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Within the ears of men;
Ye chiefly, virile both to think and feel,

Deep-chested Chapman and firm-footed Ben, 75 For he was masculine from head and heel.

Nay, let himself stand undiminished by
With those clear parts of him that will not die.
Himself from out the recent dark I claim

To hear, and, if I flatter him, to blame; 80 To show himself, as still I seem to see,

A mortal, built upon the antique plan,
Brimful of lusty blood as ever ran,
And taking life as simply as a tree!

To claim my foiled good-by let him appear, 85 Large-limbed and human as I saw him near,

Loosed from the stiffening uniform of fame:
And let me treat him largely: I should fear,
(If with too prying lens I chanced to err,

Mistaking catalogue for character,)
90 His wise forefinger raised in smiling blame.

Nor would I scant him with judicial breath
And turn mere critic in an epitaph;
I choose the wheat, incurious of the chaff

That swells fame living, chokes it after death, 95 And would but memorize the shining half

Of bis large nature that was turned to me:
Fain had I joined with those that honored him
With eyes that darkened because his were dim,

And now been silent: but it might not be. 74. Chapman and Ben Jonson were contemporaries of Shakspere. The former is best known by his rich, picturesque translation of Homer. Lowell may easily have had in mind among Jonson's Elegies, his majestic ode, On the Death of Sir Lucius Cary and Sir 11. Morison. He rightly claims for the poets of the Elizabethan age a frankness and largeness of speech rarely heard in our more retned and restrained time.

84. Since the poet could not be by Agasziz at the last.



100 In some the genius is a thing apart,

A pillared hormit of the brain,
Hoarding with incommunicable art

Its intellectual gain;

Man's web of circumstance and fate 105 They from their perch of self observe, Indifferent as the figures on a slate

Are to the planet's sun-swung curve
Whose bright returns they calculate ;

Their nice adjustment, part to part, 110 Were shaken from its serviceable mood By unpremediated stirs of heart

Or jar of human neighborhood:
Some find their natural selves, and only then,

In furloughs of divine escape from men, 115 And when, by that brief ecstasy left bare,

Driven by some instinct of desire,
They wander worldward, 't is to blink and stare,
Like wild things of the wood about the fire,
Dazed of the social glow they cannot share;

His nature brooked no lonely lair,
But basked and bourgeoned in copartnery,
Companionship, and open-windowed glee:

He knew, for he had tried, 118. Travellers in the wilderness find their camp-fires the attraction of the beasts that prowl about the camp.

123. “ Agassiz was a born metaphysician, and moreover had pursued severe studies in philosophy. Those who knew him well were constantly surprised at the ease with which he handled the more intricate problems of thought." Theodore Ly man, in Recollections of Agassiz, Atlantic Monthly, February 1874.

I 20

Those speculative heights that lure
125 The unpractised foot, impatient of a guide,

Tow'rds ether too attenuately pure
For sweet unconscious breath, though dear to


But better loved the foothold sure Of paths that wind by old abodes of men 130 Who hope at last the churchyard's peace secure,

And follow time-worn rules, that them suffice,
Learned from their sires, traditionally wise,
Careful of honest custom's how and when ;

His mind, too brave to look on Truth askance, 135 No more those habitudes of faith could share,

But, tinged with sweetness of the old Swiss manse,
Lingered around them still and fain would spare.
Patient to spy a sullen egg for weeks,

The enigma of creation to surprise,
140 His truer instinct sought the life that speaks

Without a mystery from kindly eyes ;
In no self-woven silk of prudence wound,
He by the touch of men was best inspired,

And caught his native greatness at rebound 145 From generosities itself had fired;

Then how the heat through every fibre ran,
Felt in the gathering presence of the man,
While the apt word and gesture came unbid !

Virtues and faults it to one metal wrought, 150

Fined all his blood to thought,
And ran the molten man in all he said or did.
All Tully's rules and all Quintilian's too
He by the light of listening faces knew,

152. Tully is the now somewhat old-fashioned English way of referring to Marcus Tullius Cicero, whose book De Oratore and Quintilian's Institutiones Oratoriæ were the most celebrated an. cient works on chetoric.

And his rapt audience all unconscious lent
155 Their own roused force to make him eloquent;

Persuasion fondled in his look and tone;
Our speech (with strangers prudish) he could bring
To find new charms in accents not her own;

Her coy constraints and icy hindrances 60 Melted upon his lips to natural ease,

As a brook's fetters swell the dance of spring.
Nor yet all sweetness: not in vain he wore,
Nor in the sheath of ceremony, controlled

By velvet courtesy or caution cold,
165 That sword of honest anger prized of old,

But, with two-handed wrath,
If baseness or pretension crossed his path,

Struck once nor needed to strike more.



His magic was not far to seek,
170 He was so human! whether strong or weak,

Far from his kind he neither sank nor soared,
But sate an equal guest at every board:
No beggar ever felt him condescend,

No prince presume; for still himself he bare 175 At manhood's simple level, and where'er

He met a stranger, there he left a friend.
How large an aspect! nobly unsevere,
With freshness round him of Olympian cheer,

Like visits of those earthly gods he came; 180 His look, wherever its good-fortune fell,

Doubled the feast without a miracle,
And on the hearthstone danced a happier flame;
Philemon's crabbed vintage grew benign;

Amphitryon's gold-juice humanized to wine. 183. For the stories of Philemon and Amphitryon, see Ovid's Metamorphoses, viii. 631, and vi. 112.


1. 185

The garrulous memories
Gather again from all their far-flown nooks,
Singly at first, and then by twos and threes,
Then in a throng innumerable, as the rooks

Thicken their twilight files 190 Tow'rds T'intern’s gray repose of roofless aisles:

Once more I see him at the table's head
When Saturday her monthly banquet spread

To scholars, poets, wits, All choice, some famous, loving things, not, 195 And so without a twinge at others' fames,

Such company as wisest moods befits,
Yet with no pedant blindness to the worth

Of undeliberate mirth,
Natures benignly mixed of air and earth,
200 Now with the stars and row with equal zest

Tracing the eccentric orbit of a jest.


I see in vision the warm-lighted hall,
The living and the dead I see again,

And but one chair is empty of them all; 205 ’T is I that seem the dead: they all remain

Immortal, changeless creatures of the brain:
Well-nigh I doubt which world is real most,

190. Tintern Abbey on the river Wye is one of the most fa. nous ruins in England. About this as other ruins and shaded buildings the rooks make their home.

192. A club known as the Saturday Club has for many years met in Boston, and some of the prominent members are intimated in the following lines.

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