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"HOPE! WHEN I MOURN WITH SYMPATHIZING MIND, THE WRONGS OF FATE, THE WOES OF HUMAN KIND,
"I WATCH THE WHEELS OF NATURE'S MAZY PLAN,-(CAMPBELI.)
THE LAST MAN.
The world was sad!—the garden was a wild!
And Man, the hermit, sighed till Woman smiled!
[From "The Pleasures of Hope."]
THE LAST MAN.
LL worldly shapes shall melt in gloon;
Before this mortal shall assume
I saw a vision in my sleep,
That gave my spirit strength to sweep
I saw the last of human mould
That shall Creation's death behold,
The Sun's eye had a sickly glare,
Around that lonely man!
Some had expired in fight-the brands
In plague and famine some!
Earth's cities had no sound nor tread,
Yet, prophet-like, that lone one stood,
With dauntless words and high,
That shook the sere leaves from the wood,
As if a storm passed by ;
AND LEARN THE FUTURE BY THE PAST OF MAN."-CAMPBELL.
THY BLISSFUL OMENS BID MY SPIRIT SEE THE BOUNDLESS FIELDS OF RAPTURE YET TO BE."-CAMPBELL.
TRUTH SHALL RESTORE THE LIGHT BY NATURE GIVEN, AND, LIKE PROMETHEUS, BRING THE FIRE OF HEAVEN-CAMPBELL)
PRONE TO THE DUST OPPRESSION SHALL BE HURLED, HER NAME, HER NATURE WITHERED FROM THE WORLD."-CAMPBELL.
WAS MAN ORDAINED THE SLAVE OF MAN TO TOIL, YOKED WITH THE BRUTES, AND FETTERED TO THE SOIL:-(CAMPBELL)
[This beautiful lyric was first published with “ Theodric, a Domestic Tale, and other Poems," in 1824. Mrs. Shelley has written a novel on the same subject. The novel, however, is less effective than the poem, as must necessarily be the case when an attempt is made to elaborate a theme wholly out of the range of man's ordinary sympathies. It is fitted, perhaps, for treatment in outline; no endeavour to fill up the details can ever be successful.]
HATH VALOUR LEFT THE WORLD TO LIVE NO MORE?
WEIGHED IN A TYRANT'S BALANCE WITH HIS GOLD? NO, NATURE STAMPED US IN A HEAVENLY MOULD."-T. CAMPBELL.
"OH, WHO CAN SPEAK HIS JOYS WHEN SPRING'S YOUNG MORN FROM WOOD AND PASTURE OPEN TO HIS VIEW,—(CLARE)
66 AND WHAT IS LIFE? AN HOUR-GLASS ON THE RUN,
[JOHN CLARE's life is one of the saddest episodes in the history of poetry and poets. He was born at Helpstone, near Peterborough, in 1793. His parents were humble peasants, and he himself from an early age worked as a plough-boy. Stimulated by an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, he worked extra hours to obtain wherewithal to defray the cost of some occasional schooling. He learned to read and write, and having contrived to purchase a copy of Thomson's "Seasons," was inspired with a love of poetry, which manifested itself in spontaneous song. Thenceforward he continued to 'warble his unpremeditated lays," though there were few to listen to the simple rural music. A desire of fame came at length to him, as it comes to all poets; and having by hard labour saved a small sum of money, he issued prospectuses for subscribers. Only seven appeared: but through the agency of a friend, Clare was introduced to a London publishing firm (Messrs. Taylor and Henry), who bought his poems for £20, and published them in 1839, under the title of "Poems of Rural Life and Scenery." Their vivid and accurate pictures of nature, their gentle feeling, and simple melody, were immediately recognized by the critics. Several noblemen, and gentlemen generously combined to place their author above the reach of want, and secured him an annual income of £30. He married his first love, and a sunny noon seemed likely to compensate him for the gloomy morning of his life. But imprudently launching into farming speculations, he dissipated his little fortune, and, being deficient in stamina and strength of character, sunk into a nervous despondency, which rendered necessary his removal to a lunatic asylum. From thence he contrived to effect his escape; and as the wounded bird seeks its nest, so the heartbroken poet sought his home. From Epping Forest he made his way on foot to Northborough, and arrived on the third day after his escape, July 23, 1841. He was afterwards removed to Northampton Asylum, where he resided until his death on the 30th of May 1864. Of his poetry Wilson justly says that it is "humble in every sense, but nevertheless the product of genius, which speaks for itself audibly and clearly in lowliest strains. His mind is an original one; his most indifferent verses prove it: for though he must have read much poetry since his earlier day, he retains his own style, which, though not marked by any very strong characteristics, is yet sufficiently peculiar to show that it belongs to himself, and is a natural gift."]
TO THE PRIMROSE.
ELCOME, pale Primrose! starting up between
A MIST RETREATING FROM THE MORNING SUN."-CLARE.
WHEN TENDER GREEN BUDS BLUSH UPON THE THORN, AND THE FIRST PRIMROSE DIPS ITS LEAVES IN DEW!"-CLARE.
"BRISK WINDS THE LIGHTENED BRANCHES SHAKE BY PATTERING, PLASHING DROPS CONGEST-CLARE)
"6 AND HAPPINESS? A BUBBLE ON THE STREAM,-(JOHN CLARE)
TO THE PRIMROSE.
How much thy presence beautifies the ground!
Glows on the sunny bank and wood's warm side!
["Plucking the fairest with a rude delight."]
The schoolboy roams enchantedly along,
To gaze a moment on the pleasing sight;
[From "Poems of Rural Life."]
AND WHERE OAKS DRIPPING SHADE THE LAKE, PAINT CRIMPING DIMPLES ON ITS BREAST."-CLARE.