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He was prouder than the devil:
How he must have cursed our revel!
Ay and many other meetings,
Indoor visits, outdoor greetings,
As up and down he paced this London,
With no work done, but great works undone,
Where scarce twenty knew his name.
Why not, then, have earlier spoken,
Written, bustled? Who's to blame
If your silence kept unbroken?
“True, but there were sundry jottings,
"Stray-leaves, fragments, blurrsand blottings,
“Certain first steps were achieved
“Already which"—is that your meaning?)
“Had well borne out whoe'er believed
“In more to come!” But who goes gleaning
Hedgeside chance-blades, while full-sheaved
Stand cornfields by him ? Pride, o'erweening
Pride alone, puts forth such claims
v er the day's distinguished names.
Meantime, how much I loved him,
I find out now I've lost him.
I who cared not if I moved him,
Who could so carelessly accost him,
Henceforth never shall get free
Of his ghostly company,
His eyes that just a little wink
As deep I go into the merit
Of this and that distinguished spirit-
His cheeks' raised colour, soon to sink,
As long I dwell on some stupendous
And tremendous (Heaven defend us!)
Penman's latest piece of graphic.
Nay, my very wrist grows warm
With his dragging weight of arm.
E'en so, swimmingly appears, Through one's after-supper musings, Some lost lady of old years With her beauteous vain endeavour And goodness unrepaid as ever; The face, accustomed to refusings, We, puppies that we were ... Oh never Surely, nice of conscience, scrupled Being aught like false, forsooth, to? Telling aught but honest truth to? What a sin, had we centupled Its possessor's grace and sweetness! No! she heard in its completeness Truth, for truth's a weighty matter, And truth, at issue, we can't flatter! Well, 'tis done with; she's exempt From damning us thro' such a sally; And so she glides, as down a valley, Taking up with her contempt, Past our reach; and in, the flowers Shut her unregarded hours.
Oh, could I have him back once more,
This Waring, but one half-day more!
Back, with the quiet face of yore,
So hungry for acknowledgment
Like mine! I'd fool him to his bent.
Feed, should not he, to heart's content ?
I'd say, “to only have conceived,
“Planned your great works, apart from
progress, “Surpasses little works achieved!" I'd lie so, I should be believed. I'd make such havoc of the claims Of the day's distinguished names To feast him with, as feasts an ogress Her feverish sharp-toothed gold-crowned
Or as one feasts a creature rarely
Captured here, unreconciled
To capture; and completely gives
Its pettish humours license, barely
Requiring that it lives.
The glory is departed!
Travels Waring East away?
Who, of knowledge, by hearsay,
Reports a man upstarted
Somewhere as a god,
Hordes grown European-hearted,
Millions of the wild made tame
On a sudden at his fame?
In Vishnu-land what Avatar?
Or who in Moscow, toward the Czar,
With the demurest of footfalls
Over the Kremlin's pavement bright
With serpentine and syenite,
Steps, with five other Generals
That simultaneously take snuff,
For each to have pretext enough
And kerchiefwise unfold his sash
Which, softness' self, is yet the stuff
To hold fast where a steel chain snaps,
And leave the grand white neck no gash?
Waring in Moscow, to those rough
Cold northern natures born perhaps,
Like the lambwhite maiden dear
From the circle of mute kings
Unable to repress the tear,
Each as his sceptre down he flings,
To Dian's fane at Taurica,
Where now a captive priestess, she alway
Mingles her tender grave Hellenic speech
With theirs, tuned to the hailstone-beaten
As pours some pigeon, from the myrrhy lands Rapt by the whirlblast to fierce Scythian
strands Where breed the swallows, her melodious cry Amid their barbarous twitter! In Russia? Never! Spain were fitter! Ay, most likely 'tis in Spain That we and Waring meet again Now, while he turns down that cool narrow
lane Into the blackness, out of grave Madrid All fire and shine, abrupt as when there's slid Its stiff gold blazing pall From some black coffin-lid. Or, best of all, I love to think The leaving us was just a feint; Back here to London did he slink, And now works on without a wink Of sleep, and we are on the brink Of something great in fresco-paint: Some garret's ceiling, walls and floor, Up and down and o'er and o'er He splashes, as none splashed before Since great Caldara Polidore. Or Music means this land of ours Some favour yet, to pity won By Purcell from his Rosy Bowers,— “Give me my so-long promised son, “Let Waring end what I begun!” Then down he creeps and out he steals Only when the night conceals His face; in Kent 'tis cherry-time, Or hops are picking: or at prime Of March he wanders as, too happy, Years ago when he was young, Some mild eve when woods grew sappy And the early moths had sprung
To life from many a trembling sheath
Woven the warm boughs beneath;
While small birds said to themselves
What should soon be actual song,
And young gnats, by tens and twelves,
Made as if they were the throng
That crowd around and carry aloft
The sound they have nursed, so sweet and
Out of a myriad noises soft,
Into a tone that can endure
Amid the noise of a July noon
When all God's creatures crave their boon,
All at once and all in tune,
And get it, happy as Waring then,
Having first within his ken
What a man might do with men:
And far too glad, in the even-glow,
To mix with the world he meant to take
Into his hand, he told you, so—
And out of it his world to make,
To contract and to expand
As he shut or oped his hand.
Oh Waring, what's to really be?
A clear stage and a crowd to see!
Some Garrick, say, out shall not he
The heart of Hamlet's mystery pluck?
Or, where most unclean beasts are rife,
Some Junius-am I right?—shall tuck
His sleeve, and forth with flaying-knife!
Some Chatterton shall have the luck
Of calling Rowley into life!
Some one shall somehow run a muck
With this old world for want of strife
Sound asleep. Contrive, contrive
To rouse us, Waring! Who's alive?
Our men scarce seem in earnest now.
Distinguished names !-but 'tis, somehow,