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exhaustless, and you first kindled in me, if not the power, yet the love of poetry, and beauty, and kindliness.

"What words have I heard
Spoke at the Mermaid!"

The world has given you many a shrewd nip and gird since that time, but either my eyes are grown dimmer, or my old friend is the same who stood before me three-and-twenty years ago-bis hair a little confessing the hand of Time, but still shrouding the same capacious brain,—his heart not altered, scarcely where it "alteration finds."

One piece, Coleridge, I have ventured to publish in its original form, though I have heard you complain of a certain over-imitation of the antique in the style. If I could see any way of getting rid of the objection, without re-writing it entirely, I would make some sacrifices. But when I wrote John Woodvil, I never proposed to myself any distinct deviation from common English. I had been newly initiated in the writings of our elder dramatists: Beaumont and Fletcher, and Massinger, were then a first love; and from what I was so freshly conversant in, what wonder if my language imperceptibly took a tinge? The very time which I had chosen for my story, that which immediately followed the Restoration, seemed to require, in an English play, that the English should be of rather an older cast than that of the precise year in which it happened to be written. I wish it had not some faults, which I can less vindicate than the language.

I remain,

My dear Coleridge,

With unabated esteem,


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Wish'd that Margaret would take heed
Whence her actions did proceed.
For herself, she'd long been minded
Not with outsides to be blinded;
All that pity and compassion,
She believed was affectation;
In her heart she doubted whether
Mary cared a pin for either.
She could keep whole weeks at distance,
And not know of their existence,
While all things remain'd the same;
But, when some misfortune came,
Then she made a great parade
Of her sympathy and aid,—
Not that she did really grieve,
It was only make-believe,
And she cared for nothing, so
She might her fine feelings show,
And get credit, on her part,
For a soft and tender heart.

With such speeches, smoothly made, She found methods to persuade Margaret (who being sore From the doubts she'd felt before, Was prepared for mistrust) To believe her reasons just; Quite destroy'd that comfort glad, Which in Mary late she had ; Made her, in experience' spite, Think her friend a hypocrite, And resolve, with cruel scoff, To renounce and cast her off.

See how good turns are rewarded! She of both is now discarded, Who to both had been so late

Their support in low estate,
All their comfort, and their stay-
Now of both is cast away.
But the league her presence cherish'd,
Losing its best prop, soon perish'd;
She, that was a link to either,
To keep them and it together,
Being gone, the two (no wonder)
That were left, soon fell asunder;—
Some civilities were kept,
But the heart of friendship slept;
Love with hollow forms was fed,
But the life of love lay dead:-
A cold intercourse they held,
After Mary was expell'd.

Two long years did intervene Since they'd either of them seen, Or, by letter, any word Of their old companion heard,— When, upon a day once walking, Of indifferent matters talking, They a female figure met; Martha said to Margaret,

"That young maid in face does carry
A resemblance strong of Mary."
Margaret, at nearer sight,
Own'd her observation right;
But they did not far proceed
Ere they knew 'twas she indeed.
She-but, ah! how changed they view her
From that person which they knew her !
Her fine face disease had scarr'd,
And its matchless beauty marr'd:-
But enough was left to trace

Mary's sweetness-Mary's grace.
When her eye did first behold them,

How they blush'd !-but, when she told them,
How on a sick bed she lay
Months, while they had kept away,
And had no inquiries made

If she were alive or dead ;-
How, for want of a true friend,
She was brought near to her end,
And was like so to have died,
With no friend at her bed-side ;-
How the constant irritation,
Caused by fruitless expectation
Of their coming, had extended

The illness, when she might have mended,-
Then, O then, how did reflection
Come on them with recollection!
All that she had done for them,
How it did their fault condemn !

But sweet Mary, still the same, Kindly eased them of their shame; Spoke to them with accents bland, Took them friendly by the hand; Bound them both with promise fast, Not to speak of troubles past; Made them on the spot declare A new league of friendship there; Which, without a word of strife, Lasted thenceforth long as life. Martha now and Margaret Strove who most should pay the debt Which they owed her, nor did vary Ever after from their Mary.


SMILING river, smiling river,

On thy bosom sun-beams play; Though they're fleeting, and retreating, Thou hast more deceit than they.

In thy channel, in thy channel,
Choked with ooze and grav'lly stones,
Deep immersed, and unhearsed,
Lies young Edward's corse: his bones

Ever whitening, ever whitening,

As thy waves against them dash; What thy torrent, in the current, Swallow'd, now it helps to wash.

As if senseless, as if senseless
Things had feeling in this case;
What so blindly, and unkindly,

It destroy'd, it now does grace.

I HAVE had playmates, I have had companions,
In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-

All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies,
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I loved a love once, fairest
among women;
Closed are her doors on me, I must not see her-
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man;
Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly;
Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces.

Earth seem'd a desert I was bound to traverse,
Seeking to find the old familiar faces.


HIGH-BORN Helen, round your dwelling
These twenty years I've paced in vain:
Haughty beauty, thy lover's duty
Hath been to glory in his pain.

Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother,
Why wert not thou born in my father's dwelling?
So might we talk of the old familiar faces-

High-born Helen, proudly telling
Stories of thy cold disdain;
I starve, I die, now you comply,
And I no longer can complain.

These twenty years I've lived on tears,
Dwelling for ever on a frown;

On sighs I've fed, your scorn my bread;
I perish now you kind are grown.

Can I, who loved my beloved

But for the scorn "was in her eye,"
Can I be moved for my beloved,
When she "returns me sigh for sigh?"

In stately pride, by my bed-side,

High-born Helen's portrait's hung;
Deaf to my praise, my mournful lays
Are nightly to the portrait sung.

To that I weep, nor ever sleep,
Complaining all night long to her-
Helen, grown old, no longer cold,
Said, "You to all men I prefer."

Ghost-like I paced round the haunts of my child- The place was such, that whoso enter'd in,


Disrobed was of every earthly thought,
And straight became as one that knew not sin,

Or to the world's first innocence was brought;
Enseem'd it now, he stood on holy ground,
In sweet and tender melancholy wrapt around.


I SAW a famous fountain, in my dream,
Where shady path-ways to a valley led;
A weeping willow lay upon that stream,

And all around the fountain brink were spread Wide-branching trees, with dark green leaf rich clad,

Forming a doubtful twilight-desolate and sad.

A most strange calm stole o'er my soothed sprite;
Long time I stood, and longer had I staid,

How some they have died, and some they have When lo! I saw, saw by the sweet moon-light, left me,

And some are taken from me; all are departed;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

Which came in silence o'er that silent shade,
Where, near the fountain, SOMETHING like DESPAIR
Made, of that weeping willow, garlands for her hair.

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