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Strip to the wooing wind. From rocks romantic
Plunge in the fresh, green, laughing, quivering brine: Sate thee with kisses of the fair Atlantic,
And then go home and dine.
The lake is calm. A crowd of sunny faces pape
And plumed heads, and shoulders round and white,
Are mirrored in the waters. There are traces
Of merriment in those sweet eyes of light.
Lie empty hampers round; in shady places
The hungry throw themselves with ruthless might
On lobsters, salads; while Champagne, to cheer 'em,
Cools in the brook that murmurs sweetly near 'em.
Green leagues of park and forest lie around;
Wave stately antlers in the glimmering distance;
Up from the dusky arches comes a sound
That tells the story of old Pan's existence.
And now in song the summer wind is drowned;
Now comes a call that conquers all resistance-
A dance upon the turf! up, up, instanter !
Away with quarried pie and stained decanter.
Small hands are linked, and dance divinest tresses,
And agile feet fly down the pleasant glade in
A merry measure; through the deep recesses
How gaily trip they, youth and laughing maiden.
The shaken turf is swept by silken dresses,
The woodland breeze with many a jest is laden, And lips are curled, and haughty heads are tossed, too, As none could picture them but Ariosto.
I see a castle of the olden time
A turret chamber, whose quaint windows look
Over the great oaks in their forest prime:
So high, the thunder of the falling brook
Is all unheard-so high, the dusky rook
Throws in swift shadows from his passing wing.
Within, in fair confusion, many a book,
Lute, virginals, and every faery thing
Which ladies of those days chose for sweet dallying.
But the bright beauty that is sleeping there—
In the full moonlight sleeping! As she lies,
Her veined eyelids are so very fair
That a rash gazer might believe her eyes
Were living light. The silent midnight skies
Seem as they watched her slumbers.
While they fly on
In their majestic march, which never dies,
The Pleiades protect her: great Orion
Looks nightly on her couch, stern as a guardian lion.
Fair-breasted one! whose lily hand I see
Resting upon the silken coverlet ;
While now thy young Crusader thinks of thee
In Palestine, do thy sweet dreams forget?
No-on thy sleep his vows are lingering yet;
The trysting tree is o'er thee-its great boughs
With dew, as thy blue eyes with tear-drops, wet:
And thy young soldier his plumed helmet bows.
O moment of delight! O ever-binding vows!
Ah, woe to man! The Lady Geraldine,
Her knightly lover, and her father old,
Are faded into Time's dim hyaline,
Which not a single shadow doth enfold
To tell of them. The stern baronial hold
Has fallen long before the storm's bleak breath,
And of its glory there is nothing told.
Darkness our dreamy life encompasseth,
And we are shadows all, and nought is real but death.
Who would care to pass his life away,
Of the Lotos-land a dreamful denizen-
Lotos-islands round a waveless bay,
Sung by Alfred Tennyson ?
Who would care to be a dull newcomer,
Far across the wide sea's blue abysses;
Where, about the earth's three thousandth summer,
Passed divine Ulysses?
Rather give me coffee, art, a book,
From my windows a delicious seaview ;
Southdown mutton, somebody to cook-
"Music?" I believe you.
Strawberry icebergs in the summer time-
But of elmwood many a massive splinter;
Good ghost stories, and a classic rhyme,
For the nights of winter.
Now and then a friend, and some sauterne;
Now and then a neck of highland venison;
And for Lotos-lands I'll never yearn,
Maugre Alfred Tennyson.
Farewell, bright sun! thou goest to thy rest,
And I to mine. When thou dost rise again,
This busy heart this racked and aching head-
Shall feel and throb no more ;—those failing eyes
Shall never watch thee sink behind the roofs,
And fill with tears to think of other times,
When they beheld thee fading from a sky
That overhung green hills and leafy woods.
'Tis my last gaze on thee-I perish here,
An idle weed, cast, by the tide of life,
To wither on a bleak and desolate shore.
No heart, in this wide city's wilderness,
Will think the light of day less bright and fair,
That I shall see it not no loving tears
Will fall upon my coffin-not a soul
Will ache and sicken at its own strong life,
When all which made that life seem beautiful
Lies low with me in my cold silent grave.
Ah me!-far, far away from these close streets
There lies a spot, hidden in waving boughs,
Where the thrush carols and the swallow flits
Through the long summer-day-where waters gleam
Between high bowery banks, whose willows droop
To kiss the ripples.
There, by that broad stream, Under the alders, at the wicket-gate,
My mother stands, starting at each quick tread
That echoes loudly on the quiet road;
Her poor heart throbbing wildly, as the birds
Flutter among the branches overhead.
But all in vain-my foot shall never more
Sound on the garden-path-never again
Shall my hand raise the latch-no more at eve,
When the clear sky is flushed with sunset clouds,
And the slant rays bronze the old gnarled oaks,
Shall I sit with my sisters 'neath the arch
Of blossomed jessamine, and watch the glow
Fade from the river, and the evening star
Shine through the warm blue of the beauteous heav'n;
No more my foot shall wander through the woods,
Where the shy hare, that couched amid the fern,
Scarce started, as I passed her silent haunt,
So well she knew me;-and I lay reclined
In lone green nooks, where less adventurous step
Than mine had never been.
Where blue-bell tufts
And violet clusters cast an azure gleam
Through the long waving grass the humming bees
Droned in the sycamores and spreading limes,
Lulling me into soft, delicious sleep,
Broken by the loud cuckoo's gladsome cry
Ringing through hawthorn glade and hazel copse.
Night after night, the gentle moon may shine
Into my vacant room, as she was wont,
And cast her silver flags upon the floor,
Chequered with tremulous shadows of the leaves
And flowers that cling around the latticed pane-
But the wild dreamer who lay wakeful there,
Watching her beauty-and with charmed ear
List'ning to all the sounds of whispering boughs
And singing waters, till the stars waxed dim
Shall rest in the oblivion of the grave.
I thank thee, God! that
Have hope to cheer them."
When the day wears on And brings not me, they'll look with stronger trust
On to the morrow. May they never know
That their poor wanderer, their pride, their hope Shall meet their eyes no more. May they not know That wanting one kind hand to close mine
To wipe the damps of anguish from my brow,
Or moisten the parched fever of my lips
'Tis evening, and the summer sun, fast sinking in the west,
Throws many a bright and golden bar above the mountain's crest;
From far away the waterfall sends back its mellow'd sound,
But in the grove there reigns a calmness soothing and profound;
Along its grassy margin winds the smooth and gentle stream,
Now faintly tinted over with the sun's departing beam;
From out the teeming meadows fragrant odour seems to float,
And the linnet sweetly warbles from her nest a final note;
Beyond those fields our village, fring'd with vale and wooded hill,
Is peacefully reposing in the universal still.
'Twas tehre that joyously I passed my years of opening life,
Before the world had won me as a partner in its strife:
And there may I return e'er my final years shall close
To haunt again my childhood's scenes and share their sweet repose!