Appended to the Hellenics

A heartier age will come; the wise will know
If in my writings there be aught of worth,
Said ardent Milton, whose internal light
Dispel'd the darkness of despondency,
Before he with imperishable gold
Damaskt the hilt of our Protector's blade.
Wonder not if that seer, the nighest to heaven
Of all below, could have thus well divined.
 I, on a seat beneath, but on his right,
Neither expect nor hope my verse may lie
With summer sweets, with albums gaily drest,
Where poodle snifts at flower between the leaves.
A few will cull my fruit, and like the taste,
And find not overmuch to pare away.
The soundest apples are not soonest ripe,
In some dark room laid up when others rot.
 Southey and Hare and, on his deathbed, Ward,
And others of like stamp, have nodded praise.
Unchallenged I have crost the Argive tents,
Alone; and I have wrestled with the prime
Of shepherds on the plains of Sicily,
And her young maidens placed me by their side,
And bade my rival listen while I sang.
Meanwhile not querulous nor feverish
Hath been my courtship of the passing voice,
Nor panted for its echo. Time has been
When Cowley shone near Milton, nay, above!
An age roll'd on before a keener sight
Could separate and see them far apart.
Thus in our day hath Ireland's noble sage
Brought down to human ken and shown how vast
The space between two stars, which few had seen,
And none seen separate.
We upon earth
Have not our places and our distances
Assign'd, for many years; at last a tube,
Rais'd and adjusted by Intelligence,
Stands elevated to a cloudless sky,
And place and magnitude are ascertain'd.
 If I extoll'd the virtuous and the wise,
The brave and beautiful, and well discern'd
Their features as they fixt their eyes on mine;
If I have won a kindness never wooed;
Could I foresee that . . fallen among thieves,
Despoil'd, halt, wounded . . tramping traffikers
Should throw their dirt upon me, not without
Some small sharp pebbles carefully inclosed?
However, from one crime they are exempt;
They do not strike a brother, striking me .
 This breathes o'er me a cool serenity,
O'er me divided from old friends, in lands
Pleasant, if aught without old friends can please,
Where round their lowly turf-built terraces
Grey olives twinkle in this wintery sun,
And crimson light invests yon quarried cliff,
And central towers from distant villas peer
Until Arezzo's ridges intervene.
 Festival I would keep before I leave
The land where I am tarrying; to this end
Muses! who often heard me, hear me now!
Come, and invite my neighbours on the marsh
To lay aside the homely bowl for once;
Come, tell them, at my table they may taste
The generous wines of Cypros and of Crete,
And hear the chaunt in honor of that God
Who gave the mask and buskin to the stage,
Which the wise Goddess from her fane aloft
Surveyed with stedfast eyes, nor disapproved.
Let me look back upon the world again!
Ah! let me look upon the graves of friends
Departed; let me rest my eyes at last
Upon one happy mansion, hers whose pure
And holy light fell down on me when first
It dawned, and few had ever gazed at mine.
Quitting our poplars and our cypresses,
And the secluded scene they overhang,
Run glibly on, my little Affrico,
Content to cool the feet of weary hind
On thy smooth pavement, strown for him with moss;
Regretting not thy vanisht lake, and maids
Aside its bank, each telling tale for tale;
Revert thee rather, and with pride record
Here blythe Boccaccio led his Fair Brigade ,
Here Galileo with the stars converst,
And Milton soar'd above them to his God.
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