Now another bird. My poem for those who, in a period of uprisings or vice, and want to depart with light heart and cheer.
Nymphea and Hymen! I see the tree of Hymen gleaming in the night, my heart holds fast to the seeds of the dream. Also Mars, that beautiful ant of war, I wish a cause to fight for; but love flies more far, and at least we may win through Cupid’s dart, which is a virtue.
So now, Charles Lamb, and Alfred Tennyson, and Leigh Hunt, and Robert Southey, there are three people whose poems are much overpaid. But, as a matter of fact, an independent mind (as mine) may be defended against such a charge, for with my poem in the Thistle, now our rightful equal, I fancy I speak, there is even room for Tennyson.
As for the man who wrote the Lamb’s Reclining; if he were to appear before me, I should feel obliged to speak. The world may as well own the Lamb’s as own him not. He cannot help that. But that I should call him truer than true — ss a proud privilege, and one which If I were to exploit unwisely, would tarnish the honor of true poets.
Among my compositions not read (i shall not waste my limited time) were a couple of portraits:
sketches of myself, as thou wishest me, of a madman and an old man; and now I say, that if I died this evening upon the ground, without tears nor regret.
:: 10.21.2021 ::