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With higher gust, fair Portland of the skies!
Is that the soft inchantment calls thee down,
More powerful than of old Circean charm.?
Come; but from heavenly banquets with thee bring
The soul of song, and whisper in my ear
50 The theft divine'; or in propitious dreams (For dreamś are Thine) transfuse it through the breast Of thy first votary-But not thy last; If, like thy Namesake, thou art ever kind.
And kind thou wilt be; kind on such a theme; 55 A theme so like thee, a quite lunar theme, Soft, modest, melancholy, female, fair ! A theme that rose all pale, and told my soul, 'Twas Night; on her fond hopes perpetual night; A night which struck a damp, a deadlier damp,
60 Than that which smote nte from Philander's tomb. Narcissa föllows, ere his tomb is clos’d. Woes cluster; rare are solitary woes ; They love a train, they tread each other's heel; Hér death invades his mournful right, and claims 65 The grief that started from my lids for Him : Seizes the faithless, alienated tear, Or shares it, ere it falls. So frequent death, Sorrow he more than caufes, he confounds; For human fighs his rival strokes contend, 70' And make distress, distraction. Oh Philander ! What was thy fate? A double fate to me ; Portent, and pain ! a menace, and a blow ! Like the black raven hovering o'er my peace; Not less a bird of omen, thanz of prey.
It callid Narcissa long before her hour ;
It call'd her tender soul, by break of bliss,
From the first blossom, from the buds of joy;
Those few our noxious fate unblafted leaves
In this inclement clime of human life.
Sweet harmonift! and Beautiful as sweet!
And Young as beautiful! and Soft as young !
And Gay as Loft! and Innocent as gay!
And Happy (if aught Happy bere) as good!
For fortune fond had built her nest on high.
85 Like birds quite exquisite of note and plume, Transfixt by fate (who loves a lofty mark), How from the summit of the grove she fell, And left it unharmonious! All its charms Extinguisht in the wonders of her song !
go Her song still vibrates in my ravisht ear, Still melting there, and with voluptuous pain (O to forget her !) thrilling through my heart !
Song, Beauty, Youth, Love, Virtue, Joy; this group Of bright ideas, flowers of paradise,
95 As yet unforfeit ! in one blaze we bind, Kneel and present it to the skies; as All We guess of heaven : and these were all her own, And she was mine; and I was-was!-moft bleftGay title of the deepest misery! As bodies grow more ponderous, robb’d of life ; Good loft weighs more in grief, than gain'd in joy. Like bloffom'd trees o'erturn’d by vernal storm, Lovely in death the beauteous ruin lay; And if in death still lovely, lovelier There 105
Far lovlier ! pity swells the tide of love.
And will not the severe excuse a sigh ?
Scorn the proud man that is alham’d to weepi
Our tears indulg'd indeed deserve our shame.
Ye that e'er loft an angel! pity me.
Soon as the luftre languisht in her eye,
Dawning a dimmer day on human fight;
And on her cheek, the residence of spring,
Pale omen fat; and scatter'd fears around
On all that saw (and who would cease to gaze, 115
That once had seen :) with hafte, parental haste,
I flew, I snatch'd her from the rigid north,
Her native bed, on which bleak Boreas blew,
And bore her nearer to the sun; the sun
(As if the sun could envy) checkt his beam,
Deny'd his wonted succour; nor with more
Regret beheld her drooping,, than the bells
Of lilies; fairelt lilies, not fo fair!
Queen lilies! and ye painted populace!
Who dwell in fields, and lead ambrosial lives;
In morn and evening dew, your beauties bathe,
And drink the sun ; which gives your cheeks to glow,
And out-blush (mine excepted) every fair ;
You gladlier grew, ambitious of her hand,
Which often cropt your odours, incense meet 1300
To thought so pure ! Ye lovely fugitives !
Coeval race with man! for man you smile ;
Why nor smile at him too ? You share indeel.
His sudden pass; but not his conftant pain.
So man is made, nought ministers delight,
By what his glowing paflions can engage;
And glowing passions, bent on aught below,
Muft, soon or late, with anguish turn the scale ;
And anguish, after rapture, how severe !
Rapture? Bold man ! who tempt'st the wrath divine, 140
By plucking fruit denied to mortal taste,
While here, presuming on the rights of heaven.
For transport doft thou call on every hour,
Lorenzo ? At thy friend's expence, be wise ;
Lean not on earth; ’twill pierce thee to the heart; 145
A broken reed, at beft; but, oft, a spear;
On its sharp point peace bleeds, and hope expires.
Turn, hopeless thought! turn from her :--Thought
Resenting rallies, and wakes every woe.
Snatch'd ere thy prime ! and in thy bridal hour! 150
And when kind fortune, with thy lover, smil'd!
And when high flavour'd thy fresh opening joys!
And when blind man pronounc'd thy bliss complete !
And on a foreign shore; where strangers wept !
Strangers to Thee; and, more surprising still,
Strangers to Kindness, wept: their eyes let fall
Inhuman tears ! strange tears ! that trickled down
From marble hearts ! obdurate tenderness!
A tenderness that call'd them more severe;
In spite of nature's soft persuasion, steel'd; 160
While nature melted, superstition ray'd;
That mourn'd the dead ; and this denied a grave.
Their fighs incens'd ; fighs foreign to the will !
Their will the tiger fuck'd, outrag'd the storm.
For, oh! the curft ungodliness of zeal ! 165
While finful flesh relented, Spirit nurst
. In blind infallibility's embrace,
The fainted spirit petrify'd the breast;
Deny'd the charity of duft, to spread
D'er duft! a charity their dogs enjoy.
What could I do? What succour? What resource ? .
With pious facrilege, a grave I stole ;
With impious piety, that grave I wrong'd;
Short in my duty ; Coward in my grief !
More like her murderer, than friend, I crept, 175
With soft-suspended step, and muffled deep
In midnight darkness, whisper'd my last figh.
I whisper'd what should echo through their realms;
Nor writ her name, whose tomb should pierce the skies.
Presumptuous fear! How durft I dread her foes, 18%
While naturë's loudest. dictates I obey'd ?
Pardon neceflity, bleft fade ! Of grief
And indignation rival bursts I pour'd;
Half execration mingled with my prayer.;
Kindled at man, while I his God ador'd ; 185
Sore grudg'd the favage land her sacred dust;
Stampt the curft foil; and with humanity
(Denied Narcisfa) wish'd them all a grave.
Glows my resentment into guilt? What guilt 'Can equal violations of the dead?
190 The dead how facred ! Sacred is the dust Of thiş heaven-labour'd form, erect, divine ! VOL. LXI.