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IMITATION OF SPENSER.

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Now Morning from her orient chamber came
And her first footsteps touch'd a verdant hill:
Crowning its lawny crest with amber flame,
Silvering the untainted gushes of its rill;
Which, pure from mossy beds, did down distil,
And after parting beds of simple flowers,
By many streams a little lake did fill,

Which round its marge reflected woven bowers, And, in its middle space, a sky that never lowers.

There the kingfisher saw his plumage bright,
Vying with fish of brilliant dye below;
Whose silken fins' and golden scales' light
Cast upward, through the waves, a ruby glow:
There saw the swan his neck of arched snow,
And oar'd himself along with majesty:
Sparkled his jetty eyes; his feet did show

Bencath the waves like Afric's ebony,
And on his back a fay reclined voluptuously.

Ah ! could I tell the wonders of an isle
That in that fairest lake had placed been,
I could e'en Dido of her grief beguile;
Or rob from aged Lear his bitter teen:
For sure so fair a place was never seen
Of all that ever charmed romantic eye:
It seem'd an emerald in the silver sheen

Of the bright waters ; or as when on high,
Through clouds of fleecy white, laughs the caerulean sky.

And all around it dipp'd luxuriously
Slopings of verdure through the glossy tide,
Which, as it were in gentle amity,
Rippled delighted up the flowery side ;
As if to glean the ruddy tears it tried,
Which fell profusely from the rose-tree stem!
Haply it was the workings of its pride,

In strife to throw upon the shore a gem
Outvying all the buds in Flora's diadem.

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WOMAN ! when I behold thee flippant, vain,

Inconstant, childish, proud, and full of fancies ;

Without that modest softening that enhances
The downcast eye, repentant of the pain
That its mild light creates to heal again ;

E’en then, elate, my spirit leaps and prances,

E'en then my soul with exultation dances
For that to love, so long, I've dormant lain :
But when I see thee meek, and kind, and tender,

Heavens ! how desperately do I adore
Thy winning graces ;-to be thy defender

I hotly burn-to be a Calidore-
A very Red Cross Knight—a stout Leander-

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
Till the fond, fixed eyes, forget they stare.
From such fine pictures, Heavens ! I cannot dare

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.

I.

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees.

In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,

Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

II.

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 :

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