To James T. Fields
No heart had I to see or hear
The discord and the staining.
Let those who never erred forget
His worth, in vain bewailings;
Sweet Soul of Song! I own my
Uncancelled by it's failings!
Lament who will ribald the line
Which tells his lapse from duty,
How kissed the maddening lips of
Or wanton ones of beauty;
But think, while falls that shade between
The erring one and Heaven,
That he who loved like Magdalen,
Like her may be forgiven.
Not his the song whose
Eternal echoes render;
The mournful Tuscan's haunted
And Milton's starry splendor!
But who is human heart has laid
To Nature's bosom nearer?
Who sweetened toil like him, or
To love a tribute dearer?
Through all his tuneful art, how
The human feeling gushes!
The very moonlight of his song
Is warm with smiles and
Give lettered pomp to teeth of Time,
So "Bonnie Doon" but tarry;
Blot out the Epic's stately rhyme,
But spare his Highland Mary!