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CAIUS CESTIUS.

When I am inclined to be serious, I love to wander up and down before the tomb of Caius CESTIUS. The Protestant burial-ground is there ; and most of the little monuments are erected to the young ; young men of promise, cut off when on their travels, full of enthusiasm, full of enjoyment; brides, in the bloom of their beauty, on their first journey; or children borne from home in search of health. This stone was placed by his fellow-travellers, young as himself, who will return to the house of his parents without him; that, by a husband or a father, now in his native country. His heart is buried in that grave.

It is a quiet and sheltered nook, covered in the winter with violets ; and the Pyramid, that overshadows it, gives it a classical and singularly solemn air. You feel an interest there, a sympathy you were not prepared for. You are yourself in a foreign land ; and they are for the most part your countrymen. They call upon you in your mother-tonguein English—in words unknown to a native, known only to yourself : and the tomb of Cestius, that old majestic pile, has this also in common with them. It is itself a stranger; among strangers. It has stood there till the language spoken round about it has changed; and the shepherd, born at the foot, can read its inscription no longer.

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THE NUN.

'Tis over;

and her lovely cheek is now
On her hard pillow—there, alas, to be
Nightly, through many and many a dreary hour,
Wan, often wet with tears, and (ere at length
Her place is empty, and another comes)
In anguish, in the ghastliness of death;
Hers never more to leave those mournful walls,
Even on her bier.

'Tis over; and the rite,
With all its pomp and harmony, is now
Floating before her. She arose at home,
To be the show, the idol of the day;
Her vesture gorgeous, and her starry head-
No rocket, bursting in the midnight-sky,
So dazzling. When to-morrow she awakes,
She will awake as though she still was there,
Still in her father's house; and lo, a cell
Narrow and dark, nought thro' the gloom discerned,

Nought save the crucifix, the rosary,
And the grey habit lying by to shroud
Her beauty and grace.

When on her knees she fell,
Entering the solemn place of consecration,
And from the latticed gallery came a chant
Of psalms, most saint-like, most angelical,
Verse after verse sung out how holily,
The strain returning, and still, still returning,
Methought it acted like a spell upon her,
And she was casting off her earthly dross
Yet was it sad as sweet, and, ere it closed,
Came like a dirge. When her fair head was shorn,
And the long tresses in her hands were laid,
That she might fling them from her, saying, Thus,
Thus I renounce the world and worldly things !'*
When, as she stood, her bridal ornaments
Were, one by one, removed, even to the last,
That she might say, flinging them from her, ' Thus,

* It was at such a moment, when contemplating the young and the beautiful, that Tasso conceived his sonnets, beginning • Vergine pia,' and ' Vergine bella.' Those to whom he addressed them, have long been forgotten; though they were as much perhaps to be loved, and as much also to be pitied.

Thus I renounce the world !' when all was changed,
And, as a nun, in homeliest guise she knelt,
Distinguished only by the crown she wore,
Her crown of lilies as the

spouse

of Christ,
Well might her strength forsake her, and her knees
Fail in that hour! Well might the holy man,
He, at whose feet she knelt, give as by stealth
('Twas in her utmost need; nor, while she lives, *
Will it go from her, fleeting as it was)
That faint but fatherly smile, that smile of love
And pity!

Like a dream the whole is fled;
And they, that came in idleness to gaze
Upon the victim dressed for sacrifice,
Are mingling in the world; thou in thy cell
Forgot, TERESA. Yet, among them all,
None were so formed to love and to be loved,
None to delight, adorn; and on thee now
A curtain, blacker than the night, is dropped
For ever! In thy gentle bosom sleep

* Her back was at that time turned to the people; but in his countenance might be read all that was passing. The Cardinal, who officiated, was a venerable old man, evidently unused to the service and much affected by it.

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