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SONNET.-ON THE PAINTINGS OF
ALLIS ! that hast with keen poetic eye
Looked through the very soul of visible things; And turned the loftiest imaginings To pencilled shapes, with hues that cannot die ; Thou of all Nature lover, friend, ally, Hast long conversed with southern skies, and hills, Forests, and floods ; there heard the voice that thrills Throughout creation everlastingly. Thee, therefore, cradled in the lap of Art, The cataract- the eagle of the rockEarth in the pomp of heaven at sunset dressedFruits, foliage, of the gardens of the blestItalian splendours, blind not; but unlock The vast resources of thy British heart.
Florence, May, 1844.
A SKETCH AT VALLOMBROSA.
N Vallombrosa, where the Etrurian shades
* In the year 1638; 206 years ago.
Each doffed his garland, each before the shrine
One moment more, with shout and gambol new, Down the steep mountain path the truant comrades
flew; And though their passing reverence was brief, Their worship such as we must view with grief, Yet they are blest, nursed in devout belief: For it is written, by the will of heaven, High charge to intermediate powers is given ; Nor dare we say amidst these water-floods Sky-born, these solemn rocks, and caves, and glorious
woods, No guardian spirits dwell, no angels hover, Suppliants like these from injury to cover.
THE SACRO EREMO, OR CITY OF
THE UPPER CONVENT OF CAMALDOLI.
O the recesses of the Apennine
We climbed, above Camaldoli, and found The Hermits' City in deep mountain woods Of pines and chestnuts; whence, by gray ravines, The cloud-engendered waterfalls descend, Whose glorious destination is to feed The Arno and the Tiber. We were met By a good Benedictine at the gate, Who signified a welcome, spoke it not; For these converse with heavenly things alone. To many a shrine he led us, many a cell, For centuries by Saint and Anchorite used ; And bowed his head, and knelt in prayer,
before Carved images of wondrous sanctity ; Whilst solemn intermittent undertones Dropped from his lips, like waters in a cave.
Mortification weans these men from earth :
lead we will not follow. Rather by meditation let us dwell