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Some letter of that After-life to spell:
And by and by my Soul return'd to me,
And answer'd, "I Myself am Heav'n and Hell."
In him inexplicably mix'd appear'd
Much to be lov'd and hated, sought and fear'd.
Opinion varying o'er his hidden lot,
In praise or railing ne'er his name forgot;
His silence form'd a theme for others' prate;
They guess'd -- they gaz'd -- they fain would know his fate.
What had he been? what was he, thus unknown,
Who walk'd their world, his lineage only known?
A hater of his kind? yet some would say,
With them he could seem gay amidst the gay;
But own'd that smile, if oft observ'd and near,
Wan'd in its mirth and wither'd to a sneer;
That smile might reach his lip but pass'd not by,
None e'er could trace its laughter to his eye.
Yet there was softness too in his regard,
At times, a heart as not by nature hard,
But once perceiv'd, his spirit seem'd to chide
Such weakness as unworthy of its pride,
And steel'd itself, as scorning to redeem
One doubt from others' half withheld esteem;
In self-inflicted penance of a breast
Which tenderness might once have wrung from rest;
In vigilance of grief that would compel
The soul to hate for having lov'd too well.
Facilis est Descensus Averni
Elizabeth — it surely is most fit
(Logic and common usage so commanding)
In thy own book that first thy name be writ,
Zeno and other sages notwithstanding :
And I have other reasons for so doing
Besides my innate love of contradiction:
Each poet — if a poet — in pursuing
The muses thro' their bowers of Truth or Fiction,
Has studied very little of his part,
Read nothing, written less — in short's a fool
Endued with neither soul, nor sense, nor art,
Being ignorant of one important rule,
Employed in even the theses of the school —
Called —— I forget the heathenish Greek name —
(Called any thing, its meaning is the same)
"Always write first things uppermost in the heart"
I make things smell.