Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

And angels dwell, so pure of form

That each appears a living star. ' These are the sprites, celestial queen!

Thou sendest nightly to the bed Of her I love, with touch unseen

Thy planet's brightning tints to shed ; To lend that eye a light still clearer,

To give that cheek one rose-blush more, And bid that blushing lip be dearer,

Which had been all too dear before.

'Tis true, it talks of danger nigh, Of slumbiring with the dead to-morrow

In the cold deep, Where pleasure's throb or tears of sorrow No more shall wake the heart or eye,

But all must sleep.

Well !- there are some, thou stormy bed, To whom thy sleep would be a treasure;

Oh! most to him, Whose lip hath drain'd life's cup of pleasure, Nor left one honey drop to shed

Round sorrow's brim.

But, whither means the muse to roam ?
'Tis time to call the wand'rer home.
Who could have thought the nymph would perch her
Up in the clouds with Father Kircher ?
So, health and love to all your mansion !

Long may the bowl that pleasures bloom in,
The flow of heart, the souls expansion,

Mirth and song, your board illumine. At all your feasts, remember too,

When cups are sparkling to the brim, That here is one who drinks to you,

And, oh! as warmly drink to him.

Yes - he can smile serene at death :
Kind heaven, do thou but chase the weeping

Of friends who love him;
Tell them that he lies calmly sleeping
Where sorrow's sting or envy's breath

No more shall move him.

ODES TO NEA;

WRITTEN AT BERMUDA.

[blocks in formation]

Oh! there's a holy calm profound
In awe like this, that ne'er was given

To pleasure's thrill; "Tis as a solemn voice from heaven, And the soul, listening to the sound,

If there be climes, where never yet The print of beauty's foot was set, Where man may pass his loveless nights, Unfever'd by her false delights, Thither my wounded soul would fly, Where rosy cheek or radiant eye Should bring no more their bliss, or pain, Nor fetter me to earth again. Dear absent girl! whose eyes of light,

Though little priz'd when all my own,

Lies mute and still.

such being, according to astrologers, the “ vis infuxiva" of Venus. When they are in this part of the heavens, a casuistical question occurs to Theodidactus, and he asks, " Whether baptism may be performed with the waters of Venus?"

"An aquis globi Veneris baptismus institui possit?" to which the Genius answers, " Certainly."

1 This idea is Father Kircher's. “ Tot animatos soles dixisses." - Itinerar. I. Dial. i. cap. 5.

Remember, o'er its circling flood
In what a dangerous dream we stood

The silent sea before us,
Around us, all the gloom of grove,
That ever lent its shade to love,

No eye but heaven's o'er us!

Now float before me, soft and bright

As when they first enamouring shone, What hours and days have I seen glide, While fix'd, enchanted, by thy side, Unmindful of the fleeting day, I've let life's dream dissolve away. O bloom of youth profusely shed ! O moments! simply, vainly sped, Yet sweetly too — for Love perfum'd The flame which thus my life consumid; And brilliant was the chain of flowers, In which he led my victim-hours.

I saw you blush, you felt me tremble,
In vain would formal art dissemble

All we then look'd and thought; 'Twas more than tongue could dare reveal, 'Twas ev'ry thing that young hearts feel,

By Love and Nature taught.

Say, Nea, say, couldst thou, like her, When warm to feel and quick to err, Of loving fond, of roving fonder, This thoughtless soul might wish to wander, — Couldst thou, like her, the wish reclaim,

Endearing still, reproaching never, Till ev'n this heart should burn with shame,

And be thy own more fix'd than ever ? No, no-on earth there's only one

Could bind such faithless folly fast ; And sure on earth but one alone

Could make such virtue false at last !

I stoop'd to cull, with faltering hand, A shell that, on the golden sand,

Before us faintly gleam’d; I trembling rais'd it, and when you Had kist the shell, I kist it too

How sweet, how wrong it seem'd !

Oh, trust me, 'twas a place, an hour,
The worst that e'er the tempter's power

Could tangle me or you in ;
Sweet Nea, let us roam no more
Along that wild and lonely shore,

Such walks may be our ruin.

Nea, the heart which she forsook,

For thee were but a worthless shrineGo, lovely girl, that angel look

Must thrill a soul more pure than mine. Oh! thou shalt be all else to me,

That heart can feel or tongue can feign ; I'll praise, admire, and worship thee, “But must not, dare not, love again.

You read it in these spell-bound eyes,

And there alone should love be read; You hear me say it all in sighs,

And thus alone should love be said.

Then dread no more; I will not speak;

Although my heart to anguish thrill, I'll spare the burning of your cheek,

And look it all in silence still.

Tale iter omne cave.

PROPERT. lib. iv. eleg. 8.

I PRAY you, let us roam no more
Along that wild and lonely shore,

Where late we thoughtless stray'd ; 'Twas not for us, whom heaven intends To be no more than simple friends,

Such lonely walks were made.

Heard you the wish I dar'd to name,

To murmur on that luckless night, When passion broke the bonds of shame,

And love grew madness in your sight?

Divinely through the graceful dance,

You seem'd to float in silent song, Bending to earth that sunny glance,

As if to light your steps along.

That little Bay, where turning in
From ocean's rude and angry din,

As lovers steal to bliss,
The billows kiss the shore, and then
Flow back into the deep again,

As though they did not kiss.

Oh ! how could others dare to touch

That hallow'd form with hand so free, When but to look was bliss too much,

Too rare for all but Love and me!

With smiling eyes, that little thought

How fatal were the beams they threw, My trembling hands you lightly caught,

And round me, like a spirit, flew.

I felt, — so strongly fancy's power
Came o'er me in that witching hour, -
As if the whole bright scenery there

Were lighted by a Grecian sky,
And I then breath'd the blissful air

That fate had thrill'd to Sappho's sigh.

Heedless of all, but you alone,

And you, at least, should not condemn, If, when such eyes before me shone,

My soul forgot all eyes but them,

I dar'd to whisper passion's vow,

For love had ev'n of thought bereft me,Nay, half-way bent to kiss that brow,

But, with a bound, you blushing left me.

Forget, forget that night's offence,

Forgive it, if, alas! you can ; 'Twas love, 'twas passion-soul and sense

'Twas all that's best and worst in man.

Thus, waking, dreamt I, - and when Sleep

Came o'er my sense, the dream went on;
Nor, through her curtain dim and deep,

Hath ever lovelier vision shone.
I thought that, all enrapt, I stray'd
Through that serene, luxurious shade, 1
Where Epicurus taught the Loves

To polish virtue's native brightness, –
As pearls, we're told, that fondling doves

Have play'd with, wear a smoother whiteness. 'Twas one of those delicious nights

So common in the climes of Greece,
When day withdraws but half its lights,

And all is moonshine, balm, and peace.
And thou wert there, my own belov'd,
And by thy side I fondly rov'd
Through many a temple’s reverend gloom,
And many a bower's seductive bloom,
Where Beauty learn'd what Wisdom taught,
And sages sigh'd and lovers thought;
Where schoolmen conn'd no maxims stern,

But all was form'd to soothe or move,
To make the dullest love to learn,

To make the coldest learn to love.

That moment, did th’assembled eyes

Of heaven and earth my madness view,
I should have seen, through earth and skies,

But you aloue - but only you.

Did not a frown from you reprove,

Myriads of eyes to me were none; Enough for me to win your love,

And die upon the spot when won.

A DREAM OF ANTIQUITY.

I just had turn'd the classic page,

And trac'd that happy period over, When blest alike were youth and age, And love inspir'd the wisest sage,

And wisdom grac'd the tenderest lover.

And now the fairy pathway seem'd

To lead us through enchanted ground,
Where all that bard has ever dream'd

Of love or luxury bloom'd around.
Oh! 'twas a bright, bewild'ring scene -
Along the alley's deep’ning green
Soft lamps, that hung like burning flowers,
And scented and illum'd the bowers,
Seem'd, as to him, who darkling roves
Amid the lone Hercynian groves,
Appear those countless birds of light,
That sparkle in the leaves at night,
And from their wings diffuse a ray
Along the traveller's weary way. 3
'Twas light of that mysterious kind,

Through which the soul perchance may roam,
When it has left this world behind,

And gone to seek its heavenly home.

Before I laid me down to sleep,

Awhile I from the lattice gaz'd Upon that still and moonlight deep,

With isles like floating gardens rais'd For Ariel there his sports to keep; While, gliding 'twixt their leafy shores, The lone night-fisher plied his oars.

I Gassendi thinks that the gardens, which Pausanias men- ? This method of polishing pearls, by leaving them awhile tions, in his first book, were those of Epicurus; and Stuart to be played with by doves, is mentioned by the fanciful Car. says, in his Antiquities of Athens, “Near this convent (the danus, de Rerum Varietat. lib. vii. cap. 34. convent of Hagios Asomatos) is the place called at present 3 In Hercynio Germaniæ saltu inusitata genera alitum acKepoi, or the Gardens; and Ampelos Kepos, or the Vineyard cepimus, quarum plumæ, ignium modo, colluceant noctibus. Garden: these were probably the gardens which Pausanias - Plin. lib. X. cap. 47. visited." Vol. i. chap. 2.

And, Nea, thou wert by my side,
Through all this heav'n-ward path my guide.

To-morrow I sail for those cinnamon groves, ?
Where nightly the ghost of the Carribee roves,
And, far from the light of those eyes, I may yet
Their allurements forgive and their splendour for-

get.

Farewell to Bermuda, and long may the bloom
Of the lemon and myrtle its valleys perfume ;
May spring to eternity hallow the shade,
Where Ariel has warbled and Waller 9 has stray'd.
And thou — when, at dawn, thou shalt happen to

roam

But, lo, as wand'ring thus we rang'd
That upward path, the vision chang'd;
And now, methought, we stole along

Through halls of more voluptuous glory
Than ever liv'd in Teian song,

Or wanton'a in Milesian story. 1
And nymphs were there, whose very eyes
Seem'd soften'd o'er with breath of sighs ;
Whose ev'ry ringlet, as it wreath'd,
A mute appeal to passion breath'd.
Some flew, with amber cups, around,

Pouring the flowery wines of Crete; ?
And, as they pass'd with youthful bound,

The onyx shone beneath their feet. S While others, waving arms of snow

Entwin'd by snakes of burnish'd gold, 4
And showing charms, as loth to show,

Through many a thin Tarentian fold, 5
Glided among the festal throng
Bearing rich urns of flowers along.
Where roses lay, in languor breathing,
And the young beegrape6, round them wreathing,
Hung on their blushes warm and meek,
Like curls upon a rosy cheek.

[blocks in formation]

Oh, Nea! why did morning break

The spell that thus divinely bound me ? Why did I wake ? how could I wake

With thee my own and heaven around me!

If I were yonder conch of gold,

And thou the pearl within it plac'd,
I would not let an eye behold

The sacred gem my arms embrac'd.

WELL — peace to thy heart, though another's it be,
And health to that cheek, though it bloom not for

If I were yonder orange-tree,

And thou the blossom blooming there, I would not yield a breath of thee

To scent the most imploring air.

me!

The Milesiacs, or Milesian fables, had their origin in the Muscatell (a muscarum telis)," says Pancirollus, book i. Miletus, a luxurious town of lonia. Aristides was the most sect. 1. chap. 17. celebrated author of these licentious fictions. See Plutarch ? I had, at this time, some idea of paying a visit to the (ia Crasso), who calls them axolastu B.Chuck.

West Indies. * * Some of the Cretan wines, which Athenæus calls ouves * The inhabitants pronounce the name as if it were written siburues, from their fragrancy resembling that of the finest Bermooda. See the commentators on the words " still-sex'd fowers. – Barry on Wines, chap. vii.

Bermoothes," in the Tempest.--I wonder it did not occur to * It appears that in very splendid mansions, the floor or some of those all-reading gentlemen that, possibly, the dis. parement was frequently of onyx. Thus Martial : " Calca- coverer of this “ island of hogs and devils" might have been tusque tuo sub pede lucet onyx.' Epig. 50. lib. xii.

no less a personage than the great John Bermudez, who, about * Bracelets of this shape were a favourite ornament among the same period (the beginning of the sixteenth century), was the women of antiquity. Oi itiragaios opus nun ai χευσαι

sent Patriarch of the Latin church to Ethiopia, and has left τιδαυθαιδος και Αρισταγορας και Λαιδος φαρμακα.-Philostrat. us most wonderful stories of the Amazons and the Griffins Epist. xl. Lucian, too, tells us of the Bee xicuri Oguxoris. which he encountered – Travels of the Jesuits, vol. i. I am See his Amores, where he describes the dressing-room of a afraid, however, it would take the Patriarch rather too much Grecian lady, and we find the " silver vase," the rouge, the out of his way. tooth-powder, and all the “mystic order" of a modern 9 Johnson does not think that Waller was ever at Bermuda ; toilet.

but the “ Account of the European Settlements in America" * Tezarrisida, doceans odurile, wova CHEPOY AT. Tas Tagave affirms it confidently. (Vol. ii.) I mention this work, however, TIVS entus za truong.-Polluz.

less for its authority than for the pleasure I feel in quoting 6 Apiana, mentioned by Pliny, lib. xiv, and “now called an unacknowledged production of the great Edmund Burke. a poet to be “three removes from truth ; " Titate era te 2 The Agave. This, I am aware, is an erroneous notion, anuas.

[blocks in formation]

The down from his wing is as white as the pearl And—bless the little pilot dove!
That shines through thy lips when they part,

He had indeed been sent by Love,
And it falls on the green earth as melting, my girl, To guide me to a scene so dear
As a murmur of thine on the heart.

As fate allows but seldom here ;
Oh! fly to the clime, where he pillows the deatb, One of those rare and brilliant bours,
As he cradles the birth of the year;

That, like the aloe's ? lingering flowers,
Bright are your bowers and balmy their breath, May blossom to the eye of man
But the Snow Spirit cannot come here.

But once in all his weary span. 1 The seaside or mangrove grape, a native of the West but it is quite true enough for poetry. Plato, I think, allors Indies.

« ForrigeFortsæt »