Page images

Feelings, affections, destined now to die,
To wither like the blossom in the bud,
Those of a wife, a mother; leaving there
A cheerless void, a chill as of the grave,
A languor and a lethargy of soul,
Death-like, and gathering more and more, till Death
Comes to release thee. Ah, what now to thee,
What now to thee the treasure of thy Youth ?
As nothing!

But thou canst not yet reflect
Calmly; so many things, strange and perverse,
That meet, recoil, and go but to return,
The monstrous birth of one eventful day,
Troubling thy spirit—from the first at dawn,
The rich arraying for the nuptial feast,
To the black pall, the requiem. All in turn
Revisit thee, and round thy lowly bed
Hover, uncalled. Thy young and innocent heart,
How is it beating ? Has it no regrets ?
Discoverest thou no weakness lurking there?
But thine exhausted frame has sunk to rest.
Peace to thy slumbers !

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

There is an Insect, that, when Evening comes,
Small though he be and scarce distinguishable,
Like Evening clad in soberest livery,
Unsheaths his wings * and thro' the woods and glades
Scatters a marvellous splendour. On he wheels,
Blazing by fits as from excess of joy,t
Each gush of light a gush of ecstasy ;
Nor unaccompanied ; thousands that fling
A radiance all their own, not of the day,
Thousands as bright as he, from dusk till dawn,
Soaring, descending.

In the mother's lap
Well may the child put forth his little hands,

* He is of the beetle-tribe.

[ocr errors]

“ For, in that upper clime, effulgence comes Of gladness.”—Cary's Dante.

[ocr errors]

Singing the nursery-song he learnt so soon;
And the young nymph, preparing for the dance
By brook or fountain-side, in many a braid
Wreathing her golden hair, well may she cry,

Come hither; and the shepherds, gathering round,
Shall say, Floretta emulates the Night,
Spangling her head with stars.'

Oft have I met
This shining race, when in the Tusculan groves
My path no longer glimmered; oft among
Those trees, religious once and always green,
That yet dream out their stories of old Rome
Over the Alban lake ; oft met and hailed,
Where the precipitate Anio thunders down,
And through the surging mist a Poet's house
(So some aver, and who would not believe ?)+

There is a song to the lucciola in every dialect of Italy; as for instance in the Genoese.

“Cabela, vegni a baso;

Ti dajo un cuge de lette.” The Roman is in a higher strain.

“ Bella regina,” &c. + I did not tell you that just below the first fall, on the side of the rock, and hanging over that torrent, are little ruins

Reveals itself. --Yet cannot I forget
Him, who rejoiced me in those walks at eve,*
My earliest, pleasantest; who dwells unseen,
And in our northern clime, when all is still,
Nightly keeps watch, nightly in bush or brake
His lonely lamp rekindling. Unlike theirs,
His, if less dazzling, through the darkness knows
No intermission ; sending forth its ray
Through the green leaves, a ray serene and clear

As Virtue's own.

which they show you for Horace's house, a curious situation to observe the

* Præceps Anio, et Tiburni lucus, et uda

Mobilibus pomaria rivis." Gray's Letters. * The glow-worm.



It was in a splenetic humour that I sat me down to my scanty fare at TERRACINA ; and how long I should have contemplated the lean thrushes in array before me, I cannot say, if a cloud of smoke, that drew the tears into my eyes, had not burst from the green and leafy boughs on the hearth-stone. "Why,' I exclaimed, starting up from the table, why did I leave my own chimney-corner ?-But am I not on the road to BRUNDUSIUM? And are not these the very calamities that befel HORACE and Virgil, and MÆCENAS, and Plotius, and VARIUS ? HORACE laughed at them-Then why should not I? HORACE resolved to turn them to account; and VIRGILcannot we hear him observing, that to remember them will, by and by, be a pleasure ?' My soliloquy reconciled me at once to my fate ; and when for the twentieth time I had looked through the window on a sea sparkling with innumerable brilliants, a sea on

« PreviousContinue »