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What they revealed, and on the western shore Sleeps in a silent grove, o'erlooking thee, Beloved PARTHENOPE.
Yet here, methinks, Truth wants no ornament, in her own shape Filling the mind by turns with awe and love, By turns inclining to wild ecstasy, And soberest meditation. Here the vines Wed, each her elm, and o'er the golden grain Hang their luxuriant clusters, chequering The sunshine: where, when cooler shadows fall, And the mild moon her fairy net-work weaves, The lute, or mandoline, accompanied By many a voice yet sweeter than their own, Kindles, nor slowly; and the dance * displays The gentle arts and witcheries of love, Its hopes and fears and feignings, till the youth Drops on his knee as vanquished, and the maid, Her tambourine uplifting with a grace, Nature's and Nature's only, bids him rise.
But here the mighty Monarch underneath, He in his palace of fire, diffuses round A dazzling splendour. Here, unseen, unheard, Opening another Eden in the wild, His gifts he scatters; save, when issuing forth In thunder, he blots out the sun, the sky, And, mingling all things earthly as in scorn, Exalts the valley, lays the mountain low, Pours many a torrent from his burning lake,
* The Tarantella.
And in an hour of universal mirth,
Let us go round;
What the mountainous Isle,* Seen in the South. 'Tis where a Monster dwelt, † Hurling his victims from the topmost cliff; Then, and then only merciful, so slow, So subtle were the tortures they endured. Fearing and feared he lived, cursing and cursed; And still the dungeons in the rock breathe out
Darkness, distemper. Strange, that one so vile
Let us turn the prow,
Once did I linger there alone, till day Closed, and at length the calm of twilight came, So grateful, yet so solemn! At the fount, Just where the three ways meet, I stood and looked, ('Twas near a noble house, the house of Pansa) – And all was still as in the long, long night That followed when the shower of ashes fell, When they that sought POMPEII, sought in vain; It was not to be found. But now a ray, Bright and yet brighter, on the pavement glanced, And on the wheel-track worn for centuries, And on the stepping-stones from side to side,
* The elder Pliny. See the letter in which his Nephew relates to Tacitus the circumstances of his death. † Pompeii.
O'er which the maidens, with their water-urns,
Mark, where within, as though the embers lived, The ample chimney-vault is dun with smoke. There dwelt a miller; silent and at rest His mill-stones now. In old companionship Still do they stand as on the day he went, Each ready for its office -- but he comes not. And here, hard by (where one in idleness Has stopt to scrawl a ship, an armed man; And in a tablet on the wall we read Of shows ere long to be) a sculptor wrought, Nor meanly; blocks, half-chiselled into life, Waiting his call. Here long, as yet attests The trodden floor, an olive-merchant drew From many an earthen jar, no more supplied ; And here from his a vintner served his guests Largely, the stain of his o’erflowing cups Fresh on the marble. On the bench, beneath, They sate and quaffed and looked on them that passed, Gravely discussing the last news from ROME.
But lo, engraven on a threshold-stone, That word of courtesy, so sacred once, HAIL! At a master's greeting we may enter. And lo, a fairy-palace ! every where As through the courts and chambers we advance, Floors of mosaic, walls of arabesque,
And columns clustering in Patrician splendour.
- along the corridor,it comes
THE BAG OF GOLD.
I DINE very often with the good old Cardinal * * and, I should add, with his cats; for they always sit at his table, and are much the gravest of the company. His beaming countenance makes us forget his age; nor did I ever see it clouded till yesterday, when, as we were contemplating the sunset from his terrace, he happened, in the course of our conversation, to allude to an affecting circumstance in his early life.
He had just left the University of PALERMO and was entering the army, when he became acquainted with a young lady of great beauty and merit, a Sicilian of a family as illustrious as his own. Living near each other, they were often together; and, at an age like theirs, friendship soon turns to love. But his father, for what reason I forget, refused his consent to the union; till, alarmed at the declining health of his son, he promised to oppose it no longer, if, after a separation of three years, they continued to love as much as ever.