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The seal Love's dimpling finger hath impressid
Denotes how soft that chin which bears his touch:(12)
Her lips, whose kisses pout to leave their nest,
Bid man be valiant ere he merit such :
Her glance how wildly beautiful ! how much
Hath Phoebus wood in vain to spoil her cheek,
Which glows yet smoother from his amorous clutch!
Who round the North for paler dames would seek?
poor their forms appear ! how languid, wan, and weak!
Match me, ye climes ! which poets love to laud ;
harams of the land ! where now
I strike my strain, far distant, to applaud
Beauties that ev’n a cynic must avow;
Match me those Houries, whom ye scarce allow
To taste the gale lest Love should ride the wind,
With Spain's dark-glancing daughters-deign to know,
There your wise Prophet's paradise we find,
His black-eyed maids of Heaven, angelically kind.
Oh, thou Parnassus ! (13) whom I now survey, .
Not in the phrenzy of a dreamer's eye,
Not in the fabled landscape of a lay, ,
But soaring snow-clad through thy native sky,
In the wild pomp of mountain majesty!
What marvel if I thus essay to sing ?
The humblest of thy pilgrims passing by
Would gladly woo thine Echoes with his string,
Though from thy heights no,more one Muse will wave her wing.
Oft have I dream'd of Thee! whose glorious name
Who knows not, knows not man's divinest lore:
And now I view thee, 'tis, alas ! with shame
That I in feeblest accents must adore.
When I recount thy worshippers of yore
I tremble, and can only bend the knee;
Nor raise my voice, nor vainly dare to soar,
But gaze beneath thy cloudy canopy.
In silent joy to think at last I look on Thee !
Happier in this than mightiest bards have been,
Whose fate to distant homes confined their lot,
Shall I unmoved behold the hallow'd scene,
Which others rave of, though they know it not ?
Though here no more Apollo haunts his grot,
And thou, the Muses' seat, art now their grave,
Some gentle Spirit still pervades the spot,
Sighs in the gale, keeps silence in the cave,
And glides with glassy foot o'er yon melodious Wave.
Of thee hereafter.—Ev'n amidst my strain
I turn'd aside to pay my homage here;
Forgot the land, the sons, the maids of Spain ;
Her fate, to every freeborn bosom dear,
And hail'd thee, not perchance without a tear.
Now to my theme—but from thy holy haunt
Let me some remnant, some memorial bear ;
Yield me one leaf of Daphne's deathless plant,
Nor let thy votary's hope be deem'd an idle vaunt.
But ne'er didst thou, fair Mount! when Greece was young,
See round thy giant base a brighter choir,
Nor e’er did Delphi, when her priestess sung
The Pythian hymn with more than mortal fire,
Behold a train more fitting to inspire
The song of love, than Andalusia's maids,
Nurst in the glowing lap of soft desire:
Ah! that to these were given such peaceful shades
As Greece can still bestow, though Glory fly her glades.
Fair is proud Seville ; let her country boast
Her strength, her wealth, her site of ancient days; (14)
But Cadiz, rising on the distant coast,
Calls forth a sweeter, though ignoble praise.
Ah, Vice ! how soft are thy voluptuous ways !
While boyish blood is mantling who can ’scape
The fascination of thy magic gaze?
A Cherub-hydra round us dost thou
gape, And mould to every taste thy dear delusive shape.
When Paphos fell by Time--accursed Time !
The queen who conquers all must yield to thee-
The Pleasures fled, but sought as warm a clime;
And Venus, constant to her native sea,
To nought else constant, hither deign’d to flee;
And fix'd her shrine within these walls of white:
Though not to one dome circumscribeth she
Her worship, but, devoted to her rite,
A thousand altars rise, for ever blazing bright.
From morn till night, from night till startled Morn
Peeps blushing on the Revels laughing crew,
The song is heard, the rosy garland worn,
Devices quaint, and frolics ever new,
Tread on each others kibes. A long adieu
He bids to sober joy that here sojourns :
Nought interrupts the riot, though in lieu
Of true devotion monkish incense burns,
And Love and Prayer unite, or rule the hour by turns.