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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Poems                         397

Body is a cheut wherein the tools abide

With which the craftsman works as best he can

And, as the chest the tools within doth hide,

So doth the body crib and hide the man.

Nay, though great Shakespeare stood in flesh before us,

Should heaven on importunity release him,

Is it so certain that he might not bore us,

So sure but we ourselves might fail to please him ?

Who prays to have the moon full soon would pray,
Once it were his, to have it taken away.

xiv

The Life After Death
(A)

MeAAovra ravra

Not on sad Stygian shore, nor in clear sheen
Of far Elysian plain, shall we meet those
Among the dead whose pupils we have been,
Nor those great shades whom we have held as foes ;
No meadow of asphodel our feet shall tread,
Nor shall we look each other in the face
To love or hate each other being dead,
Hoping some praise, or fearing some disgrace.
We shall not argue saying " Twas thus " or " Thus/'
Our argument's whole drift we shall forget;
Who's right, who's wrong, 'twill be all one to us ;
We shall not even know that we have met.

Yet meet we shall, and part, and meet again,
Where dead men meet, on lips of living men.

(B)

HANDEL

There doth great Handel live, imperious still,

Invisible and impalpable as air,

But forcing flesh and blood to work his will

Effectually as though his flesh were there ;

He who gave eyes to ears and showed in sound

All thoughts and things in earth or heaven above.

From fire and hailstones running along the ground