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SONNETS FROM DIFFERENT LANGUAGES.
'Tis Saturday, precisely half-past three,
(I would to Heaven their pinions had been clipped)
MY SOUL'S PHYSICIAN.
When I was on the edge of twenty-three,
Late in the year of fifty-one, I think,
To see me writhe they gave me gall to drink—
And maddened by the draught, I sent for thee,
Who, like a kind physician, came to me,
Sat down beside the sick-bed of my soul,
Administered all antidotes for dole
In mollifying balm of sympathy.
Then, dashing from its violet brink the tear
That rose to tremble thanks, I flung apart,
Confidingly, the portals of my heart,
And bade thee look into its sepulchre—
And thy kind greeting of its early dead
Through all this life shall be remembered.
Intent to seek afar some resting-place,
Fancy with partial pencil painted thee
Upon the tablets of my memory,
That I might gaze for ever on thy face,
Without the scrutiny of green-eyed jury
Envy impannels, with an oath sublime,
To twist the acts of innocence to crime,
And put the straight-laced public in a fury.
To seek that foreign home I did not go,
But did elect, upon my native soil,
Impatiently in paths of pain to toil
For laurels, which through years should greener grow—
And, now, above the hazy horizon
Of my young starless life thou'st risen like a sun.
BEST DEFINITION OF MAN.
Man is the vainest creature Heaven has made,
Whilom I closed the portal of my heart,
And said, "No guest shall ever enter more ;"
But, late thou earnest a-rapping on the door
So heavily, it jarring, swung apart,
And in thou sallied'st like a conqueror.
With manner that bespoke the realm thine own,
Didst take thy seat on its deserted throne,
And straightway, with no tremor born of fear,
Beganst inaugural discourse on love.
Thine eloquence thrilled me like a barbed dart,
I caught my breath, and strove to say—" Depart!"
But lip and tongue refused alike to move,
And, though thy usurpation then did grieve me,
'Twould well nigh kill me now if thou shouldst leave me.