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'T IS Over; and her lovely cheek is now
'Tis over; and the rite, With all its pomp and harmony, is now Floating before her. She arose at home, To be the show, the idol of the day; Her vesture gorgeous, and her starry head No rocket, bursting in the midnight-sky, So dazzling. When to-morrow she awakes, She will awake as though she still was there, Still in her father's house; and, lo! a cell Narrow and dark, naught through the gloom discerned, Naught save the crucifix, the rosary, And the gray habit lying by to shroud Her beauty and grace.
When on her knees she fell, Entering the solemn place of consecration, And from the latticed gallery came a chant Of psalms, most saint-like, most angelical, Verse after verse sung out how holily, The strain returning, and still, still returning, Methought it acted like a spell upon her, And she was casting off her earthly dross;
Yet was it sad as sweet, and, ere it closed,
Were, one by one, removed, even to the last,
That she might say, flinging them from her, "Thus,
That faint but fatherly smile, that smile of love
Like a dream the whole is fled;
A languor and a lethargy of soul,
But thou canst not yet reflect
Hover, uncalled. Thy young and innocent heart,
THERE is an insect, that, when evening comes,
Unsheathes his wings and through the woods and glades
Thousands as bright as he, from dusk till dawn,
In the mother's lap Well may the child put forth his little hands, Singing the nursery-song he learnt so soon;" And the young nymph, preparing for the dance 209 By brook or fountain-side, in many a braid Wreathing her golden hair, well may she cry, "Come hither; and the shepherds, gathering round, Shall say, Floretta emulates the Night, Spangling her head with stars."
Oft have I met
Him, who rejoiced me in those walks at eve,2
It was in a splenetic humor that I sat me down to my scanty fare at TERRACINA; and how long I should have contemplated the lean thrushes in array before me I cannot say, if a cloud of smoke, that drew the tears into my eyes, had not burst from the green and leafy boughs on the hearth-stone. 'Why," I exclaimed, starting up from the table, "why did I leave my own chimney-corner?-But am I not on the road to BRUNDUSIUM? And are not these the very calamities that befell HORACE and VIRGIL, and MECENAS, and PLOTIUS, and VARIUS? HORACE laughed at them. Then why should not I? HORACE resolved to turn them to account; and VIRGIL cannot we hear him observing that to remember them will, by and by, be a pleasure?" My soliloquy reconciled me at once to my fate; and when for the twentieth time I had looked through the window on a sea sparkling with innumerable brilliants, a sea on which the heroes of the Odyssey and the Æneid had sailed, I sat down as to a splendid banquet. My thrushes had the flavor of ortolans; and I ate with an appetite I had not known before. "Who," I cried, as I poured out my last glass of Falernian (for Falernian it was said to be, and in my eyes it ran bright and clear as a topaz-stone), "who would remain at home, could he do otherwise? Who would submit to tread that dull but daily round, his hours forgotten as soon as spent?" and, opening my journal-book and dipping my pen in my ink-horn, I determined, as far as I could, to justify myself and my countrymen in wandering over the face of the earth. "It may serve me," said I, as a remedy in some future fit of the spleen."