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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Poetry

Selected Miscellany by Clara Augusta

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -

Selected Miscellany

THE following exquisite lines we have seldom seen surpassed, either for eloquence or pathos. It stirs the soul to its lower depths to read such a gem – and the influence exerted must be for good. Would simple lines, a deep and earnest sympathy for the bowed down children of want. These simple lines are by Mrs. Southey.

THE PAUPER’S DEATH-BED.

“Tread softly – bow the head –
In reverent silence bow;
No passing bell doth toll –
Yet an immortal soul
Is passing now.

Stranger! However great,
With holy reverence bow;
There’s one in that poor shed –
One by that paltry bed –
Greater than thou.

Beneath that beggar’s roof,
Lo! Death doth keep his state;
Enter – no crowds attend –
Enter – no guards defend
This palace gate.

That pavement, damp and cold,
No smiling courtiers tread;
One silent woman stands,
Lifting with meagre hands,
A dying head.

No mingling voices sound –
An infant wail alone:
A sob suppressed – again
That short, deep gasp, and then
The parting groan.

Oh! change – oh! wondrous change!
Burst are the prison bars –
This moment there, so low,
So agonised, and now
Beyond the stars!

Oh! change – stupendous change!
There lies the soulless clod;
The sun eternal breaks –
The new immortal wakes –
Wakes with his God.”


Poetry, rhyme, reason and philosophy are pleasantly embodied in the lines – “Keep at Work”, by Benjamin Franklin. If the man who drew down the lightnings, and conversed with the thunders of Heaven, cherished such sentiments as these – we have his example – the example of his glorious career, to assure us of their truth and propriety.

“Does a mountain on you frown?
Keep at work:
You may undermine it yet,
If you stand and thump its base;
Sorry bruises you may get –
Keep at work.

Does Miss Fortune’s face look sour?
Keep at work:
She may smile again some day;
If you pull your hair and fret,
Rest assured she’ll have her way.
Keep at work.

Are you censured by your friends?
Keep at work:
Whether you are wrong or right,
May be you must bide your time –
If for victory you fight,
Keep at work.

If the devil growls at you,
Keep at work:
That’s the best way to resist;
If you hold an argument –
You may feel his iron fist!
Keep at work.

Are your talents vilified?
Keep at work:
Greater men than you are hated;
If you’re right, then go ahead –
Grit will be appreciated.
Keep at work.

Everything is done by labor:
Keep at work,
If you would improve your station;
They have help from Providence,
Who work out their own salvation.
Keep at work.”