Imagens das páginas

Pray let me show it

It is among

the sculpture in the Museum.

A. I shall be delighted to go with you. Andiamo ! you see I am beginning to talk Italian.

B. Andiamo!

Naples, April, 1844.




PON the yellow sands of Naples bay,

One morn of delicate Italian spring, I saw two girls of six years old at play,

Coursing about in many a frolic ring. In infancy they drained one mother's breast : But sisters they were not, nor were like sisters drest.

One was of gentle English parents, born

Beneath the fervent sheen of southern skies ; Like the intelligence of earliest morn

The azure opened in her laughing eyes. Around her neck white coral beads were strung, O'er which her tendril curls in light profusion hung.

The other was a contadina's girl,

And peaked Ischia was her native isle ;
In Naples, like an unwrought shell of pearl,

Or wild-flower to be set in garden soil,
Her mother left her; she had nursed the two;
And their companionship none were fain to undo.

In Ischia not alone do summer heats

Shoot downwards with intolerable ire, But rocks and stones o'er which the cool wave beats,

Are half calcined with subterranean fire:
And the


every gest and feature Shewed her of blood that shared that climate's fiery


Freedom was in her action and her look ;

Her wandering hair as jet was dark and bright, And matched her eyes, that when she turned or spoke,

Brimmed o'er their lids with floods of living light; Her head was bare; her robe, in hue carnation, Seemed loose, though held by clasps of gold, in

Grecian fashion.

Methought, in after womanhood the one

Would ripen to an almost perfect being,
Whose placid love in prosperous days would run,

Streamlike, with quiet tenderness agreeing ;
Or, fallen on evil days, that she would prove
Herself above all wrong: the other, “ Love for love,”

Would cry," or be existence proudly lost !"

Would never listen to a sober plea :


Would never stoop to reckon up the cost

Incurred by desperate affection; she
Her sailor-boy would follow o'er the brine,
Or share the bandit's life on rugged Apennine.

No more. They were a contrast; yet they drank

Together from the universal spring Of natural happiness. O, I could rank

The harmony and sacred communing Of children with the intercourse of love Angel with Angel holds, singing in realms above !





Whose attributes are mystery and grandeur,
They, who the veil of ages drew aside,
First saw the rents the thunder-stroke had made ;
But when it fell they knew not. Haply, 'twas
Amidst the dreariness of cloudless skies ;
For such things have been : haply, with the blast
Of the Sirocco came the thunder-cloud,
When universal Nature pants, nor man
Nor beast goes forth ; and the horizontal air,
Fired like a furnace, undulates at noon
Beneath intolerable suns, and shakes
These columns in the unstable perspective
Of dreamlike mirage; and the insect power,
Whose name is Legion,* rides the air ; with him
The mightier fiend, Malaria ; that sheds down
Black influence, and sundry kinds of death :

* The Mosquito.

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