I bump'd the ice into three several stars,
Fell in a doze ; and half-awake I heard
The parson taking wide and wider sweeps,
Now harping on the church-commissioners,
Now hawking at Geology and schism,
Until I woke, and found him settled down
Upon the general decay of faith
Right thro' the world, “at home was little left,
And none abroad : there was no anchor, none,
To hold by.” Francis, laughing, clapp'd his hand
On Everard's shoulder, with “ I hold by him.”
“ And I,” quoth Everard, “ by the wassail-bowl.”
“ Why yes,” I said, “ we knew your gift that way
At college: but another which you had,
I mean of verse (for so we held it then,)
What came of that?” “You know,” said Frank," he flung
His epic of King Arthur in the fire !"
And then to me demanding why?
He thought that nothing new was said, or else
Something so said 'twas nothing—that a truth
Looks freshest in the fashion of the day:
God knows he has a mint of reasons : ask.