All this is alluded to by Kratinus, the comic poet, in the following passage from his play of the Archilochi: "I too, Metrobius, hoped to end My days with him, my noblest friend, Kimon, of all the Greeks the best, And, richly feasting, sink to rest. But now he's gone, and I remain unblest."
No victory, No joy of triumph doth the faint heart know; Unblest is he That a bold front to Fortune dares not show, But soul and sense In bondage yieldeth up to indolence. If Love his wares Do dearly sell, his right must be contest; What gold compares With that whereon his stamp he hath imprest? And all men know What costeth little that we rate but low.
We must run glittering like a brook In the open sunshine, or we are unblest; The wealthiest man among us is the best; No grandeur now in Nature or in book Delight us...." Looking back now upon that lonely launch of mine in London, I see a very curious and sombre picture. In the living I am sure there must have been mitigations, and light as well as shade.
One is stirred with a deeper, broader sympathy for mankind when he witnesses this universal sense of dependence, this fear and trembling before the powers of an unseen world, this pitiful procession of unblest millions ever trooping on toward the goal of death and oblivion. And from this standpoint, as from no other, may one measure the greatness and glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I recall the seasons of family worship around that sick bed, when we were drawn so near the All-pitying Father that we could talk with Him, as a man talketh with his friend, when the loving Savior made us feel that He was near us to sympathize with us, and the Blessed Comforter brooded over us, and spoke peace to our sorrowing hearts, so that we could say, "Thy will be done," and from our hearts could sing: "Ill that God blesses is our good, And unblest good is ill; And all is right, that seems most wrong, If it be His dear will.
Three Italians walked into York cathedral, asked which was the Dean's seat, and installed one of their number there; and when the Archbishop refused to permit his appointment, an interdict was laid on his see, and he died under excommunication, bearing it meekly and patiently, and his flock following his funeral in weeping multitudes, though it was apparently unblest by the Church.
Representatives of an unseen force, voices from an infinite past, benefactors of the valleys, themselves unblest, almoners of a charity which leaves them in the heights indeed, but the heights of eternal desolation, raised above all sympathies, all tenderness, shining but repellent, grand and cold, mighty and motionless, we stand before them hushed. They fix us with their immutability.
My toil to-day has been cold and dull enough; nevertheless, I was neither cold nor dull. March 15th. I pray that in one year more I may find some way of escaping from this unblest Custom-House; for it is a very grievous thraldom. I do detest all offices, all, at least, that are held on a political tenure. And I want nothing to do with politicians.
I think the "passion for dress" was really only a seeming, and that he often excited admiration when he had not taken half the pains to adorn himself that many a youth less favored by nature has wasted upon his unblest exterior only to be laughed at. I gather some other interesting facts from a letter which I have received from his early playmate and school and college classmate, Mr.
Presentry the treasurer turned and saw the lion making towards him; but found no way of escape nor had he his sword with him. So he said in himself, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! This strait is come upon me for no other cause but because of Amjad and As'ad; and indeed this journey was unblest from the first!"