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Where Epicurus taught the Loves
While others, waving arms of snow To polish virtue's native brightness,
Entwin'd by snakes of burnish'd gold, Just as the beak of playful doves
And showing limbs, as loth to show, Can give to pearls a smoother whiteness !!
Through many a thin Tarentian fold,? 'Twas one of those delicious nights
Glided along the festal ring So common in the climes of Greece,
With vases, all respiring spring, When day withdraws but half its lights,
Where roses lay, in langour breathing, And all is moonshine, balm, and peace!
And the young bee-grape, round them wreathing, And thou wert there, my own belov'd!
Hung on their blushes warm and meek, And dearly by thy side I rov'd
Like curls upon a rosy cheek! Through many a temple’s reverend gloom,
Oh, Nea! why did morning break And many a bower's seductive bloom,
The spell that so divinely bound me? Where beauty blush'd and wisdom taught,
Why did I wake! how could I wake Where lovers sigh’d and sages thought,
With thee my own and heaven around me? Where hearts might feel or heads discern,
And all was form'd to sooth or move, To make the dullest love to learn,
WELL-peace to thy heart, though another's it be, To make the coldest learn to love !
And health to thy cheek, though it bloom not for me! And now the fairy pathway seem'd
To-morrow, I sail for those cinnamon groves, To lead us through enchanted ground,
Where nightly the ghost of the Carribee roves, Where all that bard has ever dream'd
And, far from thine eye, oh! perhaps, I may yet Of love or luxury bloom'd around!
Its seduction forgive and its splendour forget! Oh! 'twas a bright bewildering scene
Farewell to Bermuda,* and long may the bloom Along the alley's deepening green,
Of the lemon and myrtle its vallies perfume; Soft lamps, that hung like burning flowers,
May spring to eternity hallow the shade, And scented and illum'd the bowers,
Where Ariel has warbled and Waller: has stray'd! Seem'd, as to him, who darkling roves
And thou—when, at dawn, thou shalt happen to roam Amid the lone Hercynian groves,
Through the lime-cover'd alley that leads to thy home, Appear the countless birds of light,
Where oft, when the dance and the revel were done, That sparkle in the leaves at night,
And the stars were beginning to fade in the sun, And from their wings diffuse a ray
I have led thee along, and have told by the way Along the traveller's weary way
What my heart all the night had been burning to say'Twas light of that mysterious kind,
Oh! think of the past-give a sigh to those times, Through which the soul is doom'd to roam, And a blessing for me to that alley of limes ! When it has left this world behind,
And gone to seek its heavenly home! And, Nea, thou didst look and move, Like any blooming soul of bliss,
If I were yonder wave, my dear, That wanders to its home above
And thou the isle it clasps around, Through mild and shadowy light like this !
I would not let a foot come near
My land of bliss, my fairy ground !
1 Bracelets of this shape were a favourite ornament among Than ever liv’d in Teian song,
the women of antiquity. Οι επικαρπιοι οφεις και αι χρυσαι Or wanton'd in Milesian story !3
πεδα. Θαιδος και Αρισταγορας και Λαιδος φαρμακα. . And nymphs were there, whose very eyes
Philostrat. Epist. xl. Lucian too tells of the Epsgoo.co Spam
κοντες. See his Amores, where he describes the dressingSeem'd almost to exhale in sighs ;
room of a Grecian lady, and we find the “silver vase,” the Whose every little ringlet thrillid,
rouge, the tooth-powder, and all the “mystic order” of a
modern toilet. As if with soul and passion fillid!
2 Ταραντινιδιον, διαφανες ενδυμα, ωνομασμενον απο Some few, with amber cups, around,
της Ταραντινων χρησεως και τρυφης.-Pollur. Shedding the flowery wines of Crete, 4
3 Apiana, mentioned by Pliny, Lib. xiv. and "now called And, as they pass'd with youthful bound,
the Muscatell (a muscarum telish”) says Pancirollus, Book
i. Sect. 1. Chap. 17. The onyx shone beneath their feet !5
4 The inhabitants pronounce the name as if it were writ
ten Bermooda. See the commentators on the words " still1 This method of polishing pearls, by leaving them awhile vex'd Bermoothes," in the Tempest. I wonder it did not to be played with by doves, is mentioned by the fanciful occur to some of those all-reading gentlemen that, possibly, Cardanus, de Rerum Varietat. Lib. vii. cap. 34.
the discoverer of this "island of hogs and devils” might 2 In Hercynio Germaniæ sallu inusitata genera alitum have been no less a personage than the great John Bermuaccepimus, quarum pluma, ignium modo, colluceant nocti- dez, who, about the same period, (the beginning of the sixbus. Plin. Lib. x. cap. 47.
teenth century,) was sent Patriarch of the Latin Cirurch to 3 The Milesiacs, or Milesian Fables, had their origin in Ethiopia, and" has left us most wonderful stories of the Milatus, a luxurious town of lonia. Aristides was the most Amazons and the Griffins, which he encountered. Travels celebrated author of these licentious fictions. See Plutarch of the Jesuits, Vol. I. 'I am afraid, however, it would (in Crasso) who calls them cx02.40TH B0620%.
take the Patriarch rather too much out of his way. 4 Some of the Crelan wines, which Athenæus calls orvos 5 Johnson does not think that Waller was ever at Bermuav 900 pors, from their fragrancy resembling that of the da; but the “Account of the European Settlements in finest flowers. Barry on Wines, chap. vii.
America," affirms it confidently. (Vol. II.) I mention this 5 It appears, that in very splendid mansions the floor or work, however, less for its authority, than for the pleasure I pavement was frequently of onyx. Thus Martial: “Calca- feel in quoting an unacknowledged production of the grea tusque tuo sub pede lucet onyx. Epig. 50. Lib. xii. Edmund Burke.
Oh! 'twas a type of stolen joy,
"Twas love beneath the veil of night! Soft as she smil'd, he smil'd again;
They seem'd so kindred in their charms, That one might think, the babe had then
Just budded in her blooming arms !
THE SNOW SPIRIT.
Tu potes insulitas, Cynthia, ferre nives ?
Propert Lib. i. Eleg. 8.
If I were yonder couch of gold,
And thou the pearl within it plac'd, I would not let an eye behold
The sacred gem my arms embrac'd! 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! Oh! bend not o'er the water's brink,
Give not the wave that rosy sigh, Nor let its burning mirror drink
The soft reflection of thine eye. That glossy hair, that glowing cheek,
Upon the billows pour their beam So warmly, that my soul could seek
Its Nea in the painted stream. The painted stream my chilly grave
And nuptial bed at once may be, I'll wed thee in that mimic wave,
And die upon the shade of thee ! Behold the leafy mangrove, bending
O'er the waters blue and bright, Like Nea's silky lashes, lending
Shadow to her eyes of light' Oh, my beloved ! where'er I turn,
Some trace of thee enchants mine eyes, In every star thy glances burn,
Thy blush on every flowret lies. But then thy breath !--not all the fire,
That lights the lone Semenda's' death In eastern climes could e'er respire
An odour like thy dulcet breath!
To wear this rosy leaf for me,
Since nothing human breathes of thee! All other charms of thine I meet
In nature, but thy sigh alone; Then take, oh! take, though not so sweet,
The breath of roses for thine own! So, while I walk the flowery grove,
The bud that gives, through morning dew, The lustre of the lips I love,
May seem to give their perfume too!
No, ne'er did the wave in its element steep
An island of lovelier charms;
Like Hebe in Hercules' arms!
Their melody balm to the ear;
And the Snow-Spirit never comes here!
Thy lips for their cabinet stole,
As a murmur of thine on the soul!
As he cradles the birth of the year;
But the Snow-Spirit cannot come here !
And brightening the bosom of morn,
O'er the brow of each virginal thorn!
Is a veil of a vestal severe;
Should the Snow-Spirit ever come here !
And he'll weep all his brilliancy dim,
Should not melt in the day-beam like him!
O'er his luminous path will appearFly! my beloved ! this island is sweet,
But the Snow-Spirit cannot come here!
Ενταύθα δε καθορμισται ημιν, και ο, τι μεν ονομα τη νησο
αν τρος γε εμου ονομαζοιτο.
Philostrat. Icon. 17. Lib. 2.
ON SEEING AN INFANT IN NEA'S ARMS. The first ambrosial child of bliss,
That Psyche to her bosom prest, Was not a brighter babe than this,
Nor blush'd upon a lovelier breast ! His little snow-white fingers, straying
Along her lips' luxuriant flower, Look'd like a flight of ring-doves playing,
Silvery through a roseate bower! And when, to shade the playful boy,
Her dark hair fell, in mazes bright,
I STOLE along the flowery bank,
eneath a lover's burning sighs !
Before me from a plantain flew, 1 The sea-side or mangrove grape, a native of the West Indies.
1 Referunt tamen quidam in interiore India avem esse, nomine Semendam, etc. Cardan. 10 de Subtilitat. Caesar Scaliger seems to think Semenda but another name for the Phønix. Exercitat, 233.
And, light, along the water's brim, I steered my gentle bark by him; For Fancy told me, Love had sent This snowy bird of blandishment, To lead me where my soul should meetI knew not what, but something sweet ! Blest be the little pilot dove! He had indeed been sent by Love, To guide me to a scene so dear, As Fate allows but seldom here: One of those rare and brilliant hours, Which, like the aloe's' lingering flowers, May blossom to the eye of man' But once in all his weary span! Just where the margin's opening shade A vista from the waters made, My bird-repos’d his silver plume Upon a rich banana's bloom. Oh, vision bright! oh, spirit fair! What spell, what magic rais'd her there? 'Twas Nea! slumbering calm and mild, And bloomy as the dimpled child, Whose spirit in elysium keeps Its playful sabbath, while he sleeps ! The broad banana's green embrace Hung shadowy round each tranquil grace; One little beam alone could win The leaves to let it wander in, And, stealing over all her charms, From lip to cheek, from neck to arms, It glanc'd around a fiery kiss, All trembling, as it went, with bliss! Her eyelid's black and silken fringe Lay on her cheek, of vermil tinge, Like the first ebon cloud, that closes Dark on evening's heaven of roses ! Her glances, though in slumber hid, Seem'd glowing through their ivory lid, And o'er her lip's reflecting dew A soft and liquid lustre threw, Such as, declining dim and faint, The lamp of some beloved saint Doth shed upon a flowery wreath, Which pious hands have hung beneath. Was ever witchery half so sweet! Think, think how all my pulses beat, As o'er the rustling bank I stoleOh! you, that know the lover's soul, It is for you to dream the bliss, The tremblings of an hour like this!
Of many a nightly dream it told,
When all that chills the heart by day, The worldly doubt, the caution cold,
In Fancy's fire dissolve away! When soul and soul divinely meet,
Free from the senses' guilty shame, And mingle in a sigh so sweet,
As virtue's self would blush to blame ! How could he lose such tender words?
Words ! that of themselves should spring To NEA's ear, like panting birds,
With heart and soul upon their wing! Oh ! fancy what they dar'd to speak;
Think all a virgin's shame can dread, Nor pause until thy conscious cheek
Shall burn with thinking all they said ! And I shall feign, shall fancy, too,
Some dear reply thou might'st have given Shall make that lip distil its dew
In promise bland and hopes of heaven! Shall think it tells of future days,
When the averted cheek will turn, When eye with eye shall mingle rays,
And lip to lip shall closely burn ! -
If colder hope thy answer brings,
Since I can dream such dearer things!
I FOUND her not—the chamber seem'd
Like some divinely haunted place,
And left behind their odorous trace!
Had floated o'er her cheek of rose;
In languor of divine repose !
Her limbs had left, as pure and warm
And love himself had stamp'd the form! Oh, NEA! NEA! where wert thou?
In pity fly not thus from me; Thou art my life, my essence now,
And my soul dies of wanting thee!
ON THE LOSS OF A LETTER INTENDED
With all the wishes wild and dear,
Which woman reads, but must not hear!
1 The Agave. I know that this is an erroneous idea, but it is quite true enough for poetry. Plato, I think, allows a poet to be “three removes from truth;" TESTATOS ATO της αληθειας. .
A KISS A L'ANTIQUE. BEHOLD, my love, the curious gem
Within this simple ring of gold; 'Tis hallow'd by the touch of them
Who liv'd in classic hours of old.
Some fair Athenian girl, perhaps,
TO JOSEPH ATKINSON, ESQ.
March. Come,-closer bring that cheek to mine,
“ The daylight is gone-but, before we depart, And trace with me its beauties o'er.
round to the friend of my heart, Thou see'st, it is a simple youth
To the kindest, the dearest-oh! judge by the tear, By some enamour'd nymph embrac'd That I shed while I name him, how kind and how Look, Nea, love! and say, in sooth,
dear!" Is not her hand most dearly plac'd!
'Twas thus, by the shade of a calabash-tree, Upon his curled head behind
With a few who could feel and remember like me, It seems in careless play to lie,'
The charm, that to sweeten my goblet I threw, Yet presses gently, half inclin'd
Was a tear to the past and a blessing on you !
Oh! say, do you thus, in the luminous hour
Of wine and of wit, when the heart is in flower, The one so fond and faintly loath,
And shoots from the lip, under Bacchus's dew, The other yielding slow to joy
In blossoms of thought ever springing and new! Oh, rare indeed, but blissful both!
Do you sometimes remember, and hallow the brim Imagine, love, that I am he,
Os your cup with a sigh, as you crown it to him, And just as warm as he is chilling;
Who is lonely and sad in these vallies so fair, Imagine, too, that thou art she,
And would pine in elysium, if friends were not there ! But quite as cold as she is willing :
1 Pinkerton has said that “a good bistory and description So may we try the graceful way
of the Bermudas might afford a pleasing addition to the In which their gentle arms are twin'd,
geographical library;" but thero certainiy are not inaterials And thus, like her, my hand I lay
for such a work. The island, since the time of its disco
very, has experienced so very few vicissitudes, the people Upon thy wreathed hair behind :
have been so indolent, and their trade so limited, that there
is but little which the historian could amplify into imporAnd thus I feel thee breathing sweet,
tance; and, with respect to the natural productions of the As slow to mine thy head I move;
country, the few which the inhabitants can be induced to And thus our lips together meet,
cultivate are so common in the West Indies, that they have
been described by every naturalist, who has written ang And-thus I kiss thee-oh, my love!
account of those islands.
It is ofien asserted by the trans-atlantic politicians, that this little colony deserves more attention from the motber
country than it receives ; and it certainly possesses advan•λιβανοτω εικασεν, οτι απολλυμενον ευφραινει.
tages of situation, to which we should not be long insensible, Aristot. Rhetor. Lib. iii. Cap. 4. if it were once in the hands of an enemy. I was told by a
celebrated friend of Washington, at New-York, that they THERE's not a look, a word of thine
had formed a plan for its capturr, towards the conclusion of My soul hath e'er forgot ;
the American War; “ with the intention (as he expressed Thou ne'er hast bid a ringlet shine,
himself,) of inaking it a nest of hornets for the annoyanco
of British trade in that part of the world." And there is Nor giv'n thy locks one graceful twine,
no doubt, it lies so fairly in the track to the West Indies, Which I remember not!
that an enemy might with ease convert it into a very haras
sing impediment. There never yet a murmur fell
The plan of Bishop Berkeley for a college at Bermuda, From that beguiling tongue,
where American savages might be converted and educate
though concurred in by the governinent of the day, was a Which did not, with a lingering spell,
wild and useless speculation. Mr. Hamilton, who was goUpon my charmed senses dwell,
vernor of the island some years since, proposed, if I mistake Like something heaven had sung !
not, the establishinent of a marine ncademy for the instruc
tion of those children of West Indians, who might be inAh! that I could, at once, forget
tended for any nauti«al employment. This was a more All, all that haunts me som
rational idea, and for something of this nature the island is
admirably calculated. But the plan should be much more And yet, thou witching girl !—and yet,
extensive, and embrace a general system of education, To die were sweeter, than to let
which would entirely remove the alternative, in which the The lov'd remembrance go!
colonists are involved at present, of either sending their sons
to England for instruction, or entrusting them to colleges in if this slighted heart must see
the States of America, where ideas by no means favourIts faithful pulse decay,
able to Great Britain, are very sedulously inculcated.
The women of Bermuda, though not generally handsomo, Oh! let it die, remembering thee,
have an affectionate languor in their look and maoner, And, like the burnt aroma, be
which is always interesting. What the French imply by
their epithet aimante seems very much the character of the Consum'd in sweets away!
young Bermudiangirls--that predis:osition to loving, which,
without being awakened by any particular object, diffuses 1 Somewhat like the symplegma of Cupid and Psyche i'self through the general manner in a tone of tenderness at Florence, in which the position of Psyche's hand is that never fails to l'asrinate. The men of the island, I con finely expressive of affection. See the Museum Florenti- fess, are not very civilized; and the old philosopher, who num, Tom. ii. Tab. 43, 44. I know of very few subjects in imagined that, after this Pin anon!! berharged into which poetry could be more interestingly empinyed, than in muss, and women in o turtda colon, cilind live neis Dlustrating some of the ancient statues and gems. Imorphosis in some degree anticipated at Bermuda.
Last night, when we came from the calabash-tree,
floating array, The bark that must carry these pages away,” Impatiently flutters her wings to the wind, And will soon leave the bowers of Ariel behind ! What billows, what gales is she fated to prove, Ere she sleep in the lee of the land that I love! Yet pleasant the swell of those billows would be, And the sound of those gales would be music to me! Not the tranquillest air that the winds ever blew, Not the silvery lapse of the summer-eve dew, Were as sweet as the breeze, or as bright as the foam Of the wave, that would carry your wanderer home!
The boy in many a gambol flew,
While Reason, like a Juno stalk’d, And from her portly figure threw
A lengthen'd shadow, as she walk'd. No wonder Love, as on they pass'd,
Should find that sunny morning chill, For still the shadow Reason cast
Fell on the boy, and cool'd him still. In vain he tried his wings to warm,
Or find a pathway not so dim, For still the maid's gigantic form
Would pass between the sun and him! “ This must not be," said little Love
“ The sun was made for more than you." So, turning through a myrtle grove,
He bid the portly nymph adieu ! Now gaily roves the laughing boy
O’er many a mead, by many a stream; In every breeze inhaling joy,
And drinking bliss in every beam. From all the gardens, all the bowers,
He cull'd the many sweets they shaded, And ate the fruits, and smelt the flowers,
Till taste was gone and odour faded ! But now the sun, in pomp of noon,
Look'd blazing o'er the parched plains ; Alas! the boy grew languid soon,
And fever thrill'd through all his veins ! The dew forsook his baby brow,
No more with vivid bloom he smil'dOh! where was tranquil Reason now,
To cast her shadow o'er the child? Beneath a green and aged palm,
His foot at length for shelter turning, He saw the nymph reclining calm,
With brow as cool as his was burning! “Oh! take me to that bosom cold,"
In murmurs at her feet he said ; And Reason op'd her garment's fold,
And flung it round his fever'd head. He felt her bosom's icy touch,
And soon it lull’d his pulse to rest ; For, ah! the chill was quite too much,
And Love expir'd on Reason's breast !
LOVE AND REASON. "Quand l'homme commence à raisonner, il cesse de sentir.”
J. J. Rousseau.3 'Twas in the summer-time so sweet,
When hearts and flowers are both in season,
One early dawn, but Love and Reason!
While Reason talk'd about the weather ;
And on they took their way together.
Nay, do not weep, my FANNY dear!
While in these arms you lie,
From that beloved eye!
The path where many rove;
Are quite enough for love!
Between your arms and mine?
1 Mountains of Sicily, upon which Daphnis, the first inventor of bucolic poetry, was nursed by the nymphs.-See the lively description of these mountains in Diodorus Sicuuls, Lib. iv. Hexi yae Opm **TA TAV E1x626&V BOTOV, a φασι καλλει κ. τ. λ.
2 A ship, ready to sail for England. 3 Quoted somewhere in St. Pierre's Etudes de la Nature.