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Stop at a palace near the Reggio-gate,
Dwelt in of old by one of the Donati.
Its noble gardens, terrace above terrace,
And rich in fountains, statues, cypresses,
Will long detain you-but, before you go,
Enter the house-forget it not, I pray you-
And look awhile upon a picture there.
'Tis of a Lady in her earliest youth, The last of that illustrious family;
Done by Zampieri--but by whom I care not.
He, who observes it-ere he passes on
Gazes his fill, and comes, and comes again,
That he may call it
up, when far away.
She sits, inclining forward as to speak,
Her lips half open, and her finger up,
As though she said, "Beware!" her vest of gold 'Broider'd with flowers and clasp'd from head to foot, An emerald-stone in every golden clasp;
And on her brow, fairer than alabaster,
So lovely, yet so arch, so full of mirth,
The overflowings of an innocent heart—
It haunts me still, though many a year has fled,
Like some wild melody!
Over a mouldering heir-loom, its companion,
An oaken-chest, half-eaten by the worm,
But richly carv'd by Anthony of Trent,
With scripture-stories from the Life of Christ;
A chest that came from Venice, and had held
The ducal robes of some old ancestor-
That by the way-it may be true or false-
But don't forget the picture; and you will not,
When you have heard the tale they told me there.
She was an only child her name Ginevra ;
The joy, the pride of an indulgent father;
And in her fifteenth year became a bride,
Marrying an only son, Francesco Doria,
Her playmate from her birth, and her first love.
Just as she looks there in her bridal dress,
She was all gentleness, all gaiety;
Her pranks the favourite theme of every tongue.
But now the day was come, the day, the hour;
Now, frowning, smiling, for the hundredth time,
The nurse, that ancient lady, preach'd decorum;
And, in the lustre of her youth, she gave
Her hand, with her heart in it, to Francesco.
Great was the joy; but at the nuptial feast,
When all sate down, the bride herself was wanting.
Nor was she to be found! Her father cried,
"'Tis but to make a trial of our love!"
And fill'd his glass to all; but his hand shook,
And soon from guest to guest the panic spread.
'Twas but that instant she had left Francesco,
Laughing, and looking back, and flying still,
Her ivory tooth imprinted on his finger.
But now, alas! she was not to be found;
Nor from that hour could any thing be guess'd
But that she was not!
Weary of his life,
Francesco flew to Venice, and, embarking,
Flung it away in battle with the Turk.
Donati lived and long might you have seen
An old man wandering as in quest of something,
Something he could not find-he knew not what. When he was gone, the house remain'd awhile Silent and tenantless-then went to strangers.
Full fifty years were past, and all forgotten, When on an idle day, a day of search 'Mid the old lumber in the gallery,
That mouldering chest was notic'd; and 'twas said
By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra;
"Why not remove it from its lurking-place?"
"Twas done as soon as said; but on the way
It burst, it fell; and lo, a skeleton,
With here and there a pearl, an emerald-stone,
A golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold.
All else had perish'd-save a wedding-ring,
And a small seal, her mother's legacy,
Engraven with a name, the name of both,
There then had she found a grave! Within that chest had she conceal'd herself, Fluttering with joy, the happiest of the happy; When a spring-lock, that lay in ambush there, Fasten'd her down for ever!
Decry the inspiring Holiday!-the flight
From all the pain, the bustle of the world!
Let not the Cynic look with jaundic'd eye
On those enlivening hours, which, like the bursts
Of sunshine on the way-worn pilgrim's head,
Dispel the mental gloom. They are the salt
Of this our short existence; they beguile
The rugged road of life; they often brace
Anew the slacken'd nerves, refresh the brain,
Rouse up the spirits, and revive the heart!
Let him not look with stern, reproving glance
On the snatch'd joys of those poor prisoners,
Whom the harsh gaoler, Business, in his gripe
Fastens but too securely. Man is bound
By artificial ties, where cities rear
Their huge circumference: but how he longs
To quit them for a season; how he strives,
Like some imprison'd bird that droops within
Its bars, to leave engirting ties behind,
And feel the breeze of Heaven upon his cheek,
The uncontaminated breeze, and rove
In the fresh fields, or skim the river's breast,
A joyous denizen of earth! To him,
How grand the mountain's cloudy brow-how sweet,
How doubly sweet, are sunny vales! how wave
The wanton woods, how freshly flow the streams,
Responsive to the song of morn and eve!
He sees a million beauties, which the sons
Of Leisure miss; for they, with heedless step,
And vacant eye, stroll oft among the works,
The miracles, of Nature, unimpress'd
By all they see, and undelighted too
At the soft sounds that ever are abroad;-
The hum of bee, the whisp'ring of the breeze,
The rush of wings, the leap of sportive fish,
The sky's clear song, the music of the leaf,
And the melodious lapses of the rills.
He, 'mid the high, the infinite display
Of nature, feels new inspiration seize
His quickening powers; and if he feel a pang, "Tis at the thought, the shudd'ring thought, that soon
Of verdant scenes, reviving gales, and songs
Of the wild wood, the lays of earth and sky,
At once bereav'd, he must retrace his steps
Where bloom no flowers, where every flagging air
Wafts foul contagion through the darken'd street,
And Care triumphant all the long, long year,
Sits on her ebon throne, and laughs at man.
An Excuse for not accepting the Invitation of a Friend to make an Excursion with him.
THE hollow winds begin to blow,
The clouds look black, the glass is low:
The soot falls down, the spaniels sleep,
And spiders from their cobwebs peep.
Last night the sun went pale to bed,
The moon in halos hid her head:
The boding shepherd heaves a sigh,
For, see, a rainbow spans the sky.
The walls are damp, the ditches smell,
Clos'd is the pink-ey'd pimpernell.
Hark! how the chairs and tables cra',
Old Betty's joints are on the rack
Loud quack the ducks, the per cks cry;
The distant hills are lookingh.
How restless are the sn
The busy flies disturb
Low o'er the grass the swallow wings;
The cricket, too, how sharp he sings;
Puss, on the hearth, with velvet paws,
Sits, wiping o'er her whisker'd jaws.
Through the clear stream the fishes rise,
And nimbly catch the incautious flies;