make no more mistakes, but keep chaste for mine own people.
There is perhaps here, as in a passage of the same journal quoted already, an allusion to a verse in the ballad of the Lass of Lochroyan:—
O yours was gude, and gude enough,
But aye the best was mine;
For yours was oa the gude red gold,
But mine oa the diamond fine.
There is no hour of absolute beauty in all my past, though some have been made musical by heavenly hope, many dignified by intelligence.
Long urged by the Furies, I rest again in the temple of Apollo.
Celestial verities dawn constellated as thoughts in the heaven of my mind.
But, driven from home to home, as a renouncer, I get the picture and the poetry of each.
Keys of gold, silver, iron, and lead, are in my casket.
No one loves me; but I love many a good deal, and see, more or less, into their eventual beauty.
Meanwhile, I have no fetter on me, no engagement, and, as I look on others,—almost every other,—can I fail to feel this a great privilege?
I have nowise tied my hands or feet; yet the varied calls on my sympathy have been such, that I hope not to be made partial, cold, or ignorant, by this isolation.
I have no child; but now, as I look on these lovely children of a human birth, what low and neutralizing cares they bring with them to the mother!
The children of the muse come quicker, and have not on them the taint of earthly corruption.
Practical questions in plenty the days and months