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Q Hesperus! thou bringest all good things
Home to the weary, to the hungry cheer,
To the young bird the parent's brooding wings,
The welcome stall to the o'erlabour'd steer;
Whate'er of peace about our hearthstone clings,
Whate'er our household gods protect of dear, Are gathered round us by thy look of rest ; Thou bring'st the child, too, to the mother's breast. Soft hour! which wakes the wish and melts the heart
Of those who sail the seas, on the first day When they from their sweet friends are torn apart ;
Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way,
As the far bell of vesper makes him start,
Seeming to weep the dying day's decay;
Is this a fancy which our reason scorns ?
Ah ! surely nothing dies, but something mourns !
THE CATARACT OF VELINO. The roar of waters !—from the headlong height Velino cleaves the wave-worn precipice: The fall of waters ! rapid as the light The flashing mass foams shaking the abyss ; The hell of waters! where they howl and hiss And boil in endless torture ; while the sweat Of their great agony, wrung out from this
Their Phlegethon, curls round the rocks of jet
That gird the gulf around, in pitiless horror set,
And mounts in spray the skies, and thence again
Returns in an unceasing shower, which round,
With its unemptied cloud of gentle rain,
Is an eternal April to the ground,
Making it all one emerald :-how profound
The gulf! and how the giant element
From rock to rock leaps with delirious bound,
Crushing the cliffs, which downward worn and rent With his fierce footsteps, yield in chasms a fearful
To the broad column which rolls on, and shows
More like the fountain of an infant sea
Torn from the womb of mountains by the throes
Of a new world, than only thus to be
Parent of rivers which flow gushingly, [back !
With many windings, through the vale :-Look
Lo! where it comes like an eternity,
As if to sweep down all things in its track, Charming the eye with dread,-a matchless cataract,
Horribly beautiful! hut on the verge,
From side to side beneath the glittering morn,
An Iris sits, amidst the infernal surge,
Like Hope upon a death-bed, and, unworn
Its steady dyes, while all around is torn
By the distracted waters, bears serene
Its brilliant hues with all their beams unshorn :
Resembling, ʼmid the torture of the scene,
Love watching Madness with unalterable mien.
But Arno wins us to the fair white walls,
Where the Etrurian Athens claims and keeps
A softer feeling for her fairy halls.
Girt by her theatre of hills, she reaps
Her corn, and wine, and oil, and Plenty leaps
To laughing life with her redundant horn.
Along the banks where smiling Arno sweeps
Was modern Luxury of Commerce born,
And buried Learning rose, redeem'd to a new morn.
There, too, the Goddess loves in stone, and fills
The air around with beauty; we inhale
The ambrosial aspect, which, beheld, instils
Part of its immortality ; the veil
Of heaven is half undrawn; within the pale
We stand, and in that form and face behold
What mind can make, when Nature's self would
And to the fond idolaters of old Envy the innate flash which such a soul could
mould: We gaze and turn away, and know not where, Dazzled and drunk with beauty, till the heart Reel with its fulness; there for ever there Chain’d to the chariot of triumphal Art, We stand as captives, and would not depart. Away!—there need no words, nor terms precise, The paltry jargon of the marble mart,
Where Pedantry gulls Folly-We have eyes :
Blood-pulse—and breast, confirm the Dardan sł
Appear'dst thou not to Paris in this guise ?
Or to more deeply-blest Anchises ? or,
In all thy perfect goddess-ship, when lies
Before thee thy own vanquish'd Lord of War ?
And gazing on thy face as toward a star,
Laid on thy lap, his eyes to thee upturn,
Feeding on thy sweet cheek! while thy lips are
With lava kisses melting while they burn, Shower'd on his eyelids, brow, and mouth, as from an
Glowing, and circumfused in speechless love,
Their full divinity inadequate
That feeling to express, or to improve,
The gods become as mortals, and man's fate
Has moments like their brightest ; but the weight
Of earth recoils upon us ;-— let it go!
We can recall such visions, and create,
From what has been, or might be, things which
Into thy statue's form, and look like gods below.
I leave to learned fingers, and wise hands,
The artist and his ape, to teach and tell
How well his connoisseurship understands
The graceful bend, and the voluptuous swell:
Let these describe the undescribable :
I would not their vile breath should crisp the stream
Wherein that image shall for ever dwell;
The unruffled mirror of the loveliest dream
That ever left the sky on the deep soul to beam.
THE NIGHT BEFORE THE BATTLE OF
WATERLOO. There was a sound of revelry by night, And Belgium's capital had gather'd then Her Beauty and her Chivalry, and bright The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men; A thousand hearts beat happily; and when Music arose with its voluptuous swell, Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage-bell; [knell ! But hush ! hark ! a deep sound strikes like a rising
Did ye not hear it ?-no; 'twas but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street ;
On with the dance ! let joy be unconfined !
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet But, hark! that heavy sound breaks in once more, As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before !
Arm! arm ! it is it is the cannon's opening roar !
Within a window'd niche of that high hall
Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain ; he did hear
That sound the first amidst the festival,
And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear;
And when they smiled because he deemed it near,
'His heart more truly knew that peal too well
Which stretched his father on a bloody bier,
And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell : He rushed into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell.
Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness;
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated ; who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could
And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder peal on peal afar ;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;