To James T. Fields

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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
debt
Uncancelled by it's failings!

Lament who will ribald the line
Which tells his lapse from duty,
How kissed the maddening lips of
wine
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
thunderous
chime
Eternal echoes render;
The mournful Tuscan's haunted
rhyme,
And Milton's starry splendor!

But who is human heart has laid
To Nature's bosom nearer?
Who sweetened toil like him, or
paid
To love a tribute dearer?

Through all his tuneful art, how
strong
The human feeling gushes!

The very moonlight of his song
Is warm with smiles and
blushes!

Give lettered pomp to teeth of Time,
So "Bonnie Doon" but tarry;
Blot out the Epic's stately rhyme,
But spare his Highland Mary!