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And now upon the scene I look,
That azure grave of many a Roman ; Where stern Ambition once forsook
His wavering crown to follow woman.
Florence! whom I will love as well
As ever yet was said or sung, (Since Orpheus sang his spouse from hell)
Whilst thou art fair and I am young ;
Sweet Florence! those were pleasant times,
When worlds were staked for ladies' eyes : Had bards as many realms as rhymes,
Thy charms might raise new Anthonies.
Though Fate forbids such things to be,
Yet, by thine eyes and ringlets curld! I cannot lose a world for thee,
But would not lose thee for a world.
Composed October 11th, 1809, during the night, in a thunder-storm,
when the guides had lost the road to Zitza, near the range of mouptains formerly called Pindus, in Albania.
Chill and mirk is the nightly blast,
Where Pindus' mountains rise, And angry clouds are pouring fast
The vengeance of the skies.
Our guides are gone, our hope is lost,
And lightnings, as they play,
Or gilds the torrent's spray.
3. Is yon a cot I saw, though low?
When lightning broke the gloomHow welcome were its shade!-ah, no!
'Tis but a Turkish tomb.
Through sounds of foaming waterfalls,
I hear a voice exclaim
On distant England's name.
A shot is fired-by foe or friend?
Another-'tis to tell
And lead us where they dwell.
Oh! who in such a night will dare
To tempt the wilderness?
Our signal of distress?
And who that heard our shouts would rise
To try the dubious road?
That outlaws were abroad.
Clouds burst, skies flash, oh, dreadful hour!
More fiercely pours the storm!
To keep my bosom warm,
While wand'ring through each broken path,
O'er brake and craggy brow; While elements exhaust their wrath.
Sweet Florence, where art thou ?
Not on the sea, not on the sea,
Thy bark hath long been gone: Oh, may the storm that pours on me,
Bow down my head alone!
Full swiftly blew the swift Siroc,
When last I press'd thy lip; And long ere now, with foaming shock,
Impell’d thy gallant ship.
Now thou art safe; nay, long ere now
Hast trod the shore of Spain; 'Twere hard if ought so fair as thou
Should linger on the main.
And since I now remember thee
In darkness and in dread, As in those hours of revelry
Which mirth and music sped;
Do thou amidst the fair white walls,
If Cadiz yet be free,
Look o'er the dark blue sea ;
Then think upon Calypso's isles,
Endeard by days gone by;
To me a single sigh.
And when the admiring circle mark
The paleness of thy face,
Of melancholy grace,
Again thou'lt smile, and blushing shun
Some coxcomb's raillery; Nor own for once thou though’st of ope,
Who ever thinks on thee,
Though smile and sigh alike are vain,
When sever'd hearts repine,
And mourns in search of thine,