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HOW IT STRIKES A CONTEMPORARY.
I ONLY knew one poet in my life :
You saw go up and down Valladolid, A man of mark, to know next time you saw. His very serviceable suit of black Was courtly once and conscientious still, And many might have worn it, though none did : The cloak, that somewhat shone and showed the threads, Had purpose, and the ruff, significance. He walked, and tapped the pavement with his cane, Scenting the world, looking it full in face : An old dog, bald and blindish, at his heels. They turned up, now, the alley by the church, That leads no whither; now, they breathed themselves On the main promenade just at the wrong time. You 'd come upon his scrutinizing hat, Making a peaked shade blacker than itself Against the single window spared some house Intact yet with its mouldered Moorish work, — Or else surprise the ferrel of his stick Trying the mortar's temper 'tween the chinks
Of some new shop a-building, French and fine.
Had he to do with A.'s surprising fate?
I found no truth in one report at leastThat if you tracked him to his home, down lanes Beyond the Jewry, and as clean to pace, You found he ate his supper in a room Blazing with lights, four Titians on the wall, And twenty naked girls to change his plate ! Poor man, he lived another kind of life In that new stuccoed third house by the bridge, Fresh-painted, rather smart than otherwise ! The whole street might o'erlook him as he sat, Leg crossing leg, one foot on the dog's back, Playing a decent cribbage with his maid (Jacynth, you 're sure her name was) o'er the cheese
And fruit, three red halves of starved winter-pears,
My father, like the man of sense he was,
I'd like now, yet had haply been afraid, To have just looked, when this man came to die, And seen who lined the clean gay garret sides, And stood about the neat low truckle-bed, With the heavenly manner of relieving guard. Here had been, mark, the general-in-chief, Thro' a whole campaign of the world's life and death, Doing the King's work all the dim day long, In his old coat and up to knees in mud, Smoked like a herring, dining on a crust,And, now the day was won, relieved at once ! No further show or need of that old coat, You are sure, for one thing! Bless us, all the while How sprucely we are dressed out, you and I ! A second, and the angels alter that. Well, I could never write a verse,-could you ? Let's to the Prado and inake the most of time.
AMONG these latter busts we count by scores,
Now read here. “Protus ends a period “ Of empery beginning with a god; “ Born in the porphyry chamber at Byzant, “ Queens by his cradle, proud and ministrant : “ And if he quickened breath there, 't would like fire “ Pantingly through the dim vast realm transpire. “A fame that he was missing, spread afar : 6. The world, from its four corners, rose in war, “ Till he was borne out on a balcony “ To pacify the world when it should see. “ The captains ranged before him, one, his hand “ Made baby points at, gained the chief command. “ And day by day more beautiful he grew “ In shape, all said, in feature and in hue,