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List, my dear fellow, the breeze blows fair;
How it scatters Dominic's long black hair !
Singing of us, and our lazy motions,
If I can guess a boat's emotions.”-
The chain is loosed, the sails are spread,
The living breath is fresh behind,
As, with dews and sunrise fed,
Comes the laughing morning wind ;-
The sails are full, the boat makes head
Against the Serchio's torrent fierce,
Then flags with intermitting course,
And hangs upon the wave,
Which fervid from its mountain source
Shallow, smooth, and strong, doth come, -
Swift as fire, tempestuously
It sweeps into the affrighted sea;
In morning's smile its eddies coil,
Its billows sparkle, toss, and boil,
Torturing all its quiet light
Into columns fierce and bright.
The Serchio, twisting forth
Between the marble barriers which it clove
At Ripafratta, leads through the dread chasm
The wave that died the death which lovers love,
Living in what it sought; as if this spasm
Had not yet past, the toppling mountains cling,
But the clear stream in full enthusiasm
Pours itself on the plain, until wandering,
Down one clear path of effluence crystalline
Sends its clear waves, that they may fling
At Arno's feet tribute of corn and wine :
Then, through the pestilential deserts wild
Of tangled marsh and woods of stunted fir,
It rushes to the Ocean.
SWIFTER far than summer's flight,
Swifter far than youth's delight,
Swifter far than happy night,
Art thou come and gone :
As the earth when leaves are dead,
As the night when sleep is sped,
As the heart wben joy is fled,
I am left lone, alone.
The swallow Summer comes again,
The owlet Night resumes her reign,
But the wild swan Youth is fain
To fly with thee, false as thou.
My heart each day desires the morrow,
Sleep itself is turned to sorrow,
Vainly would my winter borrow
Sunny leaves from any bough.
Lilies for a bridal bed,
Roses for a matron's head,
Violets for a maiden dead,
Pansies let my flowers be:
On the living grave I bear,
Scatter them without a tear,
Let no friend, however dear,
Waste one hope, one fear for me.
The serpent is shut out from paradise.
The wounded deer must seek the herd no more
In which its heart-cure lies :
The widowed dove must cease to haunt a bower,
Like that from which its mate with feigned sighs
Fled in the April hour.
I too, must seldom seek again
Near happy friends a mitigated pain.
Of hatred I am proud,—with scorn content;
Indifference, that once hurt me, now is grown
But, not to speak of love, pity alone
Can break a spirit already more than bent.
The miserable one
Turns the mind's poison into food, -
Its medicine is tears,-its evil good.
Therefore if now I see you seldomer,
Dear friends, dear friend ! know that I only fly
Your looks because they stir
Griefs that should sleep, and hopes that cannot die :
The very comfort that they minister
I scarce can bear; yet I,
So deeply is the arrow gone,
Should quickly perish if it were withdrawn.
When I return to my cold home, you ask
Why I am not as I have ever been ?
You spoil me for the task
Of acting a forced part on life's dull scene,-
Of wearing on my brow the idle mask
Of author, great or mean,
In the world's Carnival. I sought
Peace thus, and but in you I found it not.
Full half an hour, to-day, I tried my lot
With various flowers, and every one still said,
“She loves me, -loves me not*." And if this meant a vision long since fledIf it meant fortune, fame, or peace of thought
If it meant-but I dread
To speak what you may know too well:
Still there was truth in the sad oracle.
The crane o'er seas and forests seeks her home;
No bird so wild, but has its quiet nest,
When it no more would roam;
The sleepless billows on the ocean's breast
Break like a bursting heart, and die in foam,
And thus, at length, find rest :
Doubtless there is a place of peace
weak heart and all its throbs will cease.
I asked her, yesterday, if she believed
That I had resolution. One who had
Would ne'er have thus relieved
His heart with words,—but what his judgment bade
Would do, and leave the scorner unrelieved.
These verses are too sad
To send to you, but that I know,
Happy yourself, you feel another's woe.
Do you not hear the Aziola cry? Methinks she must be nigh,”
Said Mary, as we sate
In dusk, ere the stars were lit, or candles brought ;
And I, who thought
This Aziola was some tedious woman,
Asked, “Who is Aziola ? ” How elate
I felt to know that it was nothing human,
No mockery of myself to fear and hate !
And Mary saw my soul,
And laughed and said, “ Disquiet yourself not,
'Tis nothing but a little downy owl.”
Sad Aziola ! many an eventide
Thy music I had heard
By wood and stream, meadow and mountain side,
And fields and marshes wide,
Such as nor voice, nor lute, nor wind, nor bird,
The soul ever stirred ;
Unlike and far sweeter than they all :
Sad Aziola ! from that moment I
Loved thee and thy sad cry.