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Still hae a stake-
Ev'n for your sake! I need not say that these thoughts, which are here dilated, were in such a company only rapidly suggested, Our kind host smiled, and with a courteous compliment observed, that the defence was too good for the cause. My voice faltered a little, for I was somewhat agitated; though not so much on my own account as for the uneasiness that so kind and friendly a man would feel from the thought that he had been the occasion of distressing me. At length I brought out these words: “I must now confess, sir, that I am the author of that poem. It was written some years ago. I do not attempt to justify my past self, young as I then was; but as little as I would now write a similar poem, so far was I even then from imagining, that the lines would be taken as more or less than a sport of fancy. At all events, if I know my own heart, there was never a moment in my existence in which I should have been more ready, had Mr. Pitt's person been in hazard, to interpose my own body, and defended his life at the risk of my own."
I have prefaced the poem with this anecdote, because to have printed it without any remark might well have been understood as implying an unconditional approbation on my part, and this after many years' consideration. But if it be asked why I re-published it at all, I answer, that the poem had been attributed at different times to different other persons ; and what I had dared beget, 1 thought it neither manly nor honorable not to dare father. From the same motives I should have published perfect copies of two poems, the one entitled The Devil's Thoughts,* and the other, The Two round Spaces on the Tomb-Stone, but that the first three stanzas of the former, which were worth all the rest of the poem, and the best stanza of the remainder, were written by a friend of deserved celebrity; and because there are passages in both, which might have given offence to the religious feelings of certain readers. I myself indeed see no reasou why vulgar superstitions and absurd conceptions that deform the pure faith of a Christian, should possess a greater immunity from ridicule than sto
* See p. 36.
Thanks, gentle artist! now I can descry
The brightness of the world, O thou once free,
With its own rill, on its own spangled bed,
O all-enjoying and all-blending sage,
Still in thy garden let me watch their pranks,
* Boccaccio claimed for himself the glory of having first introduced the works of Homer to his countrymen.
T I know few more striking or more interesting proofs of the overwhelming influence which the study of the Greek and Roman classics exercised on the judgments, feelings, and imaginations of the literati of Europe at the commenceinent of the restoration of literature, than the passage in the Filocopo of Boccaccio : where the sage instructor, Racheo, as soon as the young prince and the beautiful girl Biancofiore had learned their letters, sets them to study the Holy Book, Ovid's Art of Love. “ Incominiciò Racheo a mettere il suo officio in esecuzione con intera sollecitudine. E loro, in breve tempo, insegnato a conoscer le lettere, fece leggere il santo libro d'Ovvidio, nel quale il sommo poeta mostra, come i santi fuochi di Venere si debbano ne' freddi cuori accendere."
Of the trim vines, some maid that half believes
IMPROVED FROM STOLBERG.*
ON A CATARACT FROM A CAVERN NEAR THE SUMMIT
OF A MOUNTAIN PRECIPICE.
UNPERISHING youth !
Thou leapest from forth
* See Note at the end of the volume.
Thou at once full-born
LOVE'S APPARITION AND EVANISHMENT.
AN ALLEGORIC ROMANCE.
LIKE a lone Arab, old and blind,
Some caravan had left behind,
Where the shy sand-asps bask and swell ;
feet! And then came Love, a sylph in bridal trim, And stood beside my seat :