Lausanne: In Gibbon's Old Garden: 11ÔÇô12 p.m

A spirit seems to pass,
Formal in pose, but grave withal and grand:
He contemplates a writing in his hand,
And far lamps fleck him through the thin acacias.

Anon the leaves are closed,
With "It is finished!" And at the alley's end
He turns, and when on me his glances bend
As from the Past comes speech--small, muted, yet composed.

"How fares the Truth now?--Ill?
--Do pens but slily further her advance?
May one not speed her but in phrase askance?
Do scribes aver the Comic to be Reverend still?

"Still rule those minds on earth
At whom sage Milton's wormwood words were hurled:
'Truth like a bastard comes into the world
Never without ill-fame to him who gives her birth'?"
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