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On Shakspeare.

1630.

WHAT needs my Shakspeare for his honoured bones The labour of an age in piled stones,

Or that his hallowed reliques should be hid

Under a star y-pointing pyramid?

Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,

What needst thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment

Hast built thyself a live-long monument.
For whilst to the shame of slow endeavouring art
Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took;
Then thou our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving ;
And so sepulchred, in such pomp dost lie,
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.

MILTON.

LEIGH HUNT.

To T. L. H.,

SIX YEARS OLD, DURING A SICKNESS.

SLEEP breathes at last from out thee,
My little, patient boy;
And balmy rest about thee
Smooths off the day's annoy.
I sit me down, and think
Of all thy winning ways;
Yet almost wish, with sudden shrink,
That I had less to praise.

Thy sidelong pillowed meekness,
Thy thanks to all that aid,
Thy heart, in pain and weakness,
Of fancied faults afraid;

The little trembling hand
That wipes thy quiet tears,
These, these are things that may demand
Dread memories for years!

Sorrows I've had, severe ones,
I will not think of now;
And calmly 'midst my dear ones
Have wasted with dry brow;

But when thy fingers press
And pat my stooping head,
I cannot bear the gentleness,-

The tears are in their bed.

367

Ah, first-born of thy mother,
When life and hope were new,
Kind playmate of thy brother,
Thy sister, father too;

My light, where'er I go,
My bird, when prison-bound,
My hand in hand companion,-no,
My prayers shall hold thee round.

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Hung their heads, and then lay by.
In sweet music is such art,
Killing care, and grief of heart,
Fall asleep, or hearing, die.

369

SHAKSPEARE.

On the Receipt of my Mother's Picture out of Norfolk,

THE GIFT OF MY COUSIN, ANNE BODHAM.

O THAT those lips had language! Life has passed
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.
Those lips are thine-thy own sweet smile I see,
The same that oft in childhood solaced me;
Voice only fails, else how distinct they say,
"Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!"
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes
(Blest be the art that can immortalise,
The art that baffles time's tyrannic claim
To quench it !) here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,

O welcome guest, though unexpected here!
Who bidst me honour with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long,

I will obey, not willingly alone,

But gladly, as the precepts were her own;
And while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief,
Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,
A momentary dream that thou art she.

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