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IN ALLUSION TO SOME ILLIBERAL CRITICISMS.
WHY, let the stingless critic chide
With all that fume of vacant pride
Which mantles o'er the pedant fool,
Like vapour on a stagnant pool.
Oh! if the song, to feeling true,
Can please th' elect, the sacred few,
Whose souls, by Taste and Nature taught,
Thrill with the genuine pulse of thought —
If some fond feeling maid like thee,
The warm-ey'd child of Sympathy,
Shall say, while o'er my simple theme
She languishes in Passion's dream,
My fates had destin'd me to rove
A long, long pilgrimage of love;
And many an altar on my way
Has lur'd my pious steps to stay;
For, if the saint was young and fair,
I turn'd and sung my vespers there.
This, from a youthful pilgrim's fire,
Is what your pretty saints require
To pass, nor tell a single bead,
With them would be profane indeed!
But, trust me, all this young devotion
Was but to keep my zeal in motion;
And, ev'ry humbler altar past,
I now have reach'd THE SHRINE at last!
NATURE'S LABELS. A FRAGMENT.
IN vain we fondly strive to trace
The soul's reflection in the face;
In vain we dwell on lines and crosses,
Crooked mouth, or short proboscis ;
Boobies have look'd as wise and bright
As Plato or the Stagirite :
And many a sage and learned skull
Has peep'd through windows dark and dull.
Since then, though art do all it can,
We ne'er can reach the inward man,
Nor (howsoe'er "learn'd Thebans " doubt)
The inward woman, from without,
Methinks 'twere well if Nature could
(And Nature could, if Nature would)
Some pithy, short descriptions write,
On tablets large, in black and white,
Which she might hang about our throttles,
Like labels upon physic-bottles ;
And where all men might read—but stay-
As dialectic sages say,
The argument most apt and ample
For common use is the example.