BETA

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The Grub-street Poet’s Vision.

Bards of ancient times were bless’d with visions,1
Did not Dante see again his Beatrice2
On the broad golden steps of Heaven at sunset,3
Calm in serenity of changeless peace ?4
Grub-street now, alas ! has lost such seers,5
Bailiff-harpies vex its garret dwellers ;6
No more nectar from bright Hebe’s beaker,7
Fills the rich hogsheads in the poet’s cellars.8
And yet, kind angels, how I flaunt my falsehood,9
Lo, there descends a gracious vision. See !10
Where the huge bow of the proud crescent Quadrant,11
Bends with such power and stately majesty.12
Yes !  look in yonder gravely rolling chariot,13
In Roman triumph to a poet’s seeming,14
There sits a very queen ; but, nay, a goddess,15
The Venus of my fifty years of dreaming.16
How like the face of her from whom I parted17
In anger thirty weary years ago ;18
Ah !  she regards me not :  yet would she know me,19
Poor, old, and worn with life’s rough ebb and flow ?20
Unchanged her face, ye gods of old Olympus !21
The brow of Dian, bright, serenely chaste,22
The neck of Hebe, eyes of Ariadne,23
The zone of Venus girding round that waist.24
And what a form !  Oh, never Grecian sculptor25
Shaped out a Nereïd from the marble stone26
Half so divinely fair, and in a moment27
Dead love returns and claims his fallen throne.28
From a high mountain you have seen a sunset29
Show for a moment through the parting gloom,30
So came that vision, and so swift its passage,31
Then deeper, darker spreads the boding gloom.32
So fades the rainbow and so fall the roses,33
Life’s joys are only shown us and withdrawn ;34
Once more the weary tramp, the lonely meal,35
The drudging labour till the grey of dawn.36