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IMITATION OF SPENSER.
Now Morning from her orient chamber came
Which round its marge reflected woven bowers, And, in its middle space, a sky that never lowers.
There the kingfisher saw his plumage bright,
Bencath the waves like Afric's ebony,
Ah ! could I tell the wonders of an isle
Of the bright waters ; or as when on high,
And all around it dipp'd luxuriously
In strife to throw upon the shore a gem
WOMAN ! when I behold thee flippant, vain,
Inconstant, childish, proud, and full of fancies ;
Without that modest softening that enhances
E’en then, elate, my spirit leaps and prances,
E'en then my soul with exultation dances
Heavens ! how desperately do I adore
I hotly burn-to be a Calidore-
Might I be loved by thee like these of yore.
Light feet, dark violet eyes, and parted hair ;
Soft dimpled hands, white neck, and creamy breast ;
Are things on which the dazzled senses rest
To turn my admiration, though unpossess'd
They be of what is worthy,—though not drest, In lovely modesty, and virtues rare.
Yet these I leave as thoughtless as a lark;
These lures I straight forget,-e'en ere I dine, Or thrice my palate moisten : but when I mark
Such charms with mild intelligences shine, My ear is open like a greedy shark,
To catch the tunings of a voice divine.
Ah ! who can e'er forget so fair a being ?
Who can forget her half-retiring sweets?
God ! she is like a milk-white lamb that bleats For man's protection. Surely the All-seeing, Who joys to see us with his gifts agreeing,
Will never give him pinions, who intreats
Such innocence to ruin,—who vilely cheats A dove-like bosom. In truth there is no freeing One's thoughts from such a beauty ; when I hear
A lay that once I saw her hand awake, Her form seems floating palpable, and near :
Had I e'er seen her from an arbour take A dewy flower, oft would that hand appear,
And o'er my eyes the trembling moisture shake. ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
In some melodious plot
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O for a draught of vintage, that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth, Tasting of Flora and the country-green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sun-burnt mirth! O for a beaker full of the warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth : That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim :