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"How long soe'er the measure given
To bound thy moments fugitive,
These shatter'd boughs, though rent and riven,
The narrow confines shall o'erlive.
"Thou, blending in thy compass small
Impending age with infant birth,
Ere many seasons pass, must fall,
And mingle with thy parent earth.
"Yet, though the feeble frame that moulds
Thy substance, all decaying be,
That frame of fragile dust enfolds
The germ of immortality.
"Spirit, of origin sublime !
Age is maturing strength to thee
Death, thy best heritage, and time
The portal of eternity."
Voice of the Oak! whate'er thou be,
Of wild and visionary race,
That calls such things to memory
As no light fancy should efface;
Still may thy warning hold a place
Within my heart, nor pass away,
Till latest time's faint shadow trace
The dawning of celestial day!
Ar length her sorrows drew the lines of care
Across her brow, and sketched her story there:
Years of internal suffering dried the stream
That lent her youthful eye its liquid beam.
A mild composure to its glance succeeds,
Her gayest look still spoke of widow's weeds.
Her smile was that of patience, not of ease,
An effort made to cover, or to please;
While grief, with thorny pencil, day by day,
In silence delv'd the flagging cheek away ;
Chased the gay bloom that peaceful thoughts bestow,
To spread, instead, the sallow tints of woe;
And where the magic dimple used to start,
In early wrinkles wrote-a broken heart.
And when at length, as satiate with spoil,
Grief seem'd relenting from her daily toil,
Time, who had check'd her power, assumed his own,
(His labours he divides, but not his throne,)
And features that in sorrow's mould were cast,
His master chisel finishes at last.
Perchance, the casual undiscerning gaze,
That never read a history in a face,
In the gay circle had supposed her gay,
Nor marked the nascent traces of decay:
But oh! to those whose nicer feelings take
The fine impression that a look can make,
Who, skilled by sorrows of their own, descry
The prisoned secret speaking in the eye,
(As weeping captives at their windows pine,)
To them there was a voice in every line.
The brow by effort raised to seem serene,
Round every smile the circling wrinkle seen;
The sudden cloud that came, and pass'd away,
Chased by a cheerless struggle to be gay;
At certain words or names the quick, short sigh,
And, when neglected long, the absent eye,
That seemed on images long past to fall,
Unconscious of aught else—these told them all.
But few among the selfish, busy, gay,
Permit a quiet face to stop their way;
A face that holds no lure, no tribute seeks,
Demands no homage, nothing strange bespeaks;
That looks, as hundreds look that they have known,
Just mark'd enough to call some name its own :—
O few in folly's course can check their speed,
The simple lines of character to read :
Or, if they pause, that rude unfeeling eye,
The cold inquiry, contumelious sigh,
And all the world's gross pity can impart,
Are caustic to the festers of the heart.
WHAT is it that gives thee, mild queen of the night,
That secret intelligent grace?
O why should I gaze with such tender delight
On thy fair but insensible face?
What gentle enchantment possesses thy beam,
Beyond the warm sunshine of day?
Thy bosom is cold as the glittering stream,
Where dances thy tremulous ray.
Canst thou the sad heart of its sorrow beguile,
Or grief's fond indulgence suspend?
Yet where is the mourner but welcomes thy smile,
And loves thee almost as a friend?
The tear that looks bright on thy beam as it flows,
Unmov'd thou dost ever behold;
The sorrow that loves in thy light to repose,
To thee it has never been told;
And yet thou dost sooth me, and ever I find,
While watching thy gentle retreat,
A moonlight composure steal over the mind,
Poetical, pensive, and sweet.
I think of the years that for ever are fled,
Of follies by others forgot;
Of joys that have vanish'd, of hopes that are dead,
Öf friendships that were, and are not.
I think of the future-still gazing the while
As thou could'st those secrets reveal ;
But ne'er dost thou grant an encouraging smile,
To answer the mournful appeal.
Those beams that so bright through my casement appear, To far distant scenes they extend;
Illumine the dwellings of those that are dear,
And sleep on the grave
Then still I must love thee, mild queen of the night,
Since feeling and fancy agree
To make thee a source of unfailing delight,
A friend and a solace to me.
Più che leggiadra sei, più vezzosa,
Serba intatta la fede al tuo diletto;
Vivi di tua beltà, vivi gelosa
Del bel candore, che non ha difetto.
Ogni alito di molle insidiosa
Aura che spira da caduco obretto,
Può la dolce scemar vampa amorosa,
Che per gli occhi bevesti, e nutri in petto.
Sgorga dal cavo sen di balza Alpina
Limpido il fonte, nel cui vivo umore
Il Sol per vaghezza i raggi affina,
Ma se del picciol solco, or erba, or fiore,
Folleggiando a lambir, per via declina,
A poco a poco impoverisce e muore.
IMITATED BY MR MONTGOMERY.
The more divinely beautiful thou art,
Lady! of love's inconstancy beware,
Watch o'er thy charms, and with an angel's care Preserve thy maiden purity of heart.
At every whisper of temptation start,
The lightest breathings of unhallow'd air
Love's tender, trembling lustre will impair,
Till all the light of innocence depart.
Fresh from the bosom of an Alpine hill,
When the coy fountain sparkles into day,
And sunbeams bathe and brighten in its rill,
If here an herb and there a flower, in play,
Bending to sip, its little channel fill,
It ebbs, and languishes, and dies away,
SONETTO DI PETRARCA.
Solo e pensoso i più deserti campi
Vo misurando a passi tardi e lentì;
E gli occhi porto per fuggire intenti
Dove vestigio uman l'arena stampi :
Altro schermo non trovo, che mi scampi
Del manifesto accorger de le genti,
Perchè negli atti d'allegrezza spenti
Di fuor si legge, com' io dentro avvampi.
Si ch' io credo omai, che monti e piagge,
E fiume, e selve, sappian di che tempre
Sia la mia vita, ch' è celata altrui,
Ma pur sì aspre vie, ne si selvagge
Cercar non so, ch' amor non venga sempre
Ragionando con meco, ed io con lui.
IMITATED BY MR MONTGOMERY.
Lonely and thoughtful, o'er deserted plains
I pass with melancholy steps and slow,
Mine eyes intently shunning as I go
The track of man; from him to hide my pains
No refuge save the wilderness remains :
The curious multitude would quickly know,
Amidst affected smiles, the cherished woe
That wrings my spirit and consumes my veins.
O that the rocks and streams of solitude,
The vales and woods alone, my griefs might see!
But paths, however secret, wild, and rude,
I find not from tormenting passion free;
Where'er I wander, still by Love pursued,
With him I hold communion; he with me.
These two stanzas were originally designed for the Scotch air, for which Burns
"She's fair and fause," in Thomson's collection. It ends
"O woman, lovely woman fair,
An angel-form's fa'n to thy share,
'Twou'd ha' been our mickle to ha' gie'n thee mair,
WOMAN, dear woman, in whose name
Wife, sister, mother, meet;
Thine is the heart by earliest claim,
And thine its latest beat: