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Crime might lie better hid. And, should the change

Take from the horror due to a foul deed,

Pursuit and evidence so far must fail,
And, guilt escaping, passion then might plead
In angry spirits for her old free range,
And the "wild justice of revenge" prevail.

IX.

THOUGH to give timely warning and deter
Is one great aim of penalty, extend
Thy mental vision further and ascend
Far higher, else full surely shalt thou err.
What is a State? The wise behold in her
A creature born of time, that keeps one eye
Fixed on the statutes of Eternity,

To which her judgments reverently defer.
Speaking through Law's dispassionate voice the State
Endues her conscience with external life

And being, to preclude or quell the strife

Of individual will, to elevate

The grovelling mind, the erring to recal,

And fortify the moral sense of all.

x.

OUR bodily life, some plead, that life the shrine
Of an immortal spirit, is a gift

So sacred, so informed with light divine,
That no tribunal, though most wise to sift

Deed and intent, should turn the Being adrift
Into that world where penitential tear
May not avail, nor prayer have for God's ear
A voice that world whose veil no hand can lift
For earthly sight. "Eternity and Time"
They urge, "have interwoven claims and rights
Not to be jeopardised through foulest crime:
The sentence rule by mercy's heaven-born lights."
Even so; but measuring not by finite sense
Infinite Power, perfect Intelligence.

XI.

Aн, think how one compelled for life to abide
Locked in a dungeon needs must eat the heart
Out of his own humanity, and part

With every hope that mutual cares provide ;
And, should a less unnatural doom confide
In life-long exile on a savage coast,
Soon the relapsing penitent may boast

Of yet more heinous guilt, with fiercer pride.
Hence thoughtful Mercy, Mercy sage and pure,
Sanctions the forfeiture that Law demands,

Leaving the final issue in His hands

Whose goodness knows no change, whose love is sure, Who sees, foresees; who cannot judge amiss,

And wafts at will the contrite soul to bliss.

XII.

SEE the Condemned alone within his cell
And prostrate at some moment when remorse
Stings to the quick, and, with resistless force,
Assaults the pride she strove in vain to quell.
Then mark him, him who could so long rebel,
The crime confessed, a kneeling Penitent
Before the Altar, where the Sacrament
Softens his heart, till from his eyes outwell

Tears of salvation. Welcome death! while Heaven
Does in this change exceedingly rejoice;

While yet the solemn heed the State hath given
Helps him to meet the last Tribunal's voice
In faith, which fresh offences, were he cast
On old temptations, might for ever blast.

XIII.

CONCLUSION.

YES, though He well may tremble at the sound.
Of his own voice, who from the judgment-seat
Sends the pale Convict to his last retreat
In death; though Listeners shudder all around,
They know the dread requital's source profound;
Nor is, they feel, its wisdom obsolete-
(Would that it were!) the sacrifice unmeet

For Christian Faith. But hopeful signs abound;

The social rights of man breathe purer
Religion deepens her preventive care;

air;

Then, moved by needless fear of past abuse,
Strike not from Law's firm hand that awful rod,
But leave it thence to drop for lack of use:
Oh, speed the blessèd hour, Almighty God!

XIV.

APOLOGY.

THE formal World relaxes her cold chain
For One who speaks in numbers; ampler scope
His utterance finds; and, conscious of the gain,
Imagination works with bolder hope

The cause of grateful reason to sustain;

And, serving Truth, the heart more strongly beats
Against all barriers which his labour meets
In lofty place, or humble Life's domain.
Enough;-before us lay a painful road,
And guidance have I sought in duteous love
From Wisdom's heavenly Father. Hence hath flowed
Patience, with trust that, whatsoe'er the way
Each takes in this high matter, all may move
Cheered with the prospect of a brighter day.

1840.

VOL. IV.

K

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.

I.

EPISTLE

TO SIR GEORGE HOWLAND BEAUMONT, BART.

FROM THE SOUTH-WEST COAST OF CUMBERLAND.-1811.

[THIS poem, opened when first written, with a paragraph that has been transferred as an introduction to the first series of my Scotch Memorials. The journey, of which the first part is here described, was from Grasmere to Bootle on the south-west coast of Cumberland, the whole among mountain roads through a beautiful country; and we had fine weather. The verses end with our breakfast at the head of Yewdale in a yeoman's house, which, like all the other property in that sequestered vale, has passed or is passing into the hands of Mr. James Marshall of Monk Coniston,-in Mr. Knott's, the late owner's, time called Waterhead. Our hostess married a Mr. Oldfield, a lieutenant in the Navy they lived together for some time at Hacket, where she still resides as his widow. It was in front of that house, on the mountain side, near which stood the peasant who, while we were passing at a distance, saluted us, waving a kerchief in her hand as described in the poem. (This matron and her husband were then residing at the Hacket. The house and its inmates are referred to in the fifth book of the "Excursion," in the passage beginning

"You behold,

High on the breast of yon dark mountain, dark
With stony barrenness, a shining speck."-J. C.)

The dog which we met with soon after our starting belonged to Mr. Rowlandson, who for forty years was curate of Grasmere in place of the rector who lived to extreme old age in a state of insanity. Of this Mr. R. much might be said both with reference to his character, and the way in which he was regarded by his parishioners. He was a man of a robust frame,

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