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A blithe and blooming Forester explored
High on exulting wing the heath-cock rose,
Each osier isle, inverted on the wave,
Light as the breeze that brushed the orient dew,
O'er the still lake the bell of evening tolled,
Hence away, nor dare intrude!
With her sister Solitude.
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 still 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 controul ! 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 awful 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;
Yet here Remembrance, sweetly-soothing Power!
Long by the paddock's humble pale confined, His aged hunters coursed the viewless wind: And each, with glowing energy pourtrayed, 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,
Had won his soul; and rapturous Fancy shed
When Evening tinged the lake's ethereal blue,