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Till o'er the mead a cool sequester'd grot
Hence away, nor dare intrude
Far from the busy world she flies,
Florio had gain'd a rude and rocky seal, 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 tenderer tints that shun the careless eye, And in the world's contagious circle die?
She left the cave, nor mark’d the stranger there ; Her pastoral beauty, and her artless air, Had breath'd a soft enchantment o'er his soul ! In every nerve he felt her blest control! What pure and white wing'd agents of the sky, Who rules the springs of sacred Sympathy, Inform congenial spirits when they meet? Sweet is their office, as their nature sweet !
Florio with fearful joy pursued the maid, Till through a vista's moonlight chequer'd shade, Where the bat circled, and the rook repos'd, (Their wars suspended, and their counsels clos'd) An antique mansion burst in awful state, A rich vine clustering round its Gothic gate. Nor paus'd he here. The master of the scene Mark'd his light step imprint the dewy green; And, slow advancing, hail'd him as his guest, Won by the honest warmth his looks express'd. He wore the rustic manners of a 'Squire : Age had not quench'd one spark of manly fire ; But giant Gout had bound him in her chain, And his heart panted for the chase in vain.
And now the moon had dimm'd, with dewy ray, The few fine flushes 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, 23 And to the surge consign'd its little crew. All, all escap'd....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 fir'd; 'Twas life's last spark....it flutter'd and expir'd!
The father strew'd his white hairs in the wind, Call’d on his child....nor linger'd long behind : And Florio liv'd to see the willow wave, With many an evening whisper, o'er their grave. Yes, Florio liv’d....and, still of each possest, The father cherish'd, and the maid caress'd !
Forever would the fond enthusiast rove, With Julia's spirit through the shadowy grove; Gaze with delight on every scene she plann'd, Kiss every floweret planted by her hand.
Ah! still he trac'd her steps along the glade,
its spars to shoot a trembling ray.
But is her magic only felt below? Say, through what brighter realms she bids it flow; To what pure beings, in a nobler sphere, 2 4 She yields delight but faintly imag'd here: All that till now their rapt researches knew, Not call'd in slow succession to review; But, as a landscape meets the eye of day, At once presented to their glad survey!
Each scene of bliss reveal'd since chaos fled,
There thy bright train, immortal Friendship soar, No more to part, to mingle tears no more! And, as the softening hand of Time endears The joys and sorrows of our infant-year's, So there the soul, releas'd from human strife, Smiles at the little cares and ills of life ; Its light and shade, its sunshine and its showers; As at a dream that charm’d her vacant hours ;
Oft may the spirits of the dead descend, To watch the silent slumbers of a friend ; To hover round his evening-walk unseen, And hold sweet converse on the dusky green; To hail the spot where first their friendship grew, And heaven and nature open'd to their view!