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AN ITALIAN SONG.

DEAR is my little native vale,

The ring-dove builds and murmurs there; Close by my cot she tells her tale

To every passing villager.
The squirrel leaps from tree to tree,
And shells his nuts at liberty.

In orange-groves and myrtle-bowers,

That breathe a gale of fragrance round, I charm the fairy-footed hours

With my loved lute's romantic sound;
Or crowns of living laurel weave,
For those that win the race at eve.

The shepherd's horn at break of day,

The ballet danced in twilight glade,
The canzonet and roundelay

Sung in the silent green-wood shade;
These simple joys, that never fail,
Shall bind me to my native vale.

THE ALPS AT DAY-BREAK.

THE sunbeams streak the azure skies,

And line with light the mountain's brow: With hounds and horns the hunters rise,

And chase the roebuck through the snow.

From rock to rock, with giant-bound,

High on their iron poles they pass ; Mute, lest the air, convulsed by sound,

Rend from above a frozen mass.

The goats wind slow their wonted way,

Up craggy steeps and ridges rude ; Marked by the wild wolf for his prey,

From desert cave or hanging wood.

And while the torrent thunders loud,

And as the echoing cliffs reply,
The huts peep o'er the morning-cloud,

Perched, like an eagle's nest, on high.

ON A TEAR.

O! THAT the chemist's magic art

Could crystallize this sacred treasure! Long should it glitter near my heart,

A secret source of pensive pleasure.

The little brilliant, ere it fell,

Its lustre caught from CHLOE's eye; Then, trembling, left its coral cell

The spring of Sensibility !

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Sweet drop of pure and pearly light !

In thee the rays of Virtue shine; More calmly clear, more mildly bright,

Than any gem that gilds the mine.

Benign restorer of the soul !

Who ever fly'st to bring relief,
When first we feel the rude control

Of Love or Pity, Joy or Grief.

The sage’s and the poet's theme,

In every clime, in every age;
Thou charm'st in Fancy's idle dream,

In Reason's philosophic page.

That very law” which moulds a tear,

And bids it trickle from its source,
That law preserves the earth a sphere,

And guides the planets in their course

WRITTEN IN A SICK CHAMBER.

1793.

THERE, in that bed so closely curtained round,

Worn to a shade and wan with slow decay,
A father sleeps ! O, hushed be every sound !

Soft may we breathe the midnight hours away!

He stirs—yet still he sleeps. May heavenly dreams

Long o'er his smooth and settled pillow rise ; Nor fly, till morning through the shutter streams,

And on the hearth the glimmering rush-light dies !

TO TWO SISTERS.18

1795.

WELL may you sit within, and, fond of grief,

Look in each other's face, and melt in tears. Well may you shun all counsel, all relief.

O, she was great in mind, though young in years

Changed is that lovely countenance, which shed

Light when she spoke; and kindled sweet surprise, As o'er her frame each warm emotion spread,

Played round her lips, and sparkled in her eyes.

Those lips so pure, that moved but to persuade,

Still to the last enlivened and endeared. Those eyes at once her secret soul conveyed,

And ever beamed delight when you appeared.

Yet has she fled the life of bliss below,

That youthful Hope in bright perspective drew ? False were the tints ! false as the feverish glow

That o'er her burning cheek Distemper threw!

And now in joy she dwells, in glory moves!

(Glory and joy reserved for you to share.) Far, far more blest in blessing those she loves,

Than they, alas ! unconscious of her care.

TO A FRIEND ON HIS MARRIAGE.

227

TO A FRIEND ON HIS MARRIAGE.

On thee, blest youth, a father's hand confers

The maid thy earliest, fondest wishes knew. Each soft enchantment of the soul is hers;

Thine be the joys to firm attachment due.

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As on she moves with hesitating grace,

She wins assurance from his soothing voice; And, with a look the pencil could not trace,

Smiles through her blushes, and confirms the choice.

Spare the fine tremors of her feeling frame !

To thee she turns — forgive a virgin's fears ! To thee she turns with surest, tenderest claim ;

Weakness that charms, reluctance that endears!

At each response the sacred rite requires,

From her full bosom bursts the unbidden sigh. A strange mysterious awe the scene inspires;

And on her lips the trembling accents die.

O'er her fair face what wild emotions play!

What lights and shades in sweet confusion blend ! Soon shall they fly, glad harbingers of day,

And settled sunshine on her soul descend !

Ah ! soon, thine own confest, ecstatic thought !

That hand shall strew thy summer-path with flowers And those blue eyes, with mildest lustre fraught,

Gild the calm current of domestic hours !

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