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Oh happy time! when laws of state,
THE GRECIAN GIRL'S DREAM
TO HER LOVER.
* It was imagined by some of the ancients that there is an ethereal ocean above us, and that the sun and moon are two floating luminous islands in which the spirits of the blest reside. Accordingly we find that the word '12keavos was sometimes synonymous with anp, and death was not unfrequently called 'Dkeavolo Tropos, or “the passage of the ocean."
O love ! how blissful is the bland repose
While thus I lay, in this voluptuous calm,
Soft o'er my brow, which kindled with their sighs,
Thou know'st, my love, beyond our clouded skies, As bards have dreamed, the spirits' kingdom lies. Through that fair clime a sea of ether rolls, Gemmed with bright islands, where the hallowed souls Whom life hath wearied in its race of hours Repose for ever in unfading bowers ! That very orb whose solitary light So often guides thee to my arms at night Is no chill planet, but an isle of love, Floating in splendour through those seas above! Thither, I thought, we winged our airy way. Mild o'er its valleys streamed a silvery day, While, all around, on lily beds of rest, Reclined the spirits of the immortal blest ! Oh! there I met those few congenial maids Whom love hath warmed in philosophic shades: There still Leontium, on her sage's breast, Found lore and love, was tutored and caressed ; And there the twine of Pythia's gentle arms Repaid the zeal which deified her charms !
The Attic Master in Aspasia's eyes Forgot the toil of less endearing ties; While fair Theano, innocently fair, Played with the ringlets of her Samian's hair, Who, fixed by love, at length was all her own, And passed his spirit through her lips alone!
O Samian sage ! whate'er thy glowing thought Of mystic Numbers so divinely wrought, The One that's formed of Two who dearly love Is the best number heaven can boast above!
But think, my Theon, how this soul was thrilled, When near a fount, which o'er the vale distilled, My fancy's eye beheld a form recline, Of lunar race, but so resembling thine That oh !—'twas but fidelity in me To fly, to clasp, and worship it for thee! No aid of words the unbodied soul requires To waft a wish or embassy desires ; But, by a throb to spirits only given, By a mute impulse only felt in heaven, Swifter than meteor shaft through summer skies, From soul to soul the glanced idea flies!
We met—like thee the youthful vision smiled! But not like thee, when, passionately wild, Thou wakest the slumbering blushes of my cheek, By looking things thyself would blush to speak ! No! 'twas the tender, intellectual smile, Flushed with the past, and yet serene the while, Of that delicious hour when, glowing yet, Thou yield'st to nature with a fond regret, And thy soul, waking from its wildered dream, Lights in thine eye a mellower, chaster beam!
O my beloved ! how divinely sweet Is the pure joy when kindred spirits meet ! The Elean god, whose faithful waters flow, With love their only light, through caves below, Wafting in triumph all the flowery braids, And festal rings, with which Olympic maids Have decked their billow, as an offering meet To pour at Arethusa's crystal feetThink, when he mingles with his fountain-bride, What perfect rapture thrills the blended tide! Each melts in each, till one pervading kiss Confound their currents in a sea of bliss ! Twas thus
But, Theon, 'tis a weary theme, And thou delightest not in my lingering dream. Oh! that our lips were at this moment near, And I would kiss thee into patience, dear!
And make thee smile at all the magic tales
THE STEERSMAN'S SONG.
Written aboard the Boston Frigate.
And under courses snug we fly;
And royals proudly sweep the sky;
I stand, and as my watchful eye
Port, my boy! port.
Right from the point we wish to steer ;
And strive in vain the port to near ;
My bliss with one that's far away,
Thus, my boy! thus.
All hands are up the yards to square,
Our stately ship through waves and air,
Some breeze of fortune thus may spring,
Steady, boy! so.
IMITATED FROM MARTIAL.
Howe'er it burn, howe'er it thrill me;
To lose it, Chloe, scarce would kill me.
That snowy neck I ne'er should miss,
However warm I've twined about it; And though your bosom beat with bliss,
I think my soul could live without it. In short, I've learned so well to fast
That sooth, my love, I know not whether I might not bring myself at last
To-do without you altogether!
TO THE FIRE-FLY.*
Were burning with the blush of spring,
Nor thought upon thy gleaming wing. But now the skies have lost their hue,
And sunny lights no longer play, I see thee, and I bless thee too
For sparkling o'er the dreary way. Oh! let me hope that thus for me,
When life and love shall lose their bloom, Some milder joys may come, like thee,
To light, if not to warm, the gloom !
THE VASE. THERE was a vase of odour lay
For many an hour on Beauty's shrine, So sweet that Love went every day
To banquet on its breath divine. And not an eye had ever seen
The fragrant charm the vase concealed ; O Love ! how happy 'twould have been
If thou hadst ne'er that charm revealed! But Love, like every other boy,
Would know the spell that lurks within ; He wished to break the crystal toy,
But Beauty murmured 'twas a sin ! He swore, with many a tender plea,
That neither Heaven nor earth forbad it; She told him, Virtue kept the key, · And looked as if she wished he had it !
* The lively and varying illumination with which these fire-fies light up the woods at night gives quite an idea of enchantment. - See L'Histoire des An tilles, art. 2, chap. 4, liv. 1.