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What joy should mine be, that my feeble might
Hath help'd thy faltering footsteps not to stray;
So adding haply to the crown of light,
Reserved for thee in Heaven, another ray!
Our minds were form'd by nature far apart,
And with few common sympathies endued:
Thine ardent and most active, and imbued
With thirst intense for truth, which thou, with heart
Faithful and pure and incorrupt by art
Sophistical, hast patiently pursued;
While I, in dreaming and fantastic mood,
Too indolent for such high goal to start,
Have wasted, in crude fancies, half my days.
Yet must we two be friends; if not for aught
Innate in both (which doubtless we shall find),
Yet for the love which thy true spirit sways,
Towards two dear objects of my holiest thought,
With both our future prospects close entwined.
SONNET IX. TO THE REV. DR. ARNOLD.
Not for thy genius, though I deem it high,
Thy clear and deep and comprehensive mind,
Thy vigorous thought, with healthful sense com-
Thy language rich in simplest dignity;
Oh not for these, much honour'd friend, do I
Such food for fervent admiration find
In all thine efforts to persuade mankind
Of truth first dawning on thy mental eye;
But for thy fearless and ingenuous heart,
Thy love intense of virtue, thy pure aim
Knowledge and faith and wisdom to impart,
No matter at what loss of wealth and fame—
These are the spells which make my warm tears
And my heart burn with sympathetic flame.
SONNET X. TO THE SAME.
Sound teachers are there of religion pure
And unimpeach'd morality; grave men,
Who wield a cautious and deliberate pen,
And preach and publish doctrine safe and sure;
And many such, I ween, can ill endure
The eagle glance of thy far-piercing ken,
But almost deem thee from some Stygian den
Of monstrous error sprung, obscene, obscure.
Well! they may rail till they have rail'd their fill;
Only let me, by such sweet poison fed,
Drink from thy clear and ever flowing rill
Refreshment and support for heart and head;
Oft disagreeing, but extracting still
More food from stones of thine, than such men's
Mary, thou canst not boast thy sister's brow
Capacious, nor her proud and piercing eye,
Nor that calm look of conscious dignity,
Which makes us poets in her presence bow;
Yet scarce to me less beautiful art thou,
With thy dove's eyes, so modest, mild, and shy, or
And that retiring meek simplicity [how;
Which wins pure hearts, they scarce know why
Nor is thy voice less full of pleasant sound,
Thy words of pleasant meaning to my ear,
Albeit _thy mind than hers is less profound,
Thy wit less bright. Sweet girl, for many a-year,
No countenance more lovely have I found,
No gentler heart, no youthful friend more dear.
TO WINTHROP MACKWORTH PRAED.
Is youth and early manhood thou and I
Thro' this world's path walk'd blithely side by side,
Unlike, and yet by kindred aims allied,
Both courting one coy mistress—Poesy.
Those days are over, and our paths now lie
Apart, dissever'd by a space as wide
As the blank realms which heaven and earth divide,
And widening day by day continually.
Each hath forsaken the sweet Muses' shrine
For cares more serious; thou for wordy strife,
And senatorial toils, how unlike mine!
Who lead the country pastor's humble life,
Sweetening its cares with joys denied to thine,
Fair children and a loved and loving wife.
SONNET XIII. Continued,
So sang I, all unwitting of the prize,
Which thou meanwhile hadst won, and wearest now,
The fairest garland that enwreathes thy brow,
Crown'd though it be for youth's rich phantasies
And manhood's virtues, by the good and wise,
With well-earn'd laurel. I have witness'd how
Thy whole heart honours the blest nuptial vow,
How well become thee this world's tenderest ties;
And gladlier now doth my mind's eye repose
On thy bright home, thy breathing times of rest
From public turmoil, on the love which glows
In the fond father's and the husband's breast,
Than on thy well-waged strifes with factious foes,
Or letter'd triumphs, e'en by them confest.
SONNET XIV. TO THE SAME.
In youth's impetuous days thy heart was warm,
Thy tongue uncheck'd, thy spirit bold and high,
With such blind zeal for miscall'd liberty,
That friend and foe look'd on thee with alarm.
But since maturer years dispell'd the charm,
And wean'd thee from thy first idolatry,
With what foul gibes doth faction's spiteful fry,
Venting its rage, around thee shriek and swarm!
Recreant or renegade the mildest name [while
With which they greet thee; but thy heart mean-
Is pure beyond the reach of venal blame,
Free, firm, unstain'd by selfishness or guile,
Too noble for even party to defile:
If thou art faithless, let me be the same.
Nor beautiful art thou, nor proudly graced
With fashion's vain accomplishments; thy mind
By artificial culture unrefined,
Not boasting pungent wit, or polish'd taste.
Yet seldom fondest parent hath embraced
A lovelier child; for never heart more kind,
With sweet and gentle courtesy combined,
Was so by affectation undebased:
Therefore, sweet girl, oft wearied with the blaze
Of intellectual womanhood, to thee
I turn for brief repose, and love to gaze
On thy most innocent simplicity;
With joy beholding in thy winning ways
How lovely goodness in itself may be.
SONNET XVI. Continued.
Said I thou wast not beautiful? in sooth,
If that I did, shame blister my false tongue