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In childhood, many an idle stone;
THE HAUNTED PALACE.*
In the greenest of our valleys,
By good angels tenanted,
Radiant palace, reared its head.
It stood there:
Over fabric half so fair!
Banners—yellow, glorious, golden-
On its roof did float and flow (This, all this, was in the olden
Time, long ago ;)
* The melody of this poem has been impudently borrowed by an English versifier since the first edition was published.-Ed. (1856).
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
A wingèd odour went away.
Wanderers in that happy valley,
Through two luminous windows saw
To a lute's well-tunèd law,
The ruler of the realm was seen.
And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace-door,
And sparkling evermore,
Was but to sing,
The wit and wisdom of their king.
But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch's high estate. (Ah, let us mourn !—for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate ;) And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed, Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.
And travellers now within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows see Vast forms, that move fantastically
To a discordant melody;
Through the pale door
And laugh—but smile no more.
Fair isle, that from the fairest of all flowers
Thy gentlest of all gentle names dost take, How many memories of what radiant hours
At sight of thee and thine at once awake! How many scenes of what departed bliss !
How many thoughts of what entombèd hopes ! How many visions of a maiden that is
No more—no more upon thy verdant slopes ! No more! alas, that magical sad sound
Transforming all! Thy charms shall please no more, Thy memory no more! Accursèd ground
Henceforth I hold thy flower-enamelled shore, O hyacinthine isle! O purple Zante! “ Isola d'oro ! Fior di Levante !”