James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

February 7

To Charles Dickens

By John Forster (1812–1876)

(Born Feb. 7, 1812)

GENIUS and its rewards are briefly told:

A liberal nature and a niggard doom,

A difficult journey to a splendid tomb.

New-writ, nor lightly weighed, that story old

In gentle Goldsmith’s life I here unfold:

Through other than lone wild or desert-gloom,

In its mere joy and pain, its blight and bloom,

Adventurous. Come with me and behold,

A friend with heart as gentle for distress,

As resolute with fine wise thoughts to bind

The happiest to the unhappiest of our kind,

That there is fiercer crowded misery

In garret-toil and London loneliness

Than in cruel islands ’mid the far-off sea.