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A single star is at her side, and reigns
With her o'er half the lovely heaven; but still
Yon sunny sea heaves brightly, and remains
Roll'd o'er the peak of the far Rhætian hill,
As Day and Night contending were, until
Nature reclaim'd her order :- gently flows
The deep-dyed Brenta, where their hues instil
The odorous purple of a new-born rose, (glows. Which streams upon her stream, and glass'd within it
Fill'd with the face of heaven, which from afar
Comes down upon the waters; all its hues,
From the rich sunset to the rising star,
Their magical variety diffuse :
And now they change; a paler shadow strews
Its mantle o'er the mountains ; parting day
Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues
With a new colour as it gasps away,
The last still loveliest, till ’tis gone-and all is grey.
A PICTURE GALLERY BY MOONLIGHT. Then, as the night was clear though cold, he threw
His chamber door wide open--and went forth Into a gallery of sombre hue,
Long, furnished with old pictures of great worth, Of knights and dames heroic and chaste too,
As doubtless should be people of high birth.
But by dim lights the portraits of the dead
Have something ghastly, desolate, and dread.
The forms of the grim knights and pictured saints
Look living in the moon; and as you turn
Backward and forward to the echoes faint
Of your own footsteps_voices from the urn
Appear to wake, and shadows wild and quaint
Start from the frames which fence their aspects stern, As if to ask how you can dare to keep A vigil there, where all but death should sleep. And the pale smile of Beauties in the grave,
The charms of other days, in starlight gleams Glimmer on high; their buried locks still wave
Along the canvas ; their eyes glance like dreams On ours, or spars within some dusky cave,
But death is imaged in their shadowy beams.
A picture is the past; even ere its frame
Be gilt, who sate hath ceased to be the same.
MORN IN THE SOUTH SEAS.
The morning watch was come; the vessel lay
Her course, and gently made her liquid way;
The cloven billow flashed from off her prow
In furrows formed by that majestic plough;
The waters with their world were all before;
Behind, the South Sea's many an islet shore.
The quiet night, now dappling, 'gan to wane,
Dividing darkness from the dawning main :
The dolphins, not unconscious of the day,
Swam high, as eager of the coming ray;
The stars from broader beams began to creep,
And lift their shining eyelids from the deep.
The sail resumed its lately shadowed white,
And the wind flutter'd with a freshening flight;
The purpling ocean owns the coming sun,
But ere he break—a deed is to be done.
MYRRHA DESCRIBED BY SARDANAPALUS.
I paused To look upon her, and her kindled cheek ;
Her large black eyes, that flash'd through her long
hair As it stream'd v'er her ; her blue veins that rose Along her most transparent brow ; her nostril Dilated from its symmetry ; her lips Apart; her voice that clove through all the din, As a lute's pierceth through the cymbal's clash, Jarred but not drown'd by the loud brattling; her Waved arms, more dazzling by their own born
whiteness Than the steel her hand held, which she caught up From a dead soldier's grasp; all these things made Her seem unto the troops a prophetess Of victory, or Victory herself, Come down to hail us hers.
NAPOLEON. But where is he, the modern, mightier far, Who, born no king, made monarchs draw his car; The new Sesostris, whose unharnessed kings, Freed from the bit, believe themselves with wings, And spurn the dust o'er which they crawled of late, Chained to the chariot of the chieftain's state ? Yes ! where is he, the Champion and the Child Of all that's great or little, wise or wild ? Whose game was empires and whose stakes were
thrones? Whose table earth-whose dice were human bones ? Behold the grand result in yon lone isle, And, as thy nature urges, weep or smile. Sigh to behold the eagle's lofty rage Reduced to nibble at his narrow cage ; Smile to survey the Queller of the Nations Now daily squabbling o’er disputed rations ;
Weep to perceive him mourning, as he dines,
On curtailed dishes and o'er stinted wines;
O’er petty quarrels upon petty things.
Is this the man who scourged or feasted kings ?
Behold the scales in which his fortune hangs,
A surgeon's statement, and an earl's harangues !
A bust delayed, a book refused, can shake
The sleep of him who kept the world awake.
Is this indeed the Tamer of the Great,
Now slave of all could teaze or irritate
The paltry jailer and the prying spy,
The staring stranger with his note-book nigh?
Plunged in a dungeon, he had still been great;
How low, how little was this middle state,
Between a prison and a palace, where
How few could feel for what he had to bear !
Vain his complaint-my lord presents his bill,
His food and wine were doled out duly still:
Vain was his sickness,-never was a clime
So free from homicide to doubt's a crime;
And the stiff surgeon, who maintained his cause,
Hath lost his place, and gained the world's applause.
But smile--though all the pangs of brain and heart
Disdain, defy, the tardy aid of art;
Though save the few fond friends, and imaged face
Of that fair boy his sire shall ne'er embrace,
None stand by his low bed—though even the mind
Be wavering, which long awed and awes mankind;
Smile for the fetter'd eagle breaks his chain,
And higher worlds than this are his again.
How, if that soaring Spirit shall retain
A conscious twilight of his blazing reign,
How must he smile, on looking down, to see
The little that he was and sought to be!
What though his name a wider empire found
Than his ambition, though with scarce a bound;
Though first in glory, deepest in reverse,
He tasted empire's blessings and its curse:
Though kings, rejoicing in their late escape
From chains, would gladly be their tyrant's ape;
How must he smile, and turn to yon lone grave,
The proudest sea-mark that o'ertops the wave!
What though his jailor, duteous to the last,
Scarce deemed the coffin's lead could keep him fast,
Refusing one poor line along the lid
To date the birth and death of all it hid,
That name shall hallow the ignoble shore,
A talisman to all save him who bore:
The fleets that sweep before the eastern blast
Shall hear their sea-boys hail it from the mast;
When Victory's Gallic column shall but rise,
Like Pompey's pillar, in a desert's skies,
The rocky isle that holds or held his dust
Shall crown the Atlantic like the hero's bust,
And mighty nature o'er his obsequies
Do more than niggard Envy still denies.
But what are these to him ? Can glory's lust
Touch the freed spirit or the fetter'd dust?
Small care hath he of what his tomb consists
Nought if he sleeps--nor more if he exists :
Alike the better-seeing shade will smile
On the rude cavern of the rocky isle,
As if his ashes found their latest home
In Rome's pantheon, or Gaul's mimic dome.
He wants not this ; but France shall feel the want
Of this last consolation, though so scant;
Her honour, fame, and faith, demands his bones,
To rear above a pyramid of thrones ;