the loudest Saint that has a call ; Across the wavy waste between us stretch'd, A friendly missive warns me of a stricture, Wherein my likeness you have darkly etch'd, And though I have not seen the shadow sketch'd, Thus I remark prophetic on the picture.
I guess the features :—in a line to paint
Their moral ugliness, I'm not a saint.
Not one of those self-constituted saints,
Quacks—not physicians—in the cure of souls,
Censors who sniff out mortal taints,
And call the devil over his own coals-
Those pseudo Privy Councillors of God,
Who write down judgments with a pen hard-nibb'd
Ushers of Beelzebub's Black Rod,
Commending sinners, not to ice thick-ribb’d,
But endless flames, to scorch them up like flax-
Yet sure of heaven themselves, as if they'd cribb’d
Th’impression of St. Peter's keys in wax !
Of such a character no single trace
Exists, I know, in my fictitious face;
There wants a certain cast about the eye ;
A certain lifting of the nose's tip;
A certain curling of the nether lip,
In scorn of all that is, beneath the sky;
In brief it is an aspect deleterious,
A iace decidedly not serious,
A face profane, that would not do at all
To make a face at Exeter Hall, --
That Hall where bigots rant, and cant, and pray,
And laud each other face to face,
Till ev'ry farthing-candle ray
Conceives itself a great gas-light of grace.
Well !—be the graceless lineaments confest!
I do enjoy this bounteous beauteous earth;
And dote upon a jest
“Within the limits of becoming mirth ;”-
No solemn sanctimonious face I pull,
Nor think I'm pious when I'm only bilious-
Nor study in my sanctum supercilious
To frame a Sabbath Bill or forge a Bull.
I pray for grace-repent each sinful act-
Peruse, but underneath the rose, my Bible;
And love my neighbour far too well, in fact,
To call and twit him with a godly tract
That's turn'd by application to a libel.
My heart ferments not with the bigot's leaven,
All creeds I view with toleration thorough,
And have a horror of regarding heaven
As anybody's rotten borough.
What else? no part I take in party fray,
With tropes from Billingsgate's slang-whanging tartars
I fear no Pope—and let great Ernest play
At Fox and Goose with Fox's Martyrs !
I own I laugh at over-righteous men,
I own I shake my sides at ranters,
And treat sham-Abr’am saints with wicked banters,
I even own, that there are times—but then
It's when I've got my wine-I say d- canters!
I've no ambition to enact the spy
On fellow souls, a Spiritual Pry-
'Tis said that people ought to guard their noses,
Who thrust them into matters none of theirs ;
And tho' no delicacy discomposes
Your Saint, yet I consider faith and pray'rs
Amongst the privatest of men's affairs.
I do not hash the Gospel in my books,
And thus upon the public mind intrude it,
As if I thought, like Otaheitan cooks,
No food was fit to eat till I had chew'd it
On Bible stilts I don't affect to stalk ;
Nor lard with Scripture my familiar talk,—
For man may pious texts repeat,
And yet religion have no inward seat ;
'Tis not so plain as the old Hill of Howth,
A man has got his belly full of meat
Because he talks with victuals in his mouth!
Mere verbiage,—it is not worth a carrot !
Why, Socrates—or Plato—where's the odds ?
Once taught a jay to supplicate the Gods,
And made a Polly-theist of a Parrot !
A mere professor, spite of all his cant, is
Not a whit better than a Mantis, –
An insect, of what clime I can't determine,
That lifts its paws most parson-like, and thence,
By simple savages-thro’ sheer pretence-
Is reckon'd quite a saint amongst the vermin.
But where's the reverence, or where the nous.
To ride on one's religion thro' the lobby,
Whether a stalking-horse or hobby,
To show its pious paces to “the House ?”
I honestly confess that I would hinder
The Scottish member's legislative rigs,
That spiritual Pinder,
Who looks on erring souls as straying pigs,
That must be lash'd by law, wherever found,
And driven to church, as to the parish pound.
I do confess, without reserve or wheedle,
I view that grovelling idea as one
Worthy some parish clerk's ambitious son,
A charity-boy, who longs to be a beadle.
On such a vital topic sure 'tis odd
How much a man can differ from his neighbour :
One wishes worship freely giv'n to God,
Another wants to make it statute-labour-
The broad distinction in a line to draw,
As means to lead us to the skies above,
You say—Sir Andrew and his love of law,
And I-the Saviour with his law of love.
Spontaneously to God should tend the soul,
Like the magnetic needle to the Pole ;
But what were that intrinsic virtue worth,
Suppose some fellow, with more zeal than knowledge,
Fresh from St. Andrew's College,
Should nail the conscious needle to the north?
I do confess that I abhor and shrink
From schemes, with a religious willy-nilly,
That frown upon St. Giles's sins, but blink
The peccadilloes of all Piccadilly-
My soul revolts at such a bare hypocrisy,
And will not, dare not, fancy in accord
The Lord of Hosts with an Exclusive Lord
Of this world's aristocracy.
It will not own a notion so unholy,
As thinking that the rich by easy trips
May go to heav'n, whereas the poor and lowly
Must work their passage as they do in ships.
One place there is—beneath the burial sod
Where all mankind are equalised by death ;
Another place there is—the Fane of God,
Where all are equal, who draw living breath;
Juggle who will elsewhere with his own soul,
Playing the Judas with a temporal dole-
He who can come beneath that awfui cope,
In the dread presence of a Maker just,
Who metes to ev'ry pinch of human dust
One even measure of immortal hope-
He who can stand within that holy door,
With soul unbow'd by that pure spirit-level,
And frame unequal laws for rich and poor,-
Might sit for Hell and represent the Devil !