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Cora-luxuriant Vegetation-the Humming-bird-the Fountain
THEN CORA came, the youngest of her race,
And in her hands she hid her lovely face;
Yet oft by stealth a timid glance she cast,
And now with playful step the Mirror passed,
Each bright reflection brighter than the last!
And oft behind it flew, and oft before;
The more she searched, pleased and perplexed the more!
And looked and laughed, and blushed with quick surprise;
Her lips all mirth, all ecstasy her eyes!
But soon the telescope attracts her view;
And lo, her lover in his light canoe
Rocking, at noon-tide, on the silent sea,
Before her lies! It cannot, cannot be.
Late as he left the shore, she lingered there,
Till, less and less, he melted into air!-
Sigh after sigh steals from her gentle frame,
And say that murmur—was it not his name?
She turns, and thinks; and, lost in wild amaze,
Gazes again, and could for ever gaze!
Nor can thy flute, ALONSO, now excite,
As in VALENCIA, when, with fond delight,
FRANCISCA, waking, to the lattice flew,
So soon to love and to be wretched too!
Hers thro' a convent-grate to send her last adieu.
-Yet who now comes uncalled; and round and round,
And near and nearer flutters to the sound;
Then stirs not, breathes not-on enchanted ground?
Who now lets fall the flowers she culled to wear
When he, who promised, should at eve be there;
And faintly smiles, and hangs her head aside
The tear that glistens on her check to hide?
Ah, who but CORA?-till inspired, possessed,
At once she springs, and clasps it to her breast!
Soon from the bay the mingling crowd ascends,
Kindred first met! by sacred instinct Friends!
Thro' citron-groves, and fields of yellow maize,
Thro' plantain-walks where not a sun-beam plays.
Here blue savannas fade into the sky.
There forests frown in midnight majesty;
Ceiba, and Indian fig, and plane sublime,
Nature's first-born, and reverenced by Time!
There sits the bird that speaks! there, quivering, rise
Wings that reflect the glow of evening skies!
Half bird, half fly, the fairy king of flowers
Reigns there, and revels thro' the fragrant hours;
Gem full of life, and joy, and song divine,
Soon in the virgin's graceful ear to shine.
'Twas he that sung, if ancient Fame speaks truth, "Come! follow, follow to the Fount of Youth! I quaff the ambrosial mists that round it rise, Dissolved and lost in dreams of Paradise!" For there called forth, to bless a happier hour, It met the sun in many a rainbow-shower! Murmuring delight, its living waters rolled 'Mid branching palms and amaranths of gold!
Evening-a banquet-the ghost of Cazziva.
THE tamarind closed her leaves; the marmoset
Dreamed on his bough, and played the mimic yet.
Fresh from the lake the breeze of twilight blew,
And vast and deep the mountain-shadows grew;
When many a fire-fly, shooting thro' the glade,
Spangled the locks of many a lovely maid,
Who now danced forth to strew our path with flowers,
And hymn our welcome to celestial bowers. *
There odorous lamps adorned the festal rite,
And guavas blushed as in the vales of light.
There silent sate many an unbidden Guest,
Whose steadfast looks a secret dread impressed;
Not there forgot the sacred fruit that fed
At nightly feasts the Spirits of the Dead,
Mingling in scenes that mirth to mortals give,
But by their sadness known from those that live.
There met, as erst, within the wonted grove,
Unmarried girls and youths that died for love!
Sons now beheld their ancient sires again;
And sires, alas, their sons in battle slain!
But whence that sigh? 'Twas from a heart that broke! And whence that voice? As from the grave it spoke! And who, as unresolved the feast to share, Sits half-withdrawn in faded splendour there? "Tis he of yore, the warrior and the sage, Whose lips have moved in prayer from age to age; Whose eyes, that wandered as in search before, Now on COLUMBUS fixed-to search no more! CAZZIVA, gifted in his day to know The gathering signs of a long night of woe; Gifted by Those who give but to enslave; No rest in death! no refuge in the grave! * P. Martyr. dec. i. 5.