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WRITTEN IN DEJECTION, NEAR NAPLES.
THE sun is warm, the sky is clear,
The waves are dancing fast and bright,
Blue isles and snowy mountains wear
The purple noon's transparent light:
The breath of the moist air is light,
Around its unexpanded buds;
Like many a voice of one delight,
The winds, the birds, the ocean floods,
The City's voice itself is soft like Solitude's.
I see the Deep's untrampled floor
With green and purple sea-weeds strown; I see the waves upon the shore,
Like light dissolved in star-showers, thrown: I sit upon the sands alone,
The lightning of the noon-tide ocean
Is flashing round me, and a tone
Arises from its measured motion,
How sweet! did any heart now share in my emotion.
Alas! I have nor hope nor health,
Nor peace within nor calm around,
Nor that content surpassing wealth
The sage in meditation found,
And walked with inward glory crowned
Nor fame, nor power, nor love, nor leisure. Others I see whom these surround
Smiling they live, and call life pleasure ;To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.
Yet now despair itself is mild,
Even as the winds and waters are;
I could lie down like a tired child,
And weep away the life of care
Which I have borne, and yet must bear,
Till death like sleep might steal on me,
And I might feel in the warm air
My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea
Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.
Some might lament that I were cold,
As I when this sweet day is gone,
Which my lost heart, too soon grown old,
Insults with this untimely moan;
They might lament—for I am one
Whom men love not,-and yet regret,
Unlike this day, which, when the sun
Shall on its stainless glory set,
Will linger, though enjoyed, like joy in memory yet.
I loved-alas! our life is love;
But when we cease to breathe and move,
I do suppose love ceases too.
I thought, but not as now I do,
Keen thoughts and bright of linked lore,
Of all that men had thought before,
And all that Nature shows, and more.
And still I love, and still I think,
But strangely, for my heart can drink
The dregs of such despair, and live,
And if I think, my thoughts come fast;
I mix the present with the past,
And each seems uglier than the last.
Sometimes I see before me flee
A silver spirit's form, like thee,
O Leonora, and I sit
[ ] still watching it,
Till by the grated casement's ledge
It fades, with such a sigh, as sedge
Breathes o'er the breezy streamlet's edge.
WILT thou forget the happy hours
Which we buried in Love's sweet bowers,
Heaping over their
Blossoms and leaves instead of mould?
Blossoms which were the joys that fell,
And leaves, the hopes that yet remain.
Forget the dead, the past? O yet
There are ghosts that may take revenge
Memories that make the heart a tomb,
Regrets which glide through the spirit's gloom, And with ghastly whispers tell
That joy, once lost, is pain.
O! FOSTER-NURSE of man's abandoned glory
Since Athens, its great mother, sunk in splendour,
Thou shadowest forth that mighty shape in story,
As Ocean its wrecked fanes, severe yet tender:
The light invested angel Poesy
Was drawn from the dim world to welcome thee.
And thou in painting didst transcribe all taught
By loftiest meditations; marble knew
The sculptor's fearless soul-and, as he wrought,
The grace of his own power and freedom grew.
And more than all, heroic, just, sublime,
Thou wert among the false-was this thy crime?
Yes; and on Pisa's marble walls the twine
Of direst weeds hangs garlanded-the snake
Inhabits its wrecked palaces ;-in thine
A beast of subtler venom now doth make
Its lair, and sits amid their glories overthrown,
And thus thy victim's fate is as thine own.
The sweetest flowers are ever frail and rare,
And love and freedom blossom but to wither;
And good and ill like vines entangled are,
So that their grapes may oft be plucked together;
Divide the vintage ere thou drink, then make
Thy heart rejoice for dead Mazenghi's sake.
*This fragment refers to an event, told in Sismondi's Histoire des Republiques Italiennes, which occurred during the war when Florence finally subdued Pisa, and reduced it to a province. The opening stanzas are addressed to the conquering city.-MS.
No record of his crime remains in story,
But if the morning bright as evening shone,
It was some high and holy deed, by glory
Pursued into forgetfulness, which won
From the blind crowd he made secure and free
The Patriot's meed, toil, death, and infamy.
For when by sound of trumpet was declared
A price upon his life, and there was set
A penalty of blood on all who shared
So much of water with him as might wet
His lips, which speech divided not—he went
Alone, as you may guess, to banishment.
Amid the mountains, like a hunted beast,
He hid himself, and hunger, toil, and cold,
Month after month endured; it was a feast
Whene'er he found those globes of deep red gold
Which in the woods the strawberry-tree doth bear,
Suspended in their emerald atmosphere.
And in the roofless huts of vast morasses,
Deserted by the fever-stricken serf,
All overgrown with reeds and long rank grasses,
And hillocks heaped of moss-inwoven turf,
And where the huge and speckled aloe made,
Rooted in stones, a broad and pointed shade,
He housed himself. There is a point of strand
Near Vada's tower and town; and on one side
The treacherous marsh divides it from the land,
Shadowed by pine and ilex forests wide;
And on the other creeps eternally,
Through muddy weeds, the shallow sullen sea.