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These boughs of gold, and fruits of heavenly hue,
Tinging with vermeil light the billows blue ?
And (thrice, thrice blessed is the eye that spied,
The hand that snatched it sparkling in the tide)
Whose cunning carved this vegetable bowl,
Symbol of social rites and intercourse of soul ?"
Such to their grateful ear the gush of springs,
Who course the ostrich, as away she wings;
Sons of the desert! who delight to dwell
?Mid kneeling camels round the sacred well;
Who, ere the terrors of his pomp be passed,
Fall to the demon in the reddening blast.?
The sails were furled ; with many a melting close,
Solemn and slow the evening-anthem rose,
Rose to the Virgin. ’T was the hour of day.
When setting suns o'er summer-seas display
A path of glory, opening in the west
To golden climes, and islands of the blest;
And human voices, on the silent air,
Went o'er the waves in songs of gladness there!
Chosen of Men ! 4 ’T was thine, at noon of night, First from the prow to hail the glimmering light; (Emblem of Truth divine, whose secret ray Enters the soul, and makes the darkness day!) "PEDRO! RODRIGO !6 there, methought, it shone! There – in the west! and now, alas ! 't is gone ! ’T was all a dream! we gaze and gaze in vain !
- But mark and speak not, there it comes again!
It moves! what form unseen, what being there
With torch-like lustre fires the murky air?
His instincts, passions, say, how like our own?
O! when will day reveal a world unknown?”
Long on the deep the mists of morning lay,
Then rose, revealing, as they rolled away,
Half-circling hills, whose everlasting woods
Sweep with their sable skirts the shadowy floods :
And say, when all, to holy transport given,
Embraced and wept as at the gates of Heaven,
When one and all of us, repentant, ran,
And, on our faces, blessed the wondrous man;
Say, was I then deceived, or from the skies
Burst on my ear seraphic harmonies ?
Glory to God !” unnumbered voices sung,
"Glory to God !” the vales and mountains rung,
Voices that hailed Creation's primal morn,
And to the shepherds sung a Saviour born.
Slowly, bare-headed, through the surf we bore
The sacred cross, and, kneeling, kissed the shore.
But what a scene was there ? ? Nymphs of romance,
Youths graceful as the Faun, with eager glance,
Spring from the glades, and down the alleys peep,
Then headlong rush, bounding from steep to steep,
And clap their hands, exclaiming as they run,
6 Come and behold the Children of the Sun !" 4
When hark, a signal-shot! The voice, it came
Over the sea in darkness and in flame!
They saw, they heard; and up the highest hill,
As in a picture, all at once were still !
Creatures so fair, in garments strangely wrought,
From citadels, with Heaven's own thunder fraught,
Checked their light footsteps --- statue-like they stood,
As worshipped forms, the Genii of the Wood!
At length the spell dissolves! The warrior's lance
Rings on the tortoise with wild dissonance !
And see, the regal plumes, the couch of state !
Still, where it moves, the wise in council wait !
See now borne forth the monstrous mask of gold,
And ebon chair of many a serpent-fold;
These now exchanged for gifts that thrice surpass
The wondrous ring, and lamp, and horse of brass.
What long-drawn tube transports the gazer home,
Kindling with stars at noon the ethereal dome?
'Tis here: and here circles of solid light
Charm with another self the cheated sight;
As man to man another self disclose,
That now with terror starts, with triumph glows !
Cora — Luxuriant Vegetation - The Humming-bird - The Fountain of
THEN CORA came, the youngest of her race,
And in her hands she hid her lovely face;
Yet oft by stealth a timid glance she cast,
And now with playful step the mirror passed,
Each bright reflection brighter than the last !
And oft behind it flew, and oft before ;
The more she searched, pleased and perplexed the more !
And looked and laughed, and blushed with quick surprise ;
Her lips all mirth, all ecstasy her eyes !
But soon the telescope attracts her view;
And, lo! her lover in his light canoe
Rocking, at noontide, on the silent sea, ,
Before her lies! It cannot, cannot be.
Late as he left the shore, she lingered there,
Till, less and less, he melted into air !---
Sigh after sigh steals from her gentle frame,
And say — that murmur was it not his name?
She turns, and thinks; and, lost in wild amaze,
Gazes again, and could forever gaze !
Nor can thy flute, Alonso, now excite
As in VALENCIA, when, with fond delight,
FRANCISCA, waking, to the lattice flew,
So soon to love and to be wretched too!
Hers through a convent-grate to send her last adieu.
– Yet who now comes uncalled ; and round and round,
And near and nearer flutters to the sound;
Then stirs not, breathes not on enchanted ground ?
Who now lets fall the flowers she culled to wear
When he, who promised, should at eve be there;
And faintly smiles, and hangs her head aside
The tear that glistens on her cheek to hide ?
Ah, who but CORA? — till, inspired, possessed,
At once she springs, and clasps it to her breast !
Soon from the bay the mingling crowd ascends, Kindred first met ! by sacred instinct Friends! Through citron-groves, and fields of yellow maize, Through plantain-walks where not a sunbeam plays. Here blue savannas fade into the sky, There forests frown in midnight majesty; Ceiba,and Indian fig, and plane sublime, Nature's first-born, and reverenced by Time!
There sits the bird that speaks !there, quivering, rise
Wings that reflect the glow of evening-skies !
Half bird, half fly, the fairy king of flowers :
Reigns there, and revels through the fragrant hours ;
Gem full of life, and joy and song divine,
Soon in the virgin’s graceful ear to shine."
'T was he that sung, if ancient Fame speaks truth,
Come! follow, follow to the Fount of Youth !
I quaff the ambrosial mists that round it rise,
Dissolved and lost in dreams of Paradise !
For there called forth, to bless a happier hour,
It met the sun in many a rainbow-shower!
Murmuring delight, its living waters rolled
'Mid branching palms and amaranths of gold ! 8
Evening - A Banquet — The Ghost of Cazziva.
THE tamarind closed her leaves; the marmoset
Dreamed on his bough, and played the mimic yet.
Fresh from the lake the breeze of twilight blew,
And vast and deep the mountain-shadows grew;
When many a fire-fly, shooting through the glade,
Spangled the locks of many a lovely maid,
Who now danced forth to strew our path with flowers,
And hymn our welcome to celestial bowers.
There odorous lamps adorned the festal rite,
And guavas blushed as in the vales of light.
There silent sate many an unbidden guest,
Whose steadfast looks a secret dread impressed ;