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The wise sometimes from Wisdom's ways depart;
Can youth then hush the dictates of the heart?
Precepts of prudence curb, but can't control,
The fierce emotions of the flowing soul.
When love's delirium haunts the glowing mind,
Limping Decorum lingers far behind:
Vainly the dotard mends her prudish pace,
Outstript and vanquish'd in the mental chase.
The young, the old, have worn the chains of love:
Let those they ne'er confined my lay reprove:
Let those whose souls contemn the pleasing power
Their censures on the hapless victim shower.
Oh! how I hate the nerveless, frigid song,
The ceaseless echo of the rhyming throng,
Whose labour'd lines in chilling numbers flow,
To paint a pang the author ne'er can know!
The artless Helicon I boast is youth;-
My lyre, the heart; my muse, the simple truth.
Far be't from me the "virgin's mind" to "taint:"
Seduction's dread is here no slight restraint.
The maid whose virgin breast is void of guile,
Whose wishes dimple in a modest smile,
Whose downcast eye disdains the wanton leer,
Firm in her virtue's strength, yet not severe-
She whom a conscious grace shall thus refine
Will ne'er be "tainted" by a strain of mine.
But for the nymph whose premature desires
Torment the bosom with unholy fires,

No net to snare her willing heart is spread;
She would have fallen, though she ne'er had read.

For me, I fain would please the chosen few,
Whose souls, to feeling and to nature true,
Will spare the childish verse, and not destroy
The light effusions of a heedless* boy.
I seek not glory from the senseless crowd;
Of fancied laurels I shall ne'er be proud:
Their warmest plaudits I would scarcely prize,
Their sneers or censures I alike despise.

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OH! Could LE SAGE'S‡ demon's gift
Be realized at my desire,

This night my trembling form he'd lift
To place it on St. Mary's spire.

* Heedless. In the private volume, amorous.-ED.

+ The motto was not given in the private volume.-ED.

The Diable Boiteux of Le Sage, where Asmodeus, the demon, places Don Cleofas on an elevated situation, and unroofs the houses for inspection.


Then would, unroof'd, old Granta's halls
Pedantic inmates full display;
Fellows who dream on lawn or stalls,
The price of venal votes to pay.


Then would I view each rival wight,
Petty and Palmerston survey;
Who canvass there with all their might,
Against the next elective day.


Lo! candidates and voters lie*

All lull'd in sleep, a goodly number!

A race renown'd for piety,

Whose conscience won't disturb their slumber.


Lord H, indeed, may not demur;
Fellows are sage reflecting men:
They know preferment can occur
But very seldom, now and then.

*Lo! candidates and voters lie, &c. The fourth and fifth stanzas, which are given here as they were printed in the Hours of Idleness, ran as follows in the private volume:

"One on his power and place depends,

The other on the Lord knows what;
Each to some eloquence pretends,
Though neither will convince by that.

"The first, indeed, may not demur."-ED.


They know the chancellor has got
Some pretty livings in disposal:
Each hopes that one may be his lot,
And therefore smiles on his proposal.


Now from the soporific scene


I'll turn mine eye, as night grows later,

To view unheeded and unseen

The studious sons of Alma Mater.


There, in apartments small and damp,
The candidate for college prizes
Sits poring by the midnight lamp;
Goes late to bed, yet early rises.


He surely well deserves to gain them,
With all the honours of his college,
Who, striving hardly to obtain them,
Thus seeks unprofitable knowledge:


Who sacrifices hours of rest

To scan precisely metres attic; Or agitates his anxious breast

In solving problems mathematic:

• From the soporific scene. In the private volume, From corruption's shameless scene.-ED.


Who reads false quantities in Sele*,
Or puzzles o'er the deep triangle;
Deprived of many a wholesome meal;
In barbarous Latin† doom'd to wrangle:


Renouncing every pleasing page
From authors of historic use;
Preferring to the letter'd sage
The square of the hypothenuse‡.


Still, harmless are these occupations,
That hurt none but the hapless student,
Compared with other recreations,

Which bring together the imprudent;


Whose daring revels shock the sight,
When vice and infamy combine,
When drunkenness and dice invite,
As every sense is steep'd in wine.

* Sele's publication on Greek metres displays considerable talent and ingenuity, but, as might be expected in so difficult a work, is not remarkable for accuracy.

In the private volume, "Sele's publication on Greek metres is not remarkable for its accuracy."-ED.

The Latin of the schools is of the canine species, and not very intelligible.

In the private volume," Every Cambridge man will assent to this, -The Latin of the schools is almost unintelligible."-ED.

The discovery of Pythagoras, that the square of the hypothenuse is equal to the squares of the other two sides of a right-angled triangle.

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