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And Milton's self (at that thrice-honour'd name Well may we glow; as men, we share his fame), And Milton's self, apart with beaming eye, Planning, he knows not what that shall not die!
'Twas night; the noise and bustle of the day Were o'er. The mountebank no longer wrought Miraculous cures: he and his stage were gone; And he who, when the crisis of his tale Came, and all stood breathless with hope and fear, Sent round his cap; and he who thrumm'd his wire And sang, with pleading look and plaintive strain Melting the passenger. Thy thousand cries, So well portray'd, and by a son of thine, Whose voice had swell’d the hubbub in his youth, Were hush'd, Bologna; silence in the streets, The squares, when, hark! the clattering of fleet hoofs, And soon a courier, posting as from far, Housing and holster, boot and belted coat, And doublet stain'd with many a various soil, Stopp'd and alighted. 'Twas where hangs aloft That ancient sign, the Pilgrim, welcoming All who arrive there; all, perhaps, save those Clad, like himself, with staff and scallop-shell, Those on a pilgrimage: and now approach'd Wheels, through the lofty porticoes resounding, Arch beyond arch, a shelter or a shade As the sky changes. To the gate they come; And, ere the man had half his story done, Mine host received the master: one long used To sojourn among strangers, everywhere (Go where he would, along the wildest track) Flinging a charm that shall not soon be lost, And leaving footsteps to be traced by those Who love the haunts of genius; one who saw, Observed, nor shumn'd the busy scenes of life,
But mingled not; and, mid the din, the stir,
Much had pass'd
nor linger'd on the way,
Well I remember how the golden sun
He had just left that place Of old renown, once in the Adrian Sea, Ravenna; where, from Dante's sacred tomb, He had so oft, as many a verse declares, Drawn inspiration; where, at twilight-time, Through the pine forest wandering with loose reing Wandering and lost, he had so oft beheld (What is not visible to a poet's eye ?)
The spectre knight, the hellhounds and their prey,
He is now at rest;
They in thy train-ah, little did they think,
Thou art gone :
Oh, let him pause! For who among us all,
Ah! little thought she, when, with wild delight,
By many a torrent's shining track she flew, When mountain glens and caverns full of night
O'er her young mind divine enchantment threw,
That in her veins a secret horror slept,
That her light footsteps should be heard no more, That she should die : nor watch'd, alas ! nor wept
By thee, unconscious of the pangs she bore. Yet round her couch indulgent fancy drew
The kindred forms her closing eye required. There didst thou stand : there, with the smile she
knew, She moved her lips to bless thee-and expired. And now to thee she comes; still, still the same
As in the hours gone unregarded by! To thee, how changed! comes as she ever came,
Health on her cheek, and pleasure in her eye!
Nor less, less oft, as on that day, appears,
When lingering, as prophetic of the truth, By the wayside she shed her parting tearsFor ever lovely in the light of youth!
TO A FRIEND ON HIS MARRIAGE.
On thee, bless'd youth, a father's hand confers
The maid thy earliest, fondest wishes knew. Each soft enchantment of the soul is hers;
Thine be the joys to firm attachment due. As on she moves with hesitating grace,
She wins assurance from his soothing voice ; And, with a look the pencil could not trace, [choice."
Smiles through her blushes, and confirms the Spare the fine tremours of her feeling frame!
To thee she turns : forgive a virgin's fears ! To thee she turns with surest, tenderest claim :
Weakness that charms, reluctance that endears! At each response the sacred rite requires,
From her full bosom bursts the unbidden sigh. A strange, mysterious awe the scene inspires,
And on her lips the trembling accents die. O'er her fair face what wild emotions play!
What lights and shades in sweet confusion blend! Soon shall they fly, glad harbingers of day,
And settled sunshine on her soul descend ! Ah soon, thine own confess'd, ecstatic thought! That hand shall strew thy summer-path with
flow'rs; And those blue eyes, with mildest lustre fraught,
Gild the calm current of domestic hours !
MINE be a cot beside the hill,
A beehive's hum shall sooth my ear;