The Poet.


Who is this ?” said the Moon1
To the rolling Sea,2
That wanders so sadly, madly, and gladly,3
Looking at thee and me ?”4
Said the Sea to the Moon,5
“’Tis right you should know it,6
This wise good man7
Is a wit and a poet ;8
But he earns not, and cannot,9
His daily bread,10
So he’ll die11
And they’ll raise a big monument13
Over his head !”14
Said the bonnie round Moon to the beautiful Sea,15
What fools the men of your Earth must be !”16

His Critic.

What knows the critic of the book ?17
As much, it may be, as the rook,18
Perched on the high cathedral tower,19
Knows of the solemn organ’s power20
That heaves below with tides of sound,21
Ebbing and flowing all around.22
As much, it may be, as at Rome,23
The fly upon St. Peter’s dome24
Knows of the architect’s design,25
Who planned and built that fane divine.26
As much, perchance, if truth were said,27
As the hat upon the critic’s head28
Knows of the critic’s rule or plan,29
Or whether he is ass or man !30

His Dream of His Poems.

Twas in the starry midnight,31
The wind was whirling low,32
And the tall beech trees replying33
As it rocked them to and fro,34
When half awake, half sleeping,35
I thought that I was dead,36
And floated to the gates of Heaven,37
With angels at my head.38
Angels ; ah, well I knew them !39
Pleasant, and fair, and kind ;40
Things of my own creation,41
And children of my mind.42
I looked upon their faces,43
And on their sunny wings ;44
Their eyes as bright as morning,45
Their breath like balm of springs.46
And some of them were smiling47
Like innocence when glad ;48
And some were grave and pensive,49
With tearful eyes and sad.50
But all of them were lovely ;51
They were no more than seven ;52
And they floated me and wafted me,53
And carried me to Heaven.54
And are ye all?” I whispered,55
Betwixt a smile and tear,56
Out of a thousand, only seven,57
To make my light appear ?58
Out of a thousand, only seven,59
To shine about my name,60
And give me what I died for,61
The heritage of fame ?”62
Hush !” said a stately angel,63
Responsive to my thought,64
We’re all that future times shall know65
Of what your hand hath wrought ;66
Your gay green leaves, and flowers of song,67
You’ve flung them forth, broad-cast ;68
But like the bloom of parted years,69
They’ve gone into the past.70
But we, though no one knows us,71
Shall echo back your tones72
As long as England’s speech shall run73
The circuit of the zones.74
Think not your fate unhappy !75
To live to future time,76
In noble thoughts and noble words,77
Is destiny sublime.”78
Angels of grace and beauty ;”79
I rubbed mine eyes and sighed80
A dream ! a dream ! a pleasant dream !81
Of vanity and pride.82
A sleeping thought !  A waking doubt !83
If only one—not seven84
Of all my rhymes be doomed to live,85
Earth shall be part of Heaven.86