Imagens das páginas

Wake the wild passions into rage,
And please and prostitute the age?

No!-to the generous bard belong
Diviner themes and purer song:
-To hail Religion from above,
Descending in the form of Love,
And pointing through a world of strife
The narrow way that leads to life:

To pour the balm of heavenly rest
Through Sorrow's agonizing breast;
With Pity's tender arms embrace
The orphans of a kindred race;
And in one zone of concord bind
The lawless spoilers of mankind:

To sing in numbers boldly free
The wars and woes of liberty;
The glory of her triumphs tell,
Her nobler suffering when she fell,*
Girt with the phalanx of the brave,
Or widow'd on the patriot's grave,
Which tyrants tremble to pass by,
Even on the car of Victory.

These are the Bard's sublimest views,

The angel-visions of the Muse,

That o'er his morning slumbers shine;

These are his themes, and these were mine.

[ocr errors]

* "Piu val d'ogni vittoria un bel soffrire."


But pale Despondency, that stole
The light of gladness from my soul,
While youth and folly blindfold ran
The giddy circle up to Man,

Breathed a dark spirit through my lyre,
Dimm'd the noon-radiance of my fire,
And cast a mournful evening hue
O'er every scene my fancy drew.

Then though the proud despised my strain,
It flow'd not from my heart in vain ;
The lay of freedom, fervor, truth,
Was dear to undissembling youth,
From manly breasts drew generous sighs,
And Virtue's tears from Beauty's eyes.

My Song of Sorrow reach'd HER ear; She raised her languid head to hear, And, smiling in the arms of Death, She bless'd me with her latest breath.

A secret hand to me convey'd
The thoughts of that inspiring Maid;
They came like voices on the wind,
Heard in the stillness of the mind,
When round the Poet's twilight walk
Aërial beings seem to talk:

Not the twin-stars of Leda shine
With vernal influence more benign,

Nor sweeter, in the sylvan vale,
Sings the lone-warbling nightingale,

Than through my shades her lustre broke, Than to my griefs her spirit spoke.

My fancy form'd her young and fair,
Pure as her sister-lilies were,
Adorn'd with meekest maiden grace,
With every charm of soul and face,
That Virtue's awful eye approves,
And fond Affection dearly loves;
Heaven in her open aspect seen,
Her Maker's image in her mien.

Such was the picture fancy drew,
In lineaments divinely true;
The Muse, by her mysterious art,
Had shown her likeness to my heart,
And every faithful feature brought
O'er the clear mirror of my thought.

But she was waning to the tomb;
The worm of death was in her bloom;
Yet as the mortal frame declined,
Strong through the ruins rose the mind;
As the dim moon, when night ascends,
Slow in the east the darkness rends,
Through melting clouds, by gradual gleams,
Pours the mild splendor of her beams,
Then bursts in triumph o'er the pole,
Free as a disembodied soul!

Thus, while the veil of flesh decay'd,

Her beauties brighten'd through the shade;

Charms which her lowly heart conceal'd,

In nature's weakness were reveal'd;
And still the unrobing spirit cast.
Diviner glories to the last,

Dissolved its bonds, and clear'd its flight,
Emerging into perfect light.

Yet shall the friends who loved her weep,
Though shrined in peace the sufferer sleep,
Though rapt to heaven the saint aspire,
With seraph guards on wings of fire;
Yet shall they weep; - for oft and well
Remembrance shall her story tell,
Affection of her virtues speak,

With beaming eye and burning cheek,
Each action, word, and look recall,
The last, the loveliest of all,

When on the lap of death she lay,
Serenely smiled her soul away,
And left surviving Friendship's breast
Warm with the sunset of her rest.

O thou, who wert on earth unknown, Companion of my thought alone! Unchanged in heaven to me thou art, Still hold communion with my heart; Cheer thou my hopes, exalt my views, Be the good angel of my Muse;

- And if to thine approving ear My plaintive numbers once were dear;

If, falling round thy dying hours,

Like evening dews on closing flowers,

They soothed thy pains, and through thy soul With melancholy sweetness stole,


When slumber from mine eyes,

That roll in irksome darkness, flies;
When the lorn spectre of unrest

At conscious midnight haunts my breast
When former joys and present woes,
And future fears, are all my foes;
Spirit of my departed friend,

Calm through the troubled gloom descend,
With strains of triumph on thy tongue,
Such as to dying saints are sung;
Such as in Paradise the ear
Of God himself delights to hear ;
Come, all unseen; be only known
By Zion's harp of higher tone,
Warbling to thy mysterious voice;
Bid my desponding powers rejoice;
And I will listen to thy lay,
Till night and sorrow flee away,
Till gladness o'er my bosom rise,
And morning kindle round the skies.

If thus to me, sweet saint, be given
To learn from thee the hymns of heaven,
Thine inspiration will impart
Seraphic ardors to my heart;

« AnteriorContinuar »