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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
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.
My dear Coleridge,
Wish'd that Margaret would take heed
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,
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
Mary's sweetness-Mary's grace.
How they blush'd !-but, when she told them,
If she were alive or dead ;-
The illness, when she might have mended,-
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.
TO A RIVER IN WHICH A CHILD WAS
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,
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
It destroy'd, it now does grace.
THE OLD FAMILIAR FACES.
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
I loved a love once, fairest
I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man;
Earth seem'd a desert I was bound to traverse,
HIGH-BORN Helen, round your dwelling
Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother,
High-born Helen, proudly telling
These twenty years I've lived on tears,
On sighs I've fed, your scorn my bread;
Can I, who loved my beloved
But for the scorn "was in her eye,"
In stately pride, by my bed-side,
High-born Helen's portrait's hung;
To that I weep, nor ever sleep,
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,
Or to the world's first innocence was brought;
A VISION OF REPENTANCE.
I SAW a famous fountain, in my dream,
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;
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;
Which came in silence o'er that silent shade,