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"Rogue that I am," he whispers to himself,
"I lie, I cheat--do anything for pelf,
But who on earth can say I am not pious?"
She was one of those who by fortune's boon
Are born, as they say, with a silver spoon
In her mouth, not a wooden ladle.
The biggest bore of all is he who is overflowing with congratulations.
The doctors gave her over--to an ass.
The fir-trees dark and high; I used to think their slender tops were close against the sky.
The history of humankind to trace
Since Eve, the first of dupes, our doom unriddled,
A certain portion of the human race
Has certainly a taste for being diddled.
Witness the famous Mississippi dreams!
A rage that time seems only to redouble--The banks, joint, stocks, and all the flimsy schemes.
For rolling in Pactolian streams
That cost our modern rogues so little trouble
No matter what, to pasture cows on stubble
To twist sea-sand into a solid rope,
To make French bricks and fancy bread of rubble,
Or light with gas the whole celestial cope--
Only propose to blow a bubble,
And Lord! what hundreds will subscribe for soap!
The mind flies back with a grand recoil
From debts not due till to-morrow.
The more the eggs, the worse the hatch,
The more the fish, the worse the catch.
There is not a string attuned to mirth but has its chord of melancholy.
There's not a string attuned to mirth,
But has its chord in melancholy.
- [Melancholy : Proverbs]
Those eyes that were so bright, love,
Have now a dimmer shine;
But what they've lost in light, love,
Is what they gave to mine.
And still those orbs reflect, love,
The beams of former hours,
That ripen'd all my joys, love,
And tinted all my flowers.
'Tis a stern and a startling thing to think
How often mortality stands on the brink
Of its grave without any misgiving;
And yet in this slippery world of strife,
In the stir of human bustle so rife,
There are daily sounds to tell us that Life
Is dying, and Death is living!
'Tis like the birthday of the world,
When earth was born in bloom;
The light is made of many dyes,
The air is all perfume:
There's crimson buds, and white and blue,
The very rainbow showers
Have turned to blossoms where they fell,
And sown the earth with flowers.
To attempt to advise conceited people is like whistling against the wind.
To his tuned spirit the wild heather-bells
Ring Sabbath knells;
The sod's a cushion for his pious want,
And, consecrated by the heaven within it,
The sky-blue pool a font.
We thought her dying while she slept, and sleeping when she died.
We've scrubb'd the negroes till we've nearly kill'd em;
And finding that, we cannot wash them white,
We mean to gild 'em.
Well for the drones of the social hive that there are bees of an industrious turn, willing, for an infinitesimal share of the honey, to undertake the labor of its fabrication.
What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. What is the soul? It is immaterial.
When he is forsaken,
Withered and shaken,
What can an old man do but die?
- [Old Age]
Who backs his rigid Sabbath, so to speak,
Against the wicked remnant of the week."
With charwoman such early hours agree,
And sweeps, that earn betimes their bit and sup;
But I'm no climbing boy, and need not be,
All up--all up!
So here I'll lie, my morning calls deferring,
Till something nearer to the stroke of noon;
A man that's fond precociously of stirring,
Must be a spoon.
- [Early Rising]
Whoe'er has gone thro' London street,
Has seen a butcher gazing at his meat,
And how he keeps
Gloating upon a sheep's
Or bullock's personals, as if his own;
How he admires his halves
And quarters--and his calves,
As if in truth upon his own legs grown.
- A Butcher [Butchering]
Oh! would I were dead now,
Or up in my bed now,
To cover my head now
And have a good cry!
- A Table of Errata [Tears]
Oh, cruel heart! ere these posthumous papers
Have met thine eyes, I shall be out of breath;
Those cruel eyes, like two funereal tapers,
Have only lighted me the way to death.
Perchance thou wilt extinguish them in vapours,
When I am gone, and green grass covereth
Thy lover, lost; but it will be in vain--
It will not bring the vital spark again.
- A Valentine [Valentines]
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