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XXVII.

Awake, there is no living man
Who may my fixed spirit shake;
But, sleeping, there is one who can,
And oft does he the trial make:
Against his might resolves I take,

And him oppose with high disdain;
But quickly all my powers forsake

My mind, and I resume my chain.

XXVIII.

I know not how, but I am brought
Into a large and Gothic hall,
Seated with those I never sought-
Kings, Caliphs, Kaisers, silent all;
Pale as the dead; enrobed and tall,
Majestic, frozen, solemn, still;
They wake my fears, my wits appal,
And with both scorn and terror fill.

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XXIX.

Now are they seated at a board

In that cold grandeur I am there. But what can mummied kings afford?

This is their meagre ghostly fare, And proves what fleshless things they stare! Yes! I am seated with the dead: How great, and yet how mean they are! Yes! I can scorn them while I dread?

XXX.

They're gone!-and in their room I see
A fairy being, form and dress

Brilliant as light; nor can there be

On earth that heavenly loveliness;
Nor words can that sweet look express,

Or tell what living gems adorn
That wond'rous beauty: who can guess
Where such celestial charms were born?

XXXI.

Yet, as I wonder and admire,

The grace is gone, the glory dead; And now it is but mean attire

Upon a shrivel❜d beldame spread, Laid loathsome on a pauper's bed,

Where wretchedness and woe are found, And the faint putrid odour shed

By all that's foul and base around!

XXXII.

A garden this? oh! lovely breeze!

Oh! flowers that with such freshness bloom!

Flowers shall I call such forms as these,

Or this delicious air perfume?

Oh! this from better worlds must come;
On earth such beauty who can meet?
No! this is not the native home

Of things so pure, so bright, so sweet!

XXXIII.

Where? where? -am I reduced to this

Thus sunk in poverty extreme? Can I not these vile things dismiss?

No! they are things that more than seem: This room with that cross-parting beam Holds yonder squalid tribe and me But they were ever thus, nor dream Of being wealthy, favour'd, free!-

XXXIV.

Shall I a coat and badge receive,
And sit among these crippled men,
And not go forth without the leave

Of him- and ask it humbly then
Who reigns in this infernal den-
Where all beside in woe repine?
Yes, yes,
I must: nor tongue nor pen
Can paint such misery as mine!

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XXXV.

Wretches! if ye were only poor,
You would my sympathy engage;
Or were ye vicious, and no more,

I might be fill'd with manly rage;
Or had ye patience, wise and sage

We might such worthy sufferers call: But ye are birds that suit your cagePoor, vile, impatient, worthless all!

XXXVI.

How came I hither? Oh, that Hag! 'Tis she the enchanting spell prepares ; By cruel witchcraft she can drag

My struggling being in her snares : Oh, how triumphantly she glares!

But yet would leave me, could I make Strong effort to subdue my cares.—

'TIS MADE!-and I to Freedom wake!

TALES.(')

(1) [First published in August, 1812. See antè, Vol. I. p. 201.]

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