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THIS, MY FIRST WORK,
IS INSCRIBED AND DEDICATED,
WITH THE SINCEREST ESTEEM AND AFFECTION,
MISS JANE PORTER;
WHO HAS KNOWN ME FROM MY INFANCY;
AS A DAUGHTER, A SISTER, AND A FRIEND;
WHOSE GENIUS IS EQUALLED BY HER ENDEARING VIRTUES, WHO IS THE KIND PATRONESS OF MERIT,
THE ADVOCATE OF MILD, GENUINE PIETY, AND WHOSE OWN GREATNESS, HAS EVER RENDERED HER INACCESSIBLE TO THE PETTY FEELINGS OF RIVALRY
THE POET'S DAUGHTER.
"Oh! that the sum of human happiness
But bears it from the view. Oh! who would shun
And dark vicissitudes ?"
FAIR Italy-garden of the world-land of love, and softness, and refinement- how can your children exist when exiled to a colder and more sterile clime? How must their hearts yearn towards you, land of palaces, and blue skies, and sunny vineyards, and all fair and
beautiful things! How must they pine after your balmy and delicious breezes, your fertile plains, your glorious and eternal monuments of other and brighter days! How must their senses languish for your dulcet strains of heaventaught harmony, your breathing statues, your sublime paintings, your noble and mighty ruins!
Oh! Italy, dear Italy-land of my love; when shall this weary heart again beat beneath your warm sun? when shall I again tread your fair shores? when shall these eyes, dim with weeping, gaze once more on your boundless plains, your glassy seas, and placid lakes? when shall your cloud-capt mountains again greet this straining sight? Alas! alas! years, long, dreary years, have passed and faded into the abyss of by-gone things; crushing and blighting sorrows have fallen on this once ardent soul; yet still do I love thee, my fair country, with a love surpassing that of woman; and when death, friendly death, shall come to release me from my long, sad pilgrimage, the last words that
hover on my expiring lips will be "Italy-my country!"
There are spots on this earth which seem as though they were meant to give us a foretaste of the eternal bowers of bliss, or a glimpse of what the Eden of our first parents might have been spots where it seems as if sin dare not intrude his blighting form or sorrow spread her withering influence; where peace dwells seemingly on every roof, and tree, and bower; where the very birds sing more rapturous thanksgivings from amongst their leafy labyrinths and shady nooks; shady nooks; where rippling
streams send forth a more soothing sound and awaken more soft and dreamy thoughts in the deep heart. We ask ourselves, as we stand and gaze entranced on such scenes of beauty and tranquillity, "Can the shriek of despair ever have rent the profound silence of these dark woods? can the hot tears of anguish and remorse have mingled with this peaceful stream? can the young, trusting, and loving maiden heart have swelled, and struggled, and