C. V. Le Grice (1773-1858)

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The Genius of Chatterton

I've viewed the pit where as in scorn were thrown
The bones of Chatterton; and here I see
Where first the muses marked him for their own,
Emerging from the dawn of infancy.--
Children! He once was blithe as now ye are,
The life-beam glittering in his ardent eye:
But guilt and melancholy and despair,
Pointing their future prey, passed darkling by.

Ah! what is genius? It is a burning brand
Like that the cherub bore to guard the way
To Paradise. If grace support the hand
That wields it, then its radiant flame shall play
In glory round; else shall its lightnings burst,
And strike their victim down--scathed and accursed.

Mount's Bay

Bay of the Mount! whose opening coasts are spread
From Mousehole Island to the twin-starred Lizard,
Whose waves are speckled with the mullet red,
From head to tail all good--except the gizzard;
Whose sons the patriotic flame display
Which warmed the breast of Hampdens and of Sidneys,
Whose sloping headlands with potatoes gay
Bloom with the scarlet robe, and silvery kidneys:
O! land of yellow ling, and powdered hake!
O! cornucopia of clouted cream;
O! nurse of matrons skilled the pie to bake
Beneath the furze-fired kettle! Not a ream
Of folio paper from the stores of Hewett,
If I could write thy praise, would give me room to do it.

On Charles Lamb Leading his Sister to the Asylum

An angel's wing is waving over their head
While they, the brother and the sister, walk
Nor dare, as heedless of its fanning, talk
Of woes, which are not buried with the dead.
Hand clasped in hand they move; adown their cheek,
From the full heart-spring, tears overflowing gush;
Close and more close they clasp, as if to speak
Would wake the sorrows which they seek to hush.

Down to the mansion slow their footsteps tend,
Where blank despair is soothed by mercy's spell,
Pausing in momentary prayer to bend
Ere the cheered sister passes to her cell,
Sure in the hope that yet there will be given
Calm and sweet hours of peace--foretastes of heaven.

In Reminiscence of the Poet Coleridge

Coleridge, of boyhood in the early dawn
Oppressed I felt not, nor of hope forlorn,
Grasping your hand. You spoke, as though our school
Were of a separate world the vestibule;
And we its habitants.--In cloistered walk
While such of opening scenes your cherished talk,
I listened breathless;--and I saw you prove
Your boded triumphs in the college grove.

Thence, by a sudden plunge, amid their strife
You sprang into the waves of this world's life;
Nor paused.--Far, far away it was mine to hear
Fame of your struggles, and the applauding cheer.
At last of wondrous boy, of bard, of sage
Sank beneath friendship's roof the sheltered age.