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The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore by Thomas Moore et al

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When midnight came to close the year,
We sighed to think it thus should take
The hours it gave us--hours as dear
As sympathy and love could make
Their blessed moments,--every sun
Saw us, my love, more closely one.

But, Cara, when the dawn was nigh
Which came a new year's light to shed,
That smile we caught from eye to eye
Told us, those moments were not fled:
Oh, no,--we felt, some future sun
Should see us still more closely one.

Thus may we ever, side by side,
From happy years to happier glide;
And still thus may the passing sigh
We give to hours, that vanish o'er us,
Be followed by the smiling eye,
That Hope shall shed on scenes before us!

TO ......., 1801.

To be the theme of every hour
The heart devotes to Fancy's power,
When her prompt magic fills the mind
With friends and joys we've left behind,
And joys return and friends are near,
And all are welcomed with a tear:--
In the mind's purest seat to dwell,
To be remembered oft and well
By one whose heart, though vain and wild,
By passion led, by youth beguiled,
Can proudly still aspire to be
All that may yet win smiles from thee:--
If thus to live in every part
Of a lone, weary wanderer's heart;
If thus to be its sole employ
Can give thee one faint gleam of joy,
Believe it. Mary,--oh! believe
A tongue that never can deceive,
Though, erring, it too oft betray
Even more than Love should dare to say,--
In Pleasure's dream or Sorrow's hour,
In crowded hall or lonely bower,
The business of my life shall be,
For ever to remember thee.
And though that heart be dead to mine,
Since Love is life and wakes not thine,
I'll take thy image, as the form
Of one whom Love had failed to warm,
Which, though it yield no answering thrill,
Is not less dear, is worshipt still--
I'll take it, wheresoe'er I stray,
The bright, cold burden of my way.
To keep this semblance fresh in bloom,
My heart shall be its lasting tomb,
And Memory, with embalming care,
Shall keep it fresh and fadeless there.



_Ad harmoniam canere mundum_.
CICERO _"de Nat. Deor." lib. iii_.

There lies a shell beneath the waves,
In many a hollow winding wreathed,
Such as of old
Echoed the breath that warbling sea-maids breathed;
This magic shell,
From the white bosom of a syren fell,
As once she wandered by the tide that laves
Sicilia's sands of gold.
It bears
Upon its shining side the mystic notes
Of those entrancing airs,[1]
The genii of the deep were wont to swell,
When heaven's eternal orbs their midnight music rolled!
Oh! seek it, wheresoe'er it floats;
And, if the power
Of thrilling numbers to thy soul be dear,

Go, bring the bright shell to my bower,
And I will fold thee in such downy dreams
As lap the Spirit of the Seventh Sphere,
When Luna's distant tone falls faintly on his ear![2]
And thou shalt own,
That, through the circle of creation's zone,
Where matter slumbers or where spirit beams;
From the pellucid tides,[3] that whirl
The planets through their maze of song,
To the small rill, that weeps along
Murmuring o'er beds of pearl;
From the rich sigh
Of the sun's arrow through an evening sky,[4]
To the faint breath the tuneful osier yields
On Afric's burning fields;[5]
Thou'lt wondering own this universe divine
Is mine!
That I respire in all and all in me,
One mighty mingled soul of boundless harmony.

Welcome, welcome, mystic shell!
Many a star has ceased to burn,[6]
Many a tear has Saturn's urn
O'er the cold bosom of the ocean wept,
Since thy aerial spell
Hath in the waters slept.
Now blest I'll fly
With the bright treasure to my choral sky,
Where she, who waked its early swell,
The Syren of the heavenly choir.
Walks o'er the great string of my Orphic Lyre;
Or guides around the burning pole
The winged chariot of some blissful soul:
While thou--
Oh son of earth, what dreams shall rise for thee!
Beneath Hispania's sun,
Thou'll see a streamlet run,
Which I've imbued with breathing melody;[7]
And there, when night-winds down the current die,
Thou'lt hear how like a harp its waters sigh:
A liquid chord is every wave that flows,
An airy plectrum every breeze that blows.

There, by that wondrous stream,
Go, lay thy languid brow,
And I will send thee such a godlike dream,
As never blest the slumbers even of him,[8]
Who, many a night, with his primordial lyre,
Sate on the chill Pangaean mount,[9]
And, looking to the orient dim,
Watched the first flowing of that sacred fount,
From which his soul had drunk its fire.
Oh think what visions, in that lonely hour,
Stole o'er his musing breast;
What pious ecstasy
Wafted his prayer to that eternal Power,
Whose seal upon this new-born world imprest
The various forms of bright divinity!
Or, dost thou know what dreams I wove,
Mid the deep horror of that silent bower,[10]
Where the rapt Samian slept his holy slumber?
When, free
From every earthly chain,
From wreaths of pleasure and from bonds of pain,
His spirit flew through fields above,
Drank at the source of nature's fontal number,
And saw, in mystic choir, around him move
The stars of song, Heaven's burning minstrelsy!
Such dreams, so heavenly bright,
I swear
By the great diadem that twines my hair,
And by the seven gems that sparkle there,
Mingling their beams
In a soft iris of harmonious light,
Oh, mortal! such shall be thy radiant dreams.

* * * * *

I found her not--the chamber seemed
Like some divinely haunted place
Where fairy forms had lately beamed,
And left behind their odorous trace!

It felt as if her lips had shed
A sigh around her, ere she fled,
Which hung, as on a melting lute,
When all the silver chords are mute,
There lingers still a trembling breath
After the note's luxurious death,
A shade of song, a spirit air
Of melodies which had been there.

I saw the veil, which, all the day,
Had floated o'er her cheek of rose;
I saw the couch, where late she lay
In languor of divine repose;
And I could trace the hallowed print
Her limbs had left, as pure and warm,
As if 'twere done in rapture's mint,
And Love himself had stamped the form.

Oh my sweet mistress, where wert thou?
In pity fly not thus from me;
Thou art my life, my essence now,
And my soul dies of wanting thee.

[1] In the "Histoire Naturelle des Antilles," there is an account of some
curious shells, found at Curacoa, on the back of which were lines, filled
with musical characters so distinct and perfect, that the writer assures
us a very charming trio was sung from one of them. The author adds, a poet
might imagine that these shells were used by the syrens at their concerts.

[2] According to Cicero, and his commentator, Macrobius, the lunar tone is
the gravest and faintest on the planetary heptachord.

[3] Leucippus, the atomist, imagined a kind of vortices in the heavens,
which he borrowed from Anaxagoras, and possibly suggested to Descartes.

[4] Heraclides, upon the allegories of Homer, conjectures that the idea of
the harmony of the spheres originated with this poet, who, in representing
the solar beams as arrows, supposes them to emit a peculiar sound in the

[5] In the account of Africa which D'Ablancourt has translated, there is
mention of a tree in that country, whose branches, when shaken by the hand
produce very sweet sounds.

[6] Alluding to the extinction, or at least the disappearance, of some of
those fixed stars, which we are taught to consider as suns, attended each
by its system. Descartes thought that our earth might formerly have been a
sun, which became obscured by a thick incrustation over its surface. This
probably suggested the idea of a central fire.

[7] This musical river is mentioned in the romance of Achilles Tatius.

[8] Orpheus.

[9] Eratosthenes, in mentioning the extreme veneration of Orpheus for
Apollo, says that he was accustomed to go to the Pangaean mountain at
daybreak, and there wait the rising of the sun, that he might be the first
to hail its beams.

[10] Alluding to the cave near Samos, where Pythagoras devoted the greater
part of his days and nights to meditation and the mysteries of his



Tell me the witching tale again,
For never has my heart or ear
Hung on so sweet, so pure a strain,
So pure to feel, so sweet to hear.

Say, Love, in all thy prime of fame,
When the high heaven itself was thine;
When piety confest the flame,
And even thy errors were divine;

Did ever Muse's hand, so fair,
A glory round thy temple spread?
Did ever lip's ambrosial air
Such fragrance o'er thy altars shed?

One maid there was, who round her lyre
The mystic myrtle wildly wreathed;--
But all _her_ sighs were sighs of fire,
The myrtle withered as she breathed.

Oh! you that love's celestial dream,
In all its purity, would know,
Let not the senses' ardent beam
Too strongly through the vision glow.

Love safest lies, concealed in night,
The night where heaven has bid him lie;
Oh! shed not there unhallowed light,
Or, Psyche knows, the boy will fly.

Sweet Psyche, many a charmed hour,
Through many a wild and magic waste,
To the fair fount and blissful bower
Have I, in dreams, thy light foot traced!

Where'er thy joys are numbered now,
Beneath whatever shades of rest,
The Genius of the starry brow
Hath bound thee to thy Cupid's breast;

Whether above the horizon dim,
Along whose verge our spirits stray,--
Half sunk beneath the shadowy rim,
Half brightened by the upper ray,[1]--

Thou dwellest in a world, all light,
Or, lingering here, doth love to be,
To other souls, the guardian bright
That Love was, through this gloom, to thee;

Still be the song to Psyche dear,
The song, whose gentle voice was given
To be, on earth, to mortal ear,
An echo of her own, in heaven.

[1] By this image the Platonists expressed the middle state of the soul
between sensible and intellectual existence.


_Cum digno digna_.....

"Who is the maid, with golden hair,
"With eye of fire, and foot of air,
"Whose harp around my altar swells,
"The sweetest of a thousand shells?"
'Twas thus the deity, who treads
The arch of heaven, and proudly sheds
Day from his eyelids--thus he spoke,
As through my cell his glories broke.

Aphelia is the Delphic fair[2]
With eyes of fire and golden hair,
Aphelia's are the airy feet.
And hers the harp divinely sweet;
For foot so light has never trod
The laurelled caverns of the god.
Nor harp so soft hath ever given
A sigh to earth or hymn to heaven.

"Then tell the virgin to unfold,
"In looser pomp, her locks of gold,
"And bid those eyes more fondly shine
"To welcome down a Spouse Divine;
"Since He, who lights the path of years--
"Even from the fount of morning's tears
"To where his setting splendors burn
"Upon the western sea-maid's urn--
"Doth not, in all his course, behold
"Such eyes of fire, such hair of gold.
"Tell her, he comes, in blissful pride,
"His lip yet sparkling with the tide
"That mantles in Olympian bowls,--
"The nectar of eternal souls!
"For her, for her he quits the skies,
"And to her kiss from nectar flies.
"Oh, he would quit his star-throned height,
"And leave the world to pine for light,
"Might he but pass the hours of shade,
"Beside his peerless Delphic maid,
"She, more than earthly woman blest,
"He, more than god on woman's breast!"

There is a cave beneath the steep,[3]
Where living rills of crystal weep
O'er herbage of the loveliest hue
That ever spring begemmed with dew:
There oft the greensward's glossy tint
Is brightened by the recent print
Of many a faun and naiad's feet,--
Scarce touching earth, their step so fleet,--
That there, by moonlight's ray, had trod,
In light dance, o'er the verdant sod.
"There, there," the god, impassioned, said,
"Soon as the twilight tinge is fled,
"And the dim orb of lunar souls
"Along its shadowy pathway rolls--
"There shall we meet,--and not even He,
"The God who reigns immortally,
"Where Babel's turrets paint their pride
"Upon the Euphrates' shining tide,[4]--
"Not even when to his midnight loves
"In mystic majesty he moves,
"Lighted by many an odorous fire,
"And hymned by all Chaldaea's choir,--
"E'er yet, o'er mortal brow, let shine
"Such effluence of Love Divine,
"As shall to-night, blest maid, o'er thine."

Happy the maid, whom heaven allows
To break for heaven her virgin vows!
Happy the maid!--her robe of shame
Is whitened by a heavenly flame,
Whose glory, with a lingering trace,
Shines through and deifies her race!

[1] This poem, as well as a few others in the following volume, formed
part of a work which I had early projected, and even announced to the
public, but which, luckily, perhaps, for myself, had been interrupted by
my visit to America in the year 1803.

[2] In the 9th Pythic of Pindar, where Apollo, in the same manner,
requires of Chiron some information respecting the fair Cyrene, the
Centaur, in obeying, very gravely apologizes for telling the God what his
omniscience must know so perfectly already.

[3] The Corycian Cave, which Pausanias mentions. The inhabitants of
Parnassus held it sacred to the Corycian nymphs, who were children of the
river Plistus.

[4] The temple of Jupiter Belus, at Babylon; in one of whose towers there
was a large chapel set apart for these celestial assignations. "No man is
allowed to sleep here," says Herodotus; "but the apartment is appropriated
to a female, whom, if we believe the Chaldaean priests, the deity selects
from the women of the country, as his favorite."


Pity me, love! I'll pity thee,
If thou indeed hast felt like me.
All, all my bosom's peace is o'er!
At night, which _was_ my hour of calm,
When from the page of classic lore,
From the pure fount of ancient lay
My soul has drawn the placid balm,
Which charmed its every grief away,
Ah! there I find that balm no more.
Those spells, which make us oft forget
The fleeting troubles of the day,
In deeper sorrows only whet
The stings they cannot tear away.
When to my pillow racked I fly,
With weary sense and wakeful eye.
While my brain maddens, where, oh, where
Is that serene consoling prayer,
Which once has harbingered my rest,
When the still soothing voice of Heaven
Hath seemed to whisper in my breast,
"Sleep on, thy errors are forgiven!"
No, though I still in semblance pray,
My thoughts are wandering far away,
And even the name of Deity
Is murmured out in sighs for thee.


How oft a cloud, with envious veil,
Obscures yon bashful light,
Which seems so modestly to steal
Along the waste of night!

'Tis thus the world's obtrusive wrongs
Obscure with malice keen
Some timid heart, which only longs
To live and die unseen.


Grow to my lip, thou sacred kiss,
On which my soul's beloved swore
That there should come a time of bliss,
When she would mock my hopes no more.
And fancy shall thy glow renew,
In sighs at morn, and dreams at night,
And none shall steal thy holy dew
Till thou'rt absolved by rapture's rite.
Sweet hours that are to make me blest,
Fly, swift as breezes, to the goal,
And let my love, my more than soul,
Come blushing to this ardent breast.
Then, while in every glance I drink
The rich overflowing of her mind,
Oh! let her all enamored sink
In sweet abandonment resigned,
Blushing for all our struggles past,
And murmuring, "I am thine at last!"


Think on that look whose melting ray
For one sweet moment mixt with mine,
And for that moment seemed to say,
"I dare not, or I would be thine!"

Think on thy every smile and glance,
On all thou hast to charm and move;
And then forgive my bosom's trance,
Nor tell me it is sin to love.

Oh, _not_ to love thee were the sin;
For sure, if Fate's decrees be done,
Thou, thou art destined still to win,
As I am destined to be won!


"Come, tell me," says Rosa, as kissing and kist,
One day she reclined on my breast;
"Come, tell me the number, repeat me the list
"Of the nymphs you have loved and carest."--
Oh Rosa! 'twas only my fancy that roved,
My heart at the moment was free;
But I'll tell thee, my girl, how many I've loved,
And the number shall finish with thee.

My tutor was Kitty; in infancy wild
She taught me the way to be blest;
She taught me to love her, I loved like a child,
But Kitty could fancy the rest.
This lesson of dear and enrapturing lore
I have never forgot, I allow:
I have had it _by rote_ very often before,
But never _by heart_ until now.

Pretty Martha was next, and my soul was all flame,
But my head was so full of romance
That I fancied her into some chivalry dame,
And I was her knight of the lance.
But Martha was not of this fanciful school,
And she laughed at her poor little knight;
While I thought her a goddess, she thought me a fool,
And I'll swear _she_ was most in the right.

My soul was now calm, till, by Cloris's looks,
Again I was tempted to rove;
But Cloris, I found, was so learned in books
That she gave me more logic than love.
So I left this young Sappho, and hastened to fly
To those sweeter logicians in bliss,
Who argue the point with a soul-telling eye,
And convince us at once with a kiss.

Oh! Susan was then all the world unto me,
But Susan was piously given;
And the worst of it was, we could never agree
On the road that was shortest to Heaven.
"Oh, Susan!" I've said, in the moments of mirth,
"What's devotion to thee or to me?
"I devoutly believe there's a heaven on earth,
"And believe that that heaven's in _thee_!"



_Miser Catulle, desinas ineptire_, etc.

Cease the sighing fool to play;
Cease to trifle life away;
Nor vainly think those joys thine own,
Which all, alas, have falsely flown.
What hours, Catullus, once were thine.
How fairly seemed thy day to shine,
When lightly thou didst fly to meet
The girl whose smile was then so sweet--
The girl thou lovedst with fonder pain
Than e'er thy heart can feel again.

Ye met--your souls seemed all in one,
Like tapers that commingling shone;
Thy heart was warm enough for both,
And hers, in truth, was nothing loath.

Such were the hours that once were thine;
But, ah! those hours no longer shine.
For now the nymph delights no more
In what she loved so much before;
And all Catullus now can do,
Is to be proud and frigid too;

Nor follow where the wanton flies,
Nor sue the bliss that she denies.
False maid! he bids farewell to thee,
To love, and all love's misery;
The heyday of his heart is o'er,
Nor will he court one favor more.

Fly, perjured girl!--but whither fly?
Who now will praise thy cheek and eye?
Who now will drink the syren tone,
Which tells him thou art all his own?
Oh, none:--and he who loved before
Can never, never love thee more.

* * * * *

_"Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more_!"
--ST. JOHN, chap. viii.

Oh woman, if through sinful wile
Thy soul hath strayed from honor's track,
'Tis mercy only can beguile,
By gentle ways, the wanderer back.

The stain that on thy virtue lies,
Washed by those tears, not long will stay;
As clouds that sully morning skies
May all be wept in showers away.

Go, go, be innocent,--and live;
The tongues of men may wound thee sore;
But Heaven in pity can forgive,
And bids thee "go, and sin no more!"


Good reader! if you e'er have seen,
When Phoebus hastens to his pillow,
The mermaids, with their tresses green,
Dancing upon the western billow:
If you have seen, at twilight dim,
When the lone spirit's vesper hymn
Floats wild along the winding shore,
If you have seen, through mist of eve,
The fairy train their ringlets weave,
Glancing along the spangled green:--
If you have seen all this, and more,
God bless me, what a deal you've seen!



"I never gave a kiss (says Prue),
"To naughty man, for I abhor it."
She will not _give_ a kiss, 'tis true;
She'll _take_ one though, and thank you for it.


To no _one_ Muse does she her glance confine,
But has an eye, at once, to _all the Nine_!

TO .... ....

_Maria pur quando vuol, non e bisogna mutar ni faccia ni voce per
esser un Angelo_.[1]

Die when you will, you need not wear
At Heaven's Court a form more fair
Than Beauty here on earth has given;
Keep but the lovely looks we see--
The voice we hear--and you will be
An angel ready-made for Heaven!

[1] The words addressed by Lord Herbert of Cherbury to the beautiful Nun
at Murano.--_See his Life_.


_A far conserva, e cumulo d'amanti.
"Past. Fid_."

And are you then a thing of art,
Seducing all, and loving none;
And have I strove to gain a heart
Which every coxcomb thinks his own?

Tell me at once if this be true,
And I will calm my jealous breast;
Will learn to join the dangling crew,
And share your simpers with the rest.

But if your heart be _not_ so free,--
Oh! if another share that heart,
Tell not the hateful tale to me,
But mingle mercy with your art.

I'd rather think you "false as hell,"
Than find you to be all divine,--
Than know that heart could love so well,
Yet know that heart would not be mine!


Phillis, you little rosy rake,
That heart of yours I long to rifle;
Come, give it me, and do not make
So much ado about a _trifle_!



Thy song has taught my heart to feel
Those soothing thoughts of heavenly love,
Which o'er the sainted spirits steal
When listening to the spheres above!

When, tired of life and misery,
I wish to sigh my latest breath,
Oh, Emma! I will fly to thee,
And thou shalt sing me into death.

And if along thy lip and cheek
That smile of heavenly softness play,
Which,--ah! forgive a mind that's weak,--
So oft has stolen my mind away.

Thou'lt seem an angel of the sky,
That comes to charm me into bliss:
I'll gaze and die--Who would not die,
If death were half so sweet as this?




Of all my happiest hours of joy,
And even I have had my measure,
When hearts were full, and every eye
Hath kindled with the light of pleasure,
An hour like this I ne'er was given,
So full of friendship's purest blisses;
Young Love himself looks down from heaven,
To smile on such a day as this is.
Then come, my friends, this hour improve,
Let's feel as if we ne'er could sever;
And may the birth of her we love
Be thus with joy remembered ever!

Oh! banish every thought to-night,
Which could disturb our soul's communion;
Abandoned thus to dear delight,
We'll even for once forget the Union!
On that let statesmen try their powers,
And tremble o'er the rights they'd die for;
The union of the soul be ours,
And every union else we sigh for.
Then come, my friends, etc.

In every eye around I mark
The feelings of the heart o'er-flowing;
From every soul I catch the spark
Of sympathy, in friendship glowing.
Oh! could such moments ever fly;
Oh! that we ne'er were doomed to lose 'em;
And all as bright as Charlotte's eye,
And all as pure as Charlotte's bosom.
Then come, my friends, etc.

For me, whate'er my span of years,
Whatever sun may light my roving;
Whether I waste my life in tears,
Or live, as now, for mirth and loving;
This day shall come with aspect kind,
Wherever fate may cast your rover;
He'll think of those he left behind,
And drink a health to bliss that's over!
Then come, my friends, etc.


Mary, I believed thee true,
And I was blest in thus believing
But now I mourn that e'er I knew
A girl so fair and so deceiving.
Fare thee well.

Few have ever loved like me,--
Yes, I have loved thee too sincerely!
And few have e'er deceived like thee.--
Alas! deceived me too severely.

Fare thee well!--yet think awhile
On one whose bosom bleeds to doubt thee:
Who now would rather trust that smile,
And die with thee than live without thee.

Fare thee well! I'll think of thee.
Thou leavest me many a bitter token;
For see, distracting woman, see,
My peace is gone, my heart is broken!--
Fare thee well!

[1] These words were written to the pathetic Scotch air "Galla Water."




Though long at school and college dozing.
O'er books of verse and books of prosing,
And copying from their moral pages
Fine recipes for making sages;
Though long with' those divines at school,
Who think to make us good by rule;
Who, in methodic forms advancing,
Teaching morality like dancing,
Tell us, for Heaven or money's sake.
What _steps_ we are through life to take:
Though thus, my friend, so long employed,
With so much midnight oil destroyed,
I must confess my searches past,
I've only learned _to doubt_ at last
I find the doctors and the sages
Have differed in all climes and ages,
And two in fifty scarce agree
On what is pure morality.
'Tis like the rainbow's shifting zone,
And every vision makes its own.

The doctors of the Porch advise,
As modes of being great and wise,
That we should cease to own or know
The luxuries that from feeling flow;
"Reason alone must claim direction,
"And Apathy's the soul's perfection.
"Like a dull lake the heart must lie;
"Nor passion's gale nor pleasure's sigh,
"Though Heaven the breeze, the breath, supplied,
"Must curl the wave or swell the tide!"

Such was the rigid Zeno's plan
To form his philosophic man;
Such were the modes _he_ taught mankind
To weed the garden of the mind;
They tore from thence some weeds, 'tis true,
But all the flowers were ravaged too!

Now listen to the wily strains,
Which, on Cyrene's sandy plains,
When Pleasure, nymph with loosened zone,
Usurped the philosophic throne,--
Hear what the courtly sage's[1] tongue
To his surrounding pupils sung:--
"Pleasure's the only noble end
"To which all human powers should tend,
"And Virtue gives her heavenly lore,
"But to make Pleasure please us more.
"Wisdom and she were both designed
"To make the senses more refined,
"That man might revel, free from cloying,
"Then most a sage when most enjoying!"

Is this morality?--Oh, no!
Even I a wiser path could show.
The flower within this vase confined,
The pure, the unfading flower of mind,
Must not throw all its sweets away
Upon a mortal mould of clay;
No, no,--its richest breath should rise
In virtue's incense to the skies.

But thus it is, all sects we see
Have watchwords of morality:
Some cry out Venus, others Jove;
Here 'tis Religion, there 'tis Love.
But while they thus so widely wander,
While mystics dream and doctors ponder:
And some, in dialectics firm,
Seek virtue in a middle term;
While thus they strive, in Heaven's defiance,
To chain morality with science;
The plain good man, whose action teach
More virtue than a sect can preach
Pursues his course, unsagely blest
His tutor whispering in his breast;
Nor could he act a purer part,
Though he had Tully all by heart.
And when he drops the tear on woe,
He little knows or cares to know
That Epictetus blamed that tear,
By Heaven approved, to virtue dear!

Oh! when I've seen the morning beam
Floating within the dimpled stream;
While Nature, wakening from the night,
Has just put on her robes of light,
Have I, with cold optician's gaze,
Explored the _doctrine_ of those rays?
No, pedants, I have left to you
Nicely to separate hue from hue.
Go, give that moment up to art,
When Heaven and nature claim the heart;
And, dull to all their best attraction,
Go--measure _angles of refraction_.
While I, in feeling's sweet romance,
Look on each daybeam as a glance
From the great eye of Him above,
Wakening his world with looks of love!

[1] Aristippus.


I've heard, there was in ancient days
A Lyre of most melodious spell;
'Twas heaven to hear its fairy lays,
If half be true that legends tell.

'Twas played on by the gentlest sighs,
And to their breath it breathed again
In such entrancing melodies
As ear had never drunk till then!

Not harmony's serenest touch
So stilly could the notes prolong;
They were not heavenly song so much
As they were dreams of heavenly song!

If sad the heart, whose murmuring air
Along the chords in languor stole,
The numbers it awakened there
Were eloquence from pity's soul.

Or if the sigh, serene and light,
Was but the breath of fancied woes,
The string, that felt its airy flight,
Soon whispered it to kind repose.

And when young lovers talked alone,
If, mid their bliss, that Lyre was near,
It made their accents all its own,
And sent forth notes that heaven might hear.

There was a nymph, who long had loved,
But dared not tell the world how well:
The shades, where she at evening roved,
Alone could know, alone could tell.

'Twas there, at twilight time, she stole,
When the first star announced the night,--
With him who claimed her inmost soul,
To wander by that soothing light.

It chanced that, in the fairy bower
Where blest they wooed each other's smile,
This Lyre, of strange and magic power,
Hung whispering o'er their head the while.

And as, with eyes commingling fire,
They listened to each other's vow,
The youth full oft would make the Lyre
A pillow for the maiden's brow!

And, while the melting words she breathed
Were by its echoes wafted round,
Her locks had with the chords so wreathed,
One knew not which gave forth the sound.

Alas, their hearts but little thought,
While thus they talked the hours away,
That every sound the Lyre was taught
Would linger long, and long betray.

So mingled with its tuneful soul
Were all the tender murmurs grown,
That other sighs unanswered stole,
Nor words it breathed but theirs alone.

Unhappy nymph! thy name was sung
To every breeze that wandered by;
The secrets of thy gentle tongue
Were breathed in song to earth and sky.

The fatal Lyre, by Envy's hand
Hung high amid the whispering groves,
To every gale by which 'twas fanned,
Proclaimed the mystery of your loves.

Nor long thus rudely was thy name
To earth's derisive echoes given;
Some pitying spirit downward came.
And took the Lyre and thee to heaven.

There, freed from earth's unholy wrongs,
Both happy in Love's home shall be;
Thou, uttering naught but seraph songs,
And that sweet Lyre still echoing thee!



Where is now the smile, that lightened
Every hero's couch of rest?
Where is now the hope, that brightened
Honor's eye and Pity's breast?
Have we lost the wreath we braided
For our weary warrior men?
Is the faithless olive faded?
Must the bay be plucked again?

Passing hour of sunny weather,
Lovely, in your light awhile,
Peace and Glory, wed together,
Wandered through our blessed isle.
And the eyes of Peace would glisten,
Dewy as a morning sun,
When the timid maid would listen
To the deeds her chief had done.

Is their hour of dalliance over?
Must the maiden's trembling feet
Waft her from her warlike lover
To the desert's still retreat?
Fare you well! with sighs we banish
Nymph so fair and guests so bright;
Yet the smile, with which you vanish,
Leaves behind a soothing light;--

Soothing light, that long shall sparkle
O'er your warrior's sanguined way,
Through the field where horrors darkle,
Shedding hope's consoling ray.
Long the smile his heart will cherish,
To its absent idol true;
While around him myriads perish,
Glory still will sigh for you!


Take back the sigh, thy lips of art
In passion's moment breathed to me;
Yet, no--it must not, will not part,
'Tis now the life-breath of my heart,
And has become too pure for thee.

Take back the kiss, that faithless sigh
With all the warmth of truth imprest;
Yet, no--the fatal kiss may lie,
Upon _thy_ lip its sweets would die,
Or bloom to make a rival blest.

Take back the vows that, night and day,
My heart received, I thought, from thine;
Yet, no--allow them still to stay,
They might some other heart betray,
As sweetly as they've ruined mine.


_Quand l'homme commence a raissonner,
il cesse de sentir_.--J. J. ROUSSEAU.

'Twas in the summer time so sweet,
When hearts and flowers are both in season,
That--who, of all the world, should meet,
One early dawn, but Love and Reason!

Love told his dream of yesternight,
While Reason talked about the weather;
The morn, in sooth, was fair and bright,
And on they took their way together.

The boy in many a gambol flew,
While Reason, like a Juno, stalked,
And from her portly figure threw
A lengthened shadow, as she walked.

No wonder Love, as on they past,
Should find that sunny morning chill,
For still the shadow Reason cast
Fell o'er the boy, and cooled 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 stalk 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 gayly 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 culled the many sweets they shaded,
And ate the fruits and smelled the flowers,
Till taste was gone and odor faded.

But now the sun, in pomp of noon,
Looked blazing o'er the sultry plains;
Alas! the boy grew languid soon,
And fever thrilled through all his veins.

The dew forsook his baby brow,
No more with healthy bloom he smiled--
Oh! 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 oped her garment's fold,
And flung it round his fevered head.

He felt her bosom's icy touch,
And soon it lulled his pulse to rest;
For, ah! the chill was quite too much,
And Love expired on Reason's breast!

* * * * *

Nay, do not weep, my Fanny dear;
While in these arms you lie.
This world hath not a wish, a fear,
That ought to cost that eye a tear.
That heart, one single sigh.

The world!--ah, Fanny, Love must shun
The paths where many rove;
One bosom to recline upon,
One heart to be his only--one,
Are quite enough for Love.

What can we wish, that is not here
Between your arms and mine?
Is there, on earth, a space so dear
As that within the happy sphere
Two loving arms entwine?

For me, there's not a lock of jet
Adown your temples curled,
Within whose glossy, tangling net,
My soul doth not, at once, forget
All, all this worthless world.

'Tis in those eyes, so full of love,
My only worlds I see;
Let but _their_ orbs in sunshine move,
And earth below and skies above
May frown or smile for me.


'Twas in the fair Aspasia's bower,
That Love and Learning, many an hour,
In dalliance met; and Learning smiled
With pleasure on the playful child,
Who often stole, to find a nest
Within the folds of Learning's vest.

There, as the listening statesman hung
In transport on Aspasia's tongue,
The destinies of Athens took
Their color from Aspasia's look.
Oh happy time, when laws of state
When all that ruled the country's fate,
Its glory, quiet, or alarms,
Was planned between two snow-white arms!

Blest times! they could not always last--
And yet, even now, they _are_ not past,
Though we have lost the giant mould.
In which their men were cast of old,
Woman, dear woman, still the same,
While beauty breathes through soul or frame,
While man possesses heart or eyes,
Woman's bright empire never dies!

No, Fanny, love, they ne'er shall say,
That beauty's charm hath past away;
Give but the universe a soul
Attuned to woman's soft control,
And Fanny hath the charm, the skill,
To wield a universe at will.



Was it the moon, or was it morning's ray,
That call'd thee, dearest, from these arms away?
Scarce hadst thou left me, when a dream of night
Came o'er my spirit so distinct and bright,
That, while I yet can vividly recall
Its witching wonders, thou shall hear them all.
Methought I saw, upon the lunar beam,
Two winged boys, such as thy muse might dream,
Descending from above, at that still hour,
And gliding, with smooth step, into my bower.
Fair as the beauteous spirits that, all day.
In Amatha's warm founts imprisoned stay,
But rise at midnight, from the enchanted rill,
To cool their plumes upon some moonlight hill.

At once I knew their mission:--'twas to bear
My spirit upward, through the paths of air,
To that elysian realm, from whence stray beams
So oft, in sleep, had visited my dreams.
Swift at their touch dissolved the ties, that clung
All earthly round me, and aloft I sprung;
While, heavenward guides, the little genii flew
Thro' paths of light, refreshed by heaven's own dew,
And fanned by airs still fragrant with the breath
Of cloudless climes and worlds that know not death.

Thou knowest, that, far beyond our nether sky,
And shown but dimly to man's erring eye,
A mighty ocean of blue ether rolls,[2]
Gemmed with bright islands, where the chosen souls,
Who've past in lore and love their earthly hours,
Repose for ever in unfading bowers.
That very moon, whose solitary light
So often guides thee to my bower at night,
Is no chill planet, but an isle of love,
Floating in splendor through those seas above,
And peopled with bright forms, aerial grown,
Nor knowing aught of earth but love alone.
Thither, I thought, we winged our airy way:--
Mild o'er its valleys streamed a silvery day,
While, all around, on lily beds of rest,
Reclined the spirits of the immortal Blest.
Oh! there I met those few congenial maids,
Whom love hath warmed, in philosophic shades;
There still Leontium,[3] on her sage's breast,
Found lore and love, was tutored and carest;
And there the clasp of Pythia's[4]gentle arms
Repaid the zeal which deified her charms.
The Attic Master,[5] in Aspasia's eyes,
Forgot the yoke of less endearing ties;
While fair Theano,[6] innocently fair,
Wreathed playfully her Samian's flowing hair,
Whose soul now fixt, its transmigrations past,
Found in those arms a resting-place, at last;
And smiling owned, whate'er his dreamy thought
In mystic numbers long had vainly sought,
The One that's formed of Two whom love hath bound,
Is the best number gods or men e'er found.

But think, my Theon, with what joy I thrilled,
When near a fount, which through the valley rilled,
My fancy's eye beheld a form recline,
Of lunar race, but so resembling thine
That, oh! 'twas but fidelity in me,
To fly, to clasp, and worship it for thee.
No aid of words the unbodied soul requires,
To waft a wish or embassy desires;
But by a power, to spirits only given,
A deep, mute impulse, only felt in heaven,
Swifter than meteor shaft through summer skies,
From soul to soul the glanced idea flies.

Oh, my beloved, how divinely sweet
Is the pure joy, when kindred spirits meet!
Like him, the river-god,[7]whose waters flow,
With love their only light, through caves below,
Wafting in triumph all the flowery braids,
And festal rings, with which Olympic maids
Have decked his current, as an offering meet
To lay at Arethusa's shining feet.

Think, when he meets at last his fountain-bride,
What perfect love must thrill the blended tide!
Each lost in each, till, mingling into one,
Their lot the same for shadow or for sun,
A type of true love, to the deep they run.
'Twas thus--
But, Theon, 'tis an endless theme,
And thou growest weary of my half-told dream.

Oh would, my love, we were together now.
And I would woo sweet patience to thy brow,
And make thee smile at all the magic tales
Of starlight bowers and planetary vales,
Which my fond soul, inspired by thee and love,
In slumber's loom hath fancifully wove.
But no; no more--soon as tomorrow's ray
O'er soft Ilissus shall have died away,
I'll come, and, while love's planet in the west
Shines o'er our meeting, tell thee all the rest.

[1] It was imagined by some of the ancients that there is an
ethereal ocean above us, and that the sun and moon are two floating,
luminous islands, in which the spirits of the blest reside.

[2] This belief of an ocean in the heavens, or "waters above the
firmament," was one of the many physical errors In which the early fathers
bewildered themselves.

[3] The pupil and mistress of Epicurus, who called her his "dear
little Leontium" as appears by a fragment of one of his letters in
Laertius. This Leontium was a woman of talent; "she had the impudence
(says Cicero) to write against Theophrastus;" and Cicero, at the same
time, gives her a name which is neither polite nor translatable.

[4] Pythia was a woman whom Aristotle loved, and to whom after
her death he paid divine honors, solemnizing her memory by the same
sacrifices which the Athenians offered to the Goddess Ceres.

[5] Socrates, who used to console himself in the society of
Aspasia for those "less endearing ties" which he found at home with

[6] There are some sensible letters extant under the name of
this fair Pythagorean. They are addressed to her female friends upon the
education of children, the treatment of servants, etc.

[7] The river Alpheus, which flowed by Pisa or Olympia, and into
which it was customary to throw offerings of different kinds, during the
celebration of the Olympic games. In the pretty romance of Clitophon and
Leucippe, the river is supposed to carry these offerings as bridal gifts
to the fountain Arethusa.



I could resign that eye of blue.
How e'er its splendor used to thrill me;
And even that cheek of roseate hue,--
To lose it, Cloe, scarce would kill me.

That snowy neck I ne'er should miss,
However much I've raved about it;
And sweetly as that lip can kiss,
I _think_ I could exist without it.

In short, so well I've learned to fast,
That, sooth my love, I know not whether
I might not bring myself at last,
To--do without you altogether.


I bring thee, love, a golden chain,
I bring thee too a flowery wreath;
The gold shall never wear a stain,
The flowerets long shall sweetly breathe.
Come, tell me which the tie shall be,
To bind thy gentle heart to me.

The Chain is formed of golden threads,
Bright as Minerva's yellow hair,
When the last beam of evening sheds
Its calm and sober lustre there.
The Wreath's of brightest myrtle wove,
With sunlit drops of bliss among it,
And many a rose-leaf, culled by Love,
To heal his lip when bees have stung it.
Come, tell me which the tie shall be,
To bind thy gentle heart to me.

Yes, yes, I read that ready eye,
Which answers when the tongue is loath,
Thou likest the form of either tie,
And spreadest thy playful hands for both.
Ah!--if there were not something wrong,
The world would see them blended oft;
The Chain would make the Wreath so strong!
The Wreath would make the Chain so soft!
Then might the gold, the flowerets be
Sweet fetters for my love and me.

But, Fanny, so unblest they twine,
That (heaven alone can tell the reason)
When mingled thus they cease to shine,
Or shine but for a transient season.
Whether the Chain may press too much,
Or that the Wreath is slightly braided,
Let but the gold the flowerets touch,
And all their bloom, their glow is faded!
Oh! better to be always free.
Than thus to bind my love to me.

* * * * *

The timid girl now hung her head,
And, as she turned an upward glance,
I saw a doubt its twilight spread
Across her brow's divine expanse
Just then, the garland's brightest rose
Gave one of its love-breathing sighs--
Oh! who can ask how Fanny chose,
That ever looked in Fanny's eyes!
"The Wreath, my life, the Wreath shall be
"The tie to bind my soul to thee."

TO .... ....

And hast thou marked the pensive shade,
That many a time obscures my brow,
Midst all the joys, beloved maid.
Which thou canst give, and only thou?

Oh! 'tis not that I then forget
The bright looks that before me shine;
For never throbbed a bosom yet
Could feel their witchery, like mine.

When bashful on my bosom hid,
And blushing to have felt so blest,
Thou dost but lift thy languid lid
Again to close it on my breast;--

Yes,--these are minutes all thine own,
Thine own to give, and mine to feel;
Yet even in them, my heart has known
The sigh to rise, the tear to steal.

For I have thought of former hours,
When he who first thy soul possest,
Like me awaked its witching powers,
Like me was loved, like me was blest.

Upon _his_ name thy murmuring tongue
Perhaps hath all as sweetly dwelt;
Upon his words thine ear hath hung,
With transport all as purely felt.

For him--yet why the past recall,
To damp and wither present bliss?
Thou'rt now my own, heart, spirit, all,
And heaven could grant no more than this!

Forgive me, dearest, oh! forgive;
I would be first, be sole to thee,
Thou shouldst have but begun to live,
The hour that gave thy heart to me.

Thy book of life till then effaced,
Love should have kept that leaf alone
On which he first so brightly traced
That thou wert, soul and all, my own.

TO .......'S PICTURE.

Go then, if she, whose shade thou art,
No more will let thee soothe my pain;
Yet, tell her, it has cost this heart
Some pangs, to give thee back again.

Tell her, the smile was not so dear,
With which she made the semblance mine,
As bitter is the burning tear,
With which I now the gift resign.

Yet go--and could she still restore,
As some exchange for taking thee.
The tranquil look which first I wore,
When her eyes found me calm and free;

Could she give back the careless flow,
The spirit that my heart then knew--
Yet, no, 'tis vain--go, picture, go--
Smile at me once, and then--adieu!


Blest infant of eternity!
Before the day-star learned to move,
In pomp of fire, along his grand career,
Glancing the beamy shafts of light

From his rich quiver to the farthest sphere,
Thou wert alone, oh Love!
Nestling beneath the wings of ancient Night,
Whose horrors seemed to smile in shadowing thee.
No form of beauty soothed thine eye,
As through the dim expanse it wandered wide;
No kindred spirit caught thy sigh,
As o'er the watery waste it lingering died.

Unfelt the pulse, unknown the power,
That latent in his heart was sleeping,--
Oh Sympathy! that lonely hour
Saw Love himself thy absence weeping.

But look, what glory through the darkness beams!
Celestial airs along the water glide:--
What Spirit art thou, moving o'er the tide
So beautiful? oh, not of earth,
But, in that glowing hour, the birth
Of the young Godhead's own creative dreams.
'Tis she!
Psyche, the firstborn spirit of the air.
To thee, oh Love, she turns,

On thee her eyebeam burns:
Blest hour, before all worlds ordained to be!
They meet--
The blooming god--the spirit fair
Meet in communion sweet.
Now, Sympathy, the hour is thine;
All Nature feels the thrill divine,
The veil of Chaos is withdrawn,
And their first kiss is great Creation's dawn!

[1] Love and Psyche are here considered as the active and passive
principles of creation, and the universe is supposed to have received its
first harmonizing impulse from the nuptial sympathy between these two
powers. A marriage is generally the first step in cosmogony. Timaeus held
Form to be the father, and Matter the mother of the World.


_Donington Park, 1802_

To catch the thought, by painting's spell,
Howe'er remote, howe'er refined,
And o'er the kindling canvas tell
The silent story of the mind;

O'er nature's form to glance the eye,
And fix, by mimic light and shade,
Her morning tinges ere they fly,
Her evening blushes, ere they fade;

Yes, these are Painting's proudest powers,
The gift, by which her art divine
Above all others proudly towers,--
And these, oh Prince! are richly thine.

And yet, when Friendship sees thee trace,
In almost living truth exprest,
This bright memorial of a face
On which her eye delights to rest;

While o'er the lovely look serene,
The smile of peace, the bloom of youth,
The cheek, that blushes to be seen.
The eye that tells the bosom's truth;

While o'er each line, so brightly true,
Our eyes with lingering pleasure rove,
Blessing the touch whose various hue
Thus brings to mind the form we love;

We feel the magic of thy art,
And own it with a zest, a zeal,
A pleasure, nearer to the heart
Than critic taste can _ever_ feel.



'Twas on a day
When the immortals at their banquet lay;
The bowl
Sparkled with starry dew,
The weeping of those myriad urns of light,
Within whose orbs, the Almighty Power,
At nature's dawning hour,
Stored the rich fluid of ethereal soul.
Soft odorous clouds, that upward wing their flight
From eastern isles
(Where they have bathed them in the orient ray,
And with rich fragrance all their bosoms filled).
In circles flew, and, melting as they flew,
A liquid daybreak o'er the board distilled.

All, all was luxury!
All _must_ be luxury, where Lyaeus smiles.
His locks divine
Were crowned
With a bright meteor-braid,
Which, like an ever-springing wreath of vine,
Shot into brilliant leafy shapes,
And o'er his brow in lambent tendrils played:
While mid the foliage hung,
Like lucid grapes,
A thousand clustering buds of light,
Culled from the garden of the galaxy.

Upon his bosom Cytherea's head
Lay lovely, as when first the Syrens sung
Her beauty's dawn,
And all the curtains of the deep, undrawn,
Revealed her sleeping in its azure bed.
The captive deity
Hung lingering on her eyes and lip,
With looks of ecstasy.
Now, on his arm,
In blushes she reposed,
And, while he gazed on each bright charm,
To shade his burning eyes her hand in dalliance stole.

And now she raised her rosy mouth to sip
The nectared wave
Lyaeus gave,
And from her eyelids, half-way closed,
Sent forth a melting gleam,
Which fell like sun-dew in the bowl:
While her bright hair, in mazy flow
Of gold descending
Adown her cheek's luxurious glow,
Hung o'er the goblet's side,
And was reflected in its crystal tide,
Like a bright crocus flower,
Whose sunny leaves, at evening hour
With roses of Cyrene blending,[1]
Hang o'er the mirror of some silvery stream.

The Olympian cup
Shone in the hands
Of dimpled Hebe, as she winged her feet
The empyreal mount,
To drain the soul-drops at their stellar fount;[2]
And still
As the resplendent rill
Gushed forth into the cup with mantling heat,
Her watchful care
Was still to cool its liquid fire
With snow-white sprinklings of that feathery air
The children of the Pole respire,
In those enchanted lands.[3]
Where life is all a spring, and
north winds never blow.

But oh!
Bright Hebe, what a tear,
And what a blush were thine,
When, as the breath of every Grace
Wafted thy feet along the studded sphere,
With a bright cup for Jove himself to drink,
Some star, that shone beneath thy tread,
Raising its amorous head
To kiss those matchless feet,
Checked thy career too fleet,
And all heaven's host of eyes
Entranced, but fearful all,
Saw thee, sweet Hebe, prostrate fall
Upon the bright floor of the azure skies;
Where, mid its stars, thy beauty lay,
As blossom, shaken from the spray
Of a spring thorn,
Lies mid the liquid sparkles of the morn.
Or, as in temples of the Paphian shade,
The worshippers of Beauty's queen behold
An image of their rosy idol, laid
Upon a diamond shrine.

The wanton wind,
Which had pursued the flying fair,
And sported mid the tresses unconfined
Of her bright hair,
Now, as she fell,--oh wanton breeze!
Ruffled the robe, whose graceful flow
Hung o'er those limbs of unsunned snow,
Purely as the Eleusinian veil
Hangs o'er the Mysteries!

The brow of Juno flushed--
Love blest the breeze!
The Muses blushed;
And every cheek was hid behind a lyre,
While every eye looked laughing through the strings.
But the bright cup? the nectared draught
Which Jove himself was to have quaffed?
Alas, alas, upturned it lay
By the fallen Hebe's side;
While, in slow lingering drops, the ethereal tide,
As conscious of its own rich essence, ebbed away.

Who was the Spirit that remembered Man,
In that blest hour,
And, with a wing of love,
Brushed off the goblet's scattered tears,
As, trembling near the edge of heaven they ran,
And sent them floating to our orb below?
Essence of immortality!
The shower
Fell glowing through the spheres;
While all around new tints of bliss,
New odors and new light,
Enriched its radiant flow.
Now, with a liquid kiss,
It stole along the thrilling wire
Of Heaven's luminous Lyre,
Stealing the soul of music in its flight:
And now, amid the breezes bland,
That whisper from the planets as they roll,
The bright libation, softly fanned
By all their sighs, meandering stole.
They who, from Atlas' height,
Beheld this rosy flame
Descending through the waste of night,
Thought 'twas some planet, whose empyreal frame
Had kindled, as it rapidly revolved
Around its fervid axle, and dissolved
Into a flood so bright!

The youthful Day,
Within his twilight bower,
Lay sweetly sleeping
On the flushed bosom of a lotos-flower;[4]
When round him, in profusion weeping,
Dropt the celestial shower,
The rosy clouds, that curled
About his infant head,
Like myrrh upon the locks of Cupid shed.
But, when the waking boy
Waved his exhaling tresses through the sky,
O morn of joy!
The tide divine,
All glorious with the vermil dye
It drank beneath his orient eye,
Distilled, in dews, upon the world,
And every drop was wine, was heavenly WINE!
Blest be the sod, and blest the flower
On which descended first that shower,
All fresh from Jove's nectareous springs;--
Oh far less sweet the flower, the sod,
O'er which the Spirit of the Rainbow flings
The magic mantle of her solar God![5]

[1] We learn from Theopbrastus, that the roses of Cyrene were particularly

[2] Heraclitus (Physicus) held the soul to be a spark of the stellar

[3] The country of the Hyperboreans. These people were supposed to be
placed so far north that the north wind could not affect them; they lived
longer than any other mortals; passed their whole time in music and
dancing, etc.

[4] The Egyptians represented the dawn of day by a young boy seated upon a
lotos. Observing that the lotos showed its head above water at sunrise,
and sank again at his setting, they conceived the idea of consecrating
this flower to Osiris, or the sun.

[5] The ancients esteemed those flowers and trees the sweetest upon which
the rainbow had appeared to rest; and the wood they chiefly burned in
sacrifices, was that which the smile of Iris had consecrated.


"Go!" said the angry, weeping maid,
"The charm is broken!--once betrayed,
"Never can this wronged heart rely
"On word or look, on oath or sigh.
"Take back the gifts, so fondly given,
"With promised faith and vows to heaven;
"That little ring which, night and morn,
"With wedded truth my hand hath worn;
"That seal which oft, in moments blest,
"Thou hast upon my lip imprest,
"And sworn its sacred spring should be
"A fountain sealed[1] for only thee:
"Take, take them back, the gift and vow,
"All sullied, lost and hateful now!"

I took the ring--the seal I took,
While, oh, her every tear and look
Were such as angels look and shed,
When man is by the world misled.
Gently I whispered, "Fanny, dear!
"Not half thy lover's gifts are here:
"Say, where are all the kisses given,
"From morn to noon, from noon to even,--
"Those signets of true love, worth more
"Than Solomon's own seal of yore,--
"Where are those gifts, so sweet, so many?
"Come, dearest,--give back all, if any."
While thus I whispered, trembling too,
Lest all the nymph had sworn was true,
I saw a smile relenting rise
Mid the moist azure of her eyes,
Like daylight o'er a sea of blue,
While yet in mid-air hangs the dew
She let her cheek repose on mine,
She let my arms around her twine;
One kiss was half allowed, and then--
The ring and seal were hers again.

[1] "There are gardens, supposed to be those of King Solomon, in the
neighborhood of Bethlehem. The friars show a fountain, which, they say, is
the sealed fountain, to which the holy spouse in the Canticles is
compared; and they pretend a tradition, that Solomon shut up these springs
and put his signet upon the door, to keep them for his own
drinking."--_Maundrell's Travels_.



I more than once have heard at night
A song like those thy lip hath given,
And it was sung by shapes of light,
Who looked and breathed, like thee, of heaven.

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