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Oh in thy truth secure, thy virtue bold, Beware the poison in the cup of gold, The asp among the flowers. Thy heart beats high, As bright and brighter breaks the distant sky! But every step is on enchanted ground: Danger thou lov’st, and Danger haunts thee round.
Who spurs his horse against the mountain-side ; Then, plunging, slakes his fury in the tide ? Draws, and cries ho! and, where the sunbeams fall, At his own shadow thrusts along the wall ? Who dances without music; and anon Sings like the lark—then sighs as woe-begone, And folds his arms, and, where the willows wave, Glides in the moonshine by a maiden's grave? Come hither, boy, and clear thy open brow. Yon summer-clouds, now like the Alps, and now A ship, a whale, change not so fast as thou.
He hears me not—Those sighs were from the heart. Too, too well taught, he plays the lover's part. He who at masques, nor feigning nor sincere, With sweet discourse would win a lady's ear, Lie at her feet and on her slipper swear That none were half so faultless, half so fair,
Now through the forest hies, a stricken deer,
Two on his steps attend, in motley clad;
and bells, And flowers spring up among the woodland dells. To Hope he listens, wandering without measure Thro' sun and shade, lost in a trance of pleasure; And, if to Fear but for a weary mile, Hope follows fast and wins him with a smile.
At length he goes—a Pilgrim to the Shrine, And for a relic would a world resign! A glove, a shoe-tie, or a flower let fallWhat though the least, Love consecrates them all! And now he breathes in many a plaintive verse ; Now wins the dull ear of the wily nurse At early matins ('twas at matin-time That first he saw and sickened in his prime) And soon the Sibyl, in her thirst for gold, Plays with young hearts that will not be controlled. .
“ Absence from Thee—as self from self it seems!" Scaled is the garden-wall; and lo, her beams Silvering the east, the moon comes up, revealing His well-known form along the terrace stealing. -Oh, ere in sight he came, 'twas his to thrill A heart that loved him, though in secret still. “ Am I awake? or is it . . . can it be “An idle dream ? Nightly it visits me! "_That strain,” she cries, “as from the water rose. “Now near and nearer through the shade it flows !
Now sinks departing-sweetest in its close !"
-“She loves another! Love was in that sigh!" On the cold ground he throws himself to die. Fond Youth, beware. Thy heart is most deceiving. Who wish are fearful; who suspect, believing, -And soon her looks the rapturous truth avow. Lovely before, oh, say how lovely now! She flies not, frowns not, though he pleads his cause ; Nor yet-nor yet her hand from his withdraws;
But by some secret Power surprised, subdued,
Then come those full confidings of the past ; All sunshine now, where all was overcast. Then do they wander till the day is gone, , Lost in each other; and when Night steals on, Covering them round, how sweet her accents are ! Oh when she turns and speaks, her voice is far, Far above singing !—But soon nothing stirs To break the silence-Joy like his, like hers, Deals not in words; and now the shadows close, Now in the glimmering, dying light she grows Less and less earthly! As departs the day, All that was mortal seems to melt away, Till, like a gift resumed as soon as given, She fades at last into a Spirit from Heaven!
Then are they blest indeed; and swift the hours Till her young Sisters wreathe her hair in flowers, Kindling her beauty—while, unseen, the least Twitches her robe, then runs behind the rest, Known by her laugh that will not be suppressed.
Then before All they stand—the holy vow
Nor many moons o'er hill and valley rise