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away, nor dare intrude!
In this secret, shadowy cell
Musing MEMORY loves to dwell,
With her sister Solitude.
Far from the busy world she flies,
To taste that peace the world denies.
Entranced she sits; from youth to age,
Reviewing Life's eventful page;
And noting, ere they fade away,
The little lines of yesterday.
Florio had gained a rude and rocky seat,
When lo, the Genius of this small retreat!
Fair was her form—but who can hope to trace
The pensive softness of her angel-face ?
Can Virgil's verse, can RAPHAEL's touch impart
Those finer features of the feeling heart,
Those tend'rer tints that shun the careless eye
And in the world's contagious climate die?
She left the cave, nor marked the stranger there;
Her pastoral beauty and her artless air
Had breathed a soft enchantment o'er his soul!
In every nerve he felt her blest control!
What pure and white-winged agents of the sky,
Who rule the springs of sacred sympathy,
Inform congenial spirits when they meet ?
Sweet is their office, as their natures sweet!
Florio, with fearful joy, pursued the maid,
Till thro’ a vista's moonlight-chequered shade,
Where the bat circled, and the rooks reposed,
(Their wars suspended, and their councils closed)
An antique mansion burst in solemn state,
A rich vine clustering round the Gothic gate.
Nor paused he there. The master of the scene
Saw his light step imprint the dewy green;
And, slow-advancing, hailed him as his guest,
Won by the honest warmth his looks expressed.
He wore the rustic manners of a Squire ;
Age had not quenched one spark of manly fire;
But giant Gout had bound him in her chain,
And his heart panted for the chase in vain.
Yet here Remembrance, sweetly-soothing Power! Winged with delight Confinement's lingering hour. The fox's brush still emulous to wear, He scoured the county in his elbow-chair ; And, with view-halloo, roused the dreaming hound That rung, by starts, his deep-toned music round.
Long by the paddock’s humble pale confined, His aged hunters coursed the viewless wind :
And each, with glowing energy portrayed,
The far-famed triumphs of the field displayed ;
Usurped the canvass of the crowded hall,
And chased a line of heroes from the wall.
There slept the horn each jocund echo knew,
And many a smile and many a story drew!
High o'er the hearth his forest-trophies hung,
And their fantastic branches wildly flung.
How would he dwell on the vast antlers there!
These dashed the wave, those fanned the mountain-air.
All, as they frowned, unwritten records bore
Of gallant feats and festivals of yore.
But why the tale prolong ?—His only child,
His darling Julia on the stranger smiled.
Her little arts a fretful sire to please,
Her gentle gaiety and native ease
Had won his soul; and rapturous Fancy shed
Her golden lights, and tints of
red. But ah! few days had passed, ere the bright vision fled !
When evening tinged the lake's ethereal blue,
And her deep shades irregularly threw;
Their shifting sail dropt gently from the cove,
Down by St. Herbert's consecrated grove ;
Whence erst the chanted hymn, the tapered rite
Amused the fisher's solitary night ;
And still the mitred window, richly wreathed,
A sacred calm through the brown foliage breathed.
The wild deer, starting thro' the silent glade,
their various course surveyed.
High hung in air the hoary goat reclined,
His streaming beard the sport of every wind;
And, while the coot her jet-wing loved to lave,
Rocked on the bosom of the sleepless wave;
The eagle rushed from Skiddaw's purple crest,
A cloud still brooding o'er her giant-nest.
And now the moon had dimmed with dewy ray
The few fine fushes of departing day.
O'er the wide water's deep serene she hung,
And her broad lights on every mountain flung;
When lo! a sudden blast the vessel blew,
And to the surge consigned the little crew.
All, all escaped—but ere the lover bore
His faint and faded JULIA to the shore,
Her sense had fled !-Exhausted by the storm,
A fatal trance hung o'er her pallid form;
Her closing eye a trembling lustre fired;
'Twas life's last spark-it fluttered and expired!
The father strewed his white hairs in the wind, Called on his child—nor lingered long behind : And Florio lived to see the willow wave, With many an evening-whisper, o'er their grave. Yes, Florio lived—and, still of each possessed, The father cherished, and the maid caressed !
For ever would the fond enthusiast rove, With Julia's spirit, thro' the shadowy grove ; Gaze with delight on every scene she planned, Kiss every floweret planted by her hand. Ah! still he traced her steps along the glade, When hazy hues and glimmering lights betrayed Half-viewless forms; still listened as the breeze Heaved its deep sobs among the aged trees; And at each pause her melting accents caught, In sweet delirium of romantic thought ! Dear was the grot that shunned the blaze of day;
its spars to shoot a trembling ray. The spring, that bubbled from its inmost cell, Murmured of Julia's virtues as it fell ; And o'er the dripping moss, the fretted stone, In Florio's ear breathed language not its own. Her charm around the enchantress MEMORY threw, A charm that soothes the mind, and sweetens too!