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Another ! even now she loved another ;
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. There was an ancient mansion, and before Its walls there was a steed caparison'd: Within an antique oratory stood The boy of whom I spake ;-he was alone, And pale, and pacing to and fro : anon He sate him down, and seized a pen, and traced Words which I could not guess of; then he lean'd His bow'd head on his hands, and shook as 'twere With a convulsion,—then arose again, And, with his teeth and quivering hands, did tear What he had written ; but he shed no tears. And he did calm himself, and fix his brow Into a kind of quiet : as he paused The lady of his love re-entered there; She was serene and smiling then,-and yet She knew she was by him beloved! she knew, For quickly comes such knowledge, that his heart Was darken'd with her shadow; and she saw That he was wretched,—but she saw not all. He rose, and, with a cold and gentle grasp, He took her hand; a moment o'er his face A tablet of unutterable thoughts Was traced, and then it faded as it came : He dropp'd the hand he held, and with slow steps Retired, but not as bidding her adieu ; For they did part with mutual smiles : he pass'd From out the massy gate of that old hall, And mounting on his steed he went his way, And ne'er repass'd that hoary threshold more!
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. The boy was sprung to manhood : in the wilds Of fiery climes he made himself a home, And his soul drank their sunbeams; he was girt With strange and dusky aspects ; he was not Himself like what he had been : on the sea And on the shore he was a wanderer!
Crowded like waves upon me ; but he was
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. The lady of his love was wed with one Who did not love her better : in her home, A thousand leagues from his,her native home, She dwelt, begirt with growing infancy, Daughters and sons of beauty,—but, behold ! Upon her face there was the tint of grief, The settled shadow of an inward strife, And an unquiet drooping of the eye, As if its lid were charged with unshed tears. What could her grief be?—she had all she loved ; And he who had so loved her was not there To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish, Or ill-repress'd affliction, her pure thoughts. What could her grief be?—she had loved him not, Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved ; Nor could he be a part of that which prey'd Upon her mind,-a spectre of the past.
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. The wanderer was return'd. I saw him stand Before an altar, with a gentle bride : Her face was fair,—but was not that which made The starlight of his boyhood ! as he stood Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came The selfsame aspect, and the quivering shock That in the antique oratory shook His bosom in its solitude ; and then, As in that hour, a moment o'er his face The tablet of unutterable thoughts
Was traced,—and then it faded as it came;
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
He held his dialogues; and they did teach
My dream was past: it had no further change. It was of a strange order, that the doom Of these two creatures should be thus traced out Almost like a reality : the one To end in madness, both in misery!
FAREWELL ! if ever fondest prayer
For others' weal avail’d on high,
But waft thy name beyond the sky.
Oh! more than tears of blood can tell,
Are in that word—Farewell ! Farewell !
These lips are mute, these eyes are dry;
But in my breast, and in my brain,
The thought that ne'er shall sleep again.
Though grief and passion there rebel; I only know we loved in vain,
I only feel-Farewell! Farewell !
Rob ERT South EY was born in Bristol, on the 12th of August, 1774. Having given early tokens of that genius which has since placed his name foremost among British Worthies, his friends resolved that the advantages of a liberal education should be added to those which Nature had bestowed upon him, and sent him in 1787, to Westminster School. In 1792, he was entered at Baliol College, Oxford. During his residence in the University, he became infected with Jacobinical principles; but if some of his earlier productions contributed to disseminate pernicious doctrines, he has amply compensated mankind by the labours of a long life in the cause of Virtue. In 1796, his first great poem, “Joan of Arc," appeared; and his fame was completely established, when, in 1803, the romance of “Thalaba" issued from the press. He has since been continually before the world; and there is scarcely a branch of literature to which he has not contributed,—a list of his publications would fill this page. In 1813, Southey accepted the office of Poet Laureat, on the death of Pye, and for nearly the first time, during at least a century, the office, instead of conferring, received dignity.
Southey is tall and handsome, with a clear and noble forehead; an aquiline nose; a profusion of hair; and uncommonly bright eyes: his voice is musical, full of gentleness and persuasion, and his smile is as winning as it is sweet. His hair, once a curling and glossy black, curls still, but is white as snow; and his step has lost some of its elasticity,+but his eyes are as bright, and his smile as winning, as ever. He is rarely seen in the great world. His distaste of the turmoils of life induced him to decline the offer of a seat in the House of Commons, to which he had been elected;—apart from the bustle and feverish excitement of a city, he pursues his gentle and useful course from year to year:
“And to his mountains and his forests rude
He has led the life of a scholar with as much steadiness of purpose and devotion, as if he had bound himself to his books by a religious vow. His works are sufficient to form a library; they are proofs of his amazing industry, not less than his vast and comprehensive learning. His wonderful genius may excite our admiration; but the extent of his “profitable labour” is, indeed, prodigious. There is nothing like it we believe in the history of the human mind. His character is as unspotted as that of any public man—living or dead. The world is aware that he has had some enemies: no one ever deserved them less. His friends are numerous, devoted, and firm. No one ever earned them better, or merited them more : ** We soon live down Evil or good report, if undeserved.”
His political opponents have tendered evidence to the estimable character of both his head and heart. One of the harshest arraigners of what he calls the inconsistency of Dr. Southey—as if that were inconsistency which induces to leave a path after it is known to be the wrong one—states, that “in all the relations and charities of private life, he is correct, exemplary, generous, just.” He is one of the leading critics of the age; and, although there is abundant proof of his generous zeal in aiding young talent, there has never attached to him the suspicion of depressing it. The career of Southey is the best answer to the absurd, but too generally received opinion, that a critic is of necessity acrimonious or unjust.
Of late years, the prose of Southey has been preferred to his poetry. It rarely happens that there is a preference without a disparagement. No Poet in the present or the past century, has written three such poems as Thalaba, Kehama, and Roderic. Others have more excelled in DELINEATING what they find before them in life; but none have given such proofs of extraordinary power in creat ING. He has been called diffuse, because there is a spaciousness and amplitude about his poetry—as if concentration was the highest quality of a writer. He lays all his thoughts before us; but they never rush forth tumultuously. He excels in unity of design and congruity of character; and never did Poet more adequately express heroic fortitude, and generous affections. He has not, however, limited his pen to grand paintings of epic character. Among his shorter productions will be found some light and graceful sketches, full of beauty and feeling, and not the less valuable because they invariably aim at promoting