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'A few cattle looking up askance

With ruminant meek mouths and sleepy glance'—

there again he had liberated his perception and his pleasure, and might pause for a happy moment. So he flitted on with steady purpose, and a happy industrious imagination storing his hive. His verses, though less rich and deep in loveliness than those of Keats, seem, as he so finely said of Keats's lines, 'to take pleasure in the progress of their own beauty, like sea-nymphs luxuriating in the water.' He loved the triplet because it prolonged this luxury.

Leigh Hunt's reverence for literature was of the finest temper. It would have pleased him to be a servant in the train of Ariosto. His loyalty to Keats was generous and constant, untouched by a shadow of ignoble rivalry. To him, the elder of the two, Keats offered his first printed verses. And Shelley withdrew, as fearing by sigh or tear to wrong the deeper grief of him, the ‘gentlest of the wise,' who 'taught, soothed, loved, honoured' dead Adonais.



[From The Story of Rimini.]

A noble range it was, of many a rood,
Walled and tree-girt, and ending in a wood.
A small sweet house o'erlooked it from a nest
Of pines all wood and garden was the rest,
Lawn, and green lane, and covert :—and it had
A winding stream about it, clear and glad,
With here and there a swan, the creature born
To be the only graceful shape of scorn.
The flower-beds all were liberal of delight:
Roses in heaps were there, both red and white,
Lilies angelical, and gorgeous glooms

Of wall-flowers, and blue hyacinths, and blooms
Hanging thick clusters from light boughs; in short,
All the sweet cups to which the bees resort,
With plots of grass, and leafier walks between
Of red geraniums, and of jessamine,

And orange, whose warm leaves so finely suit,
And look as if they shade a golden fruit ;

And midst the flowers, turfed round beneath a shade

Of darksome pines, a babbling fountain played,

And 'twixt their shafts you saw the water bright,

Which through the tops glimmered with showering light. So now you stood to think what odours best

Made the air happy in that lovely nest;

And now you went beside the flowers, with eyes

Earnest as bees, restless as butterflies;

And then turned off into a shadier walk,
Close and continuous, fit for lover's talk ;
And then pursued the stream, and as you trod
Onward and onward o'er the velvet sod,
Felt on your face an air, watery and sweet,
And a new sense in your soft-lighting feet.

At last you entered shades indeed, the wood,
Broken with glens and pits, and glades far-viewed,
Through which the distant palace now and then
Look'd lordly forth with many-windowed ken;
A land of trees,-which reaching round about
In shady blessing stretched their old arms out;
With spots of sunny openings, and with nooks
To lie and read in, sloping into brooks,
Where at her drink you startled the slim deer,
Retreating lightly with a lovely fear.

And all about, the birds kept leafy house,
And sung and darted in and out the boughs;
And all about, a lovely sky of blue

Clearly was felt, or down the leaves laughed through;
And here and there, in every part, were seats,
Some in the open walks, some in retreats,—
With bowering leaves o'erhead, to which the eye
Looked up half sweetly and half awfully,-
Places of nestling green, for poets made,
Where, when the sunshine struck a yellow shade,
The rugged trunks, to inward peeping sight,
Thronged in dark pillars up the gold green light.

But 'twixt the wood and flowery walks, half-way,
And formed of both, the loveliest portion lay,—
A spot, that struck you like enchanted ground :—
It was a shallow dell, set in a mound

Of sloping orchards,—fig, and almond trees,
Cherry and pine, with some few cypresses;
Down by whose roots, descending darkly still,
(You saw it not, but heard) there gushed a rill,
Whose low sweet talking seemed as if it said,
Something eternal to that happy shade.

The ground within was lawn, with fruits and flowers
Heaped towards the centre, half of citron bowers;
And in the middle of those golden trees,

Half seen amidst the globy oranges,

Lurked a rare summer-house, a lovely sight,

Smail, marble, well-proportioned, creamy white,

Its top with vine-leaves sprinkled,—but no more,—
And a young bay-tree either side the door.
The door was to the wood, forward and square,
The rest was domed at top, and circular;
And through the dome the only light came in,
Tinged as it entered by the vine-leaves thin.

It was a beauteous piece of ancient skill,
Spared from the rage of war, and perfect still;
By some supposed the work of fairy hands,—
Famed for luxurious taste, and choice of lands,
Alcina or Morgana,-who from fights
And errant fame inveigled amorous knights,
And lived with them in a long round of blisses,
Feasts, concerts, baths, and bower-enshaded kisses.
But 'twas a temple, as its sculpture told,

Built to the Nymphs that haunted there of old;
For o'er the door was carved a sacrifice

By girls and shepherds brought, with reverend eyes,
Of sylvan drinks and foods, simple and sweet,

And goats with struggling horns and planted feet:
And round about, ran, on a line with this,

In like relief, a world of pagan bliss,

That shewed, in various scenes, the nymphs themselves; Some by the water-side, on bowery shelves

Leaning at will,-some in the stream at play,—

Some pelting the young Fauns with buds of May,—

Or half-asleep, pretending not to see

The latter in the brakes come creepingly,
While from their careless urns, lying aside
In the long grass, the straggling waters glide.
Never, be sure, before or since was seen

A summer-house so fine in such a nest of green.


Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get

Sweets into your list, put that in:

Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,

Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,

Jenny kissed me.


Green little vaulter in the sunny grass,
Catching your heart up at the feel of June,
Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy noon,
When even the bees lag at the summoning brass ;
And you, warm little housekeeper, who class
With those who think the candles come too soon,
Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune
Nick the glad silent moments as they pass;

O sweet and tiny cousins, that belong,

One to the fields, the other to the hearth,

Both have your sunshine; both, though small, are strong At your clear hearts; and both seem given to earth

To ring in thoughtful ears this natural song

In doors and out, summer and winter, Mirth.

To Fish.

You strange, astonished-looking, angle-faced,
Dreary-mouthed, gaping wretches of the sea,
Gulping salt-water everlastingly,

Cold-blooded, though with red your blood be graced,
And mute, though dwellers in the roaring waste;

And you, all shapes beside, that fishy be,—
Some round, some flat, some long, all devilry,
Legless, unloving, infamously chaste :-

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