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Not that, in truth, when life began,
He shunned the flutter of the fan;
He too had maybe "pinked his man
In Beauty's quarrel;

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But now his "fervent youth" had flown
Where lost things go; and he was grown
As staid and slow-paced as his own
Old hunter, Sorrel.

Yet still he loved the chase, and held
That no composer's score excelled
The merry horn, when Sweetlip swelled
Its jovial riot;

But most his measured words of praise
Caressed the angler's easy ways,—
His idly meditative days,—

His rustic diet.

Not that his "meditating" rose
Beyond a sunny summer doze;
He never troubled his repose

With fruitless prying;

But held, as law for high and low,

What God withholds no man can know,

And smiled away inquiry so,

Without replying.

We read-alas, how much we read!

The jumbled strifes of creed and creed
With endless controversies feed

Our groaning tables;

His books-and they sufficed him-were Cotton's "Montaigne," "The Grave" of Blair, A "Walton "-much the worse for wearAnd "Æsop's Fables."

One more,—“The Bible." Not that he
Had searched its page as deep as we;
No sophistries could make him see
Its slender credit;

It may be that he could not count
The sires and sons to Jesse's fount,—
He liked the "Sermon on the Mount,"-
And more, he read it.

Once he had loved, but failed to wed,
A red-cheeked lass who long was dead;
His ways were far too slow, he said,
To quite forget her;

And still when time had turned him gray,
The earliest hawthorn buds in May
Would find his lingering feet astray,
Where first he met her.

"In Cœlo Quies" heads the stone
On Leisure's grave,-now little known,
A tangle of wild-rose has grown
So thick across it;

The "Benefactions" still declare
He left the clerk an elbow-chair,
And "12 Pence Yearly to Prepare
A Christmas Posset."


Lie softly, Leisure!

Doubtless you

With too serene a conscience drew

Your easy breath, and slumbered through
The gravest issue;

But we, to whom our age allows

Scarce space to wipe our weary brows,

Look down upon your narrow house,

Old friend, and miss you!



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Most women then, if bards be true, Succumbed to Routs and Cards, or grew

Devout and acid.

But hers was neither fate. She came
Of good west-country folk, whose fame
Has faded now. For us her name
Is "Madam Placid."

Patience or Prudence,-what you will,
Some prefix faintly fragrant still
As those old musky scents that fill
Our grandams' pillows;

And for her youthful portrait take

Some long-waist child of Hudson's make, Stiffly at ease beside a lake

With swans and willows.

I keep her later semblance placed
Beside my desk,—'tis lawned and laced,

In shadowy sanguine stipple traced

By Bartolozzi;


A placid face, in which surprise
Is seldom seen, but yet there lies
Some vestige of the laughing eyes
Of arch Piozzi.

For her e'en Time grew debonair.
He, finding cheeks unclaimed of care,
With late-delayed faint roses there,

And lingering dimples,

Had spared to touch the fair old face,
And only kissed with Vauxhall grace
The soft white hand that stroked her lace,
Or smoothed her wimples.

So left her beautiful.

Her age

Was comely as her youth was sage,

And yet she once had been the rage ;-
It hath been hinted,

Indeed, affirmed by one or two,

Some spark at Bath (as sparks will do)
Inscribed a song to "Lovely Prue,"

Which Urban printed.

I know she thought; I know she felt;
Perchance could sum, I doubt she spelt;
She knew as little of the Celt

As of the Saxon;

I know she played and sang, for yet
We keep the tumble-down spinet
To which she quavered ballads set
By Arne or Jackson.

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