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And leafy dreams affords me, and a feeling (ing; The worst of Prince Giovanni, as his bride
Which I should else disdain, tear-dipped and heal- Too quickly found, was an ill-tempered pride.
And shews me,-more than what it first designed, Bold, handsome, able if he chose to please,
How little upon earth our home we find,

Punctual and right in common offices,
Or close the intended course of erring human-kind. He lost the sight of conduct's only worth,

The scattering smiles on this uneasy earth;
Enough of this. Yet how shall I disclose

And, on the strength of virtues of small weight, The weeping days tbat with the morning rose,

Claimed tow'rds himself the exercise of great. How bring the bitter disappointment in,

He kept no reckoning with his sweets and sours;The holy cheat, the virtue-binding sin,

He'd hold a sullen countenance for hours, The shock, that told this lovely, trusting heart,

And then, if pleased to cheer himself a space, That she had given, beyond all power to part,

Look for the immediate rapture in your face, Her hope, belief, love, passion, to one brother,

And wonder that a cloud could still be there, Possession (oh, the misery!) to another!

How small soever, when his own was fair.

Yet such is conscience,-so designed to keep Some likeness was there 'twixt the two-an air

Stern, central watch, though all things else go sleep, At times, a cheek, a colour of the hair,

And so much knowledge of one's self there lies A tone, when speaking of indifferent things;

Cored, after all, in our complacencies, Nor, by the scale of common measurings,

That no suspicion would have touched him more, Would you say more perhaps, than that the one

Than that of wanting on the generous score: Was more robust, the other finelier spun;

He would have whelmed you with a weight of scorn, That of the two, Giovanni was the graver,

Been proud at eve, inflexible at morn, Paulo the livelier, and the more in favour.

In short, ill-tempered for a week to come,

And all to strike that desperate error dumb. Some tastes there were indeed, that would prefer Taste had he, in a word, for high-turned merit, Giovanni's countenance as the martialler;

But not the patience or the genial spirit; And 'twas a soldier's truly, if an eye

And so he made, 'twixt virtue and defect, Ardent and cool at once, drawn-back and high,

A sort of fierce demand on your respect, An eagle's nose, and a determined lip,

Which, if assisted by his high degree, Were the best marks of manly soldiership.

It gave him in some eyes a dignity,
Paulo's was fashioned in a different mould,

And struck a meaner deference in the many,
And finer still, I think; for though 'twas bold, Left him, at last, unloveable with any.
When boldness was required, and could put on
A glowing frown, as if an angel shone,

From this complexion in the reigning brother Yet there was nothing in it one might call

His younger birth perhaps had saved the other. A stamp exclusive, or professional,

Born to a homage less gratuitous,
No courtier's face, and yet its smile was ready,- He learned to win a nobler for his house;
No scholar's, yet its look was deep and steady,- And both from habit and a genial heart,
No soldier's, for its power was all of mind,

Without much trouble of the reasoning art,
Too true for violence, and too refined.

Found this the wisdom and the sovereign good, A graceful nose was his, lightsomely brought To be, and make, as happy as he could. Down from a forehead of clear-spirited thought;

Not that he saw, or thought he saw, beyond Wisdom looked sweet and inward from his eye; His general age, and could not be as fond And round his mouth was sensibility

Of wars and creeds as any of his race, It was a face, in short, seemed made to shew But most he loved a happy human face; How far the genuine flesh and blood could go ;

And wheresoe'er his fine, frank eyes were thrown, A morning glass of unaffected nature,

He struck the looks he wished for with his own. Something, that baffled every pompous feature, His danger was, lest, feeling as he did, The visage of a glorious human creature.

Too lightly he might leap o'er means forbid,

And in some tempting hour lose sight of crime If any points there were, at which they came O'er some sweet face too happy for the time; Nearer together, 'twas in knightly fame,

But fears like these he never entertained, (dained. And all accomplishments that art may know,- And had they crossed him, would have been disHunting, and princely hawking, and the bow, Warm was his youth, 'tis true,-nor had been free The rush together in the bright-eyed list,

From lighter loves,—but virtue reverenced he, Fore-thoughted chess, the riddle rarely missed, And had been kept from men of pleasure's cares And the decision of still knottier points,

By dint of feelings still more warm than theirs. With knife in hand, of boar and peacock joints,- So what but service leaped where'er he went! Things, that might shake the fame that Tristan got, Was there a tilt-day or a tournament, And bring a doubt on perfect Launcelot.

For welcome grace there rode not such another, But leave we knighthood to the former part; Nor yet for strength, except his lordly brother. The tale I tell is of the human heart.

Was there a court-day, or a sparkling feast,


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. Or better still, in my ideas, at least,

Or when to please him, after martial play,
A summer party to the greenwood shade,

She strained her late to some old fiery lay
With lutes prepared, and cloth on herbage laid, Of fierce Orlando, or of Ferumbras,
And ladies' laughter coming through the air,- Or Ryan's cloak, or how by the red grass
He was the readiest and the blithest there;

In battle you might know where Richard was.
And made the time so exquisitely pass
With stories told with elbow on the grass,

Yet all the while, no doubt, however stern
Or touched the music in his turn so finely,

Or cold at times, he thought he loved in tura, That all he did, they thought, was done divinely.

And that the joy he took in her sweet ways,

The pride he felt when she excited praise, The lovely stranger could not fail to see

In short, the enjoyment of his own good pleasure, Too soon this difference, more especially

Was thanks enough, and passion beyond measure. As her consent, too lightly now, she thought,

She, had she loved him, might have thought so too: With hopes far different had been strangely bought;

For what will love's exalting not go through, And many a time the pain of that neglect

Till long neglect, and utter selfishness, Would strike in blushes o'er her self-respect:

Shame the fond pride it takes in its distress? But since the ill was cureless, she applied

But ill prepared was she, in her hard lot, With busy virtue to resume her pride,

To fancy merit where she found it not,And hoped to value her submissive heart

She, who had been beguiled,-she, who was made On playing well a patriot daughter's part,

Within a gentle bosom to be laid,Trying her new-found duties to prefer

To bless and to be blessed to be heart-bare To what a father might have owed to her.

To one who found bis bettered likeness there,The very day too when her first surprise

To think for ever with him, like a bride,Was full, kind tears had come into her eyes

To haunt his eye, like taste personified, On finding, by his care, her private room

To double his delight, to share his sorrow,
Furnished, like magic, from her own at home;

And like a morning beam wake to himevery morrow.
The very books and all transported there,
The leafy tapestry, and the crimson chair,

Paulo, meantime, who ever since the day
The lute, the glass that told the shedding hours,

He saw her sweet looks bending o'er his way, The little urn of silver for the flowers,

Had stored them up, unconsciously, as graces The frame for broidering, with a piece half done,

By which to judge all other forms and faces, And the white falcon, basking in the sun,

Had learnt, I know not how, the secret snare, Who, when he saw her, sidled on his stand,

Which gave her up, that evening, to his care. And twined his neck against her trembling hand.

Some babbler, may-be, of old Guido's court, But what had touched her nearest, was the thought, Or foolish friend had told him, half in sport: That if 'twere destined for her to be brought

But to his heart the fatal flattery went; To a sweet mother's bed, the joy would be

And grave he grew, and inwardly intent, Giovanni's too, and his her family:

And ran back, in bis mind, with sudden spring,
He seemed already father of her child, (smiled.

Look, gesture, smile, speech, silence, every thing,
And on the nestling pledge in patient thought she Even what before had seemed indifference,
Yet then a pang would cross her, and the red And read them over in another sense.
In either downward cheek startle and spread,

Then would he blush with sudden self-disdain,
To think that he, who was to have such part

To think how fanciful he was, and vain; In joys like these, had never shared her heart; And with half angry, half regretful sigh, But back she chased it with a sigh austere ;

T'ossing his chin, and feigning a free eye, And did she chance, at times like these, to hear

Breathe off, as 'twere, the idle tale, and look
Her husband's footstep, she would haste the more,

About him for his falcon or his book,
And with a double smile open the door,
And ask him after all his morning's doing,

Scorning that ever he should entertain
How his new soldiers pleased him in reviewing,
Orif the boar was slain which he had been pursuing.

This start however came so often round,-
The prince, at this, would bend on her an eye

So often fell he in deep thought, and found

Occasion to renew his carelessness,
Cordial enough, and kiss her tenderly;
Nor, to say truly, was he slow in common
To accept the attentions of this lovely woman;
But then meantime he took no generous pains,
By mutual pleasing, to secure his gains;
He entered not, in turn, in her delights,
Her books, her flowers, her taste for rural sights ;
Nay, scarcely her sweet singing minded he,
Unless his pride was roused by company;

Till 'twas his food and habit day by day,

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One thought that in the end might give his brother

Yet every time the power grown less and less

That by degrees, half wearied, half inclined,
To the sweet struggling image he resigned;
And merely, as he thought, to make the best
Of what by force would come about his breast,
Began to bend down his admiring eyes
On all her touching looks and qualities,
Turning their shapely sweetness every way,

And she became companion of his thought.

His brother only, more than hitherto, Silence her gentleness before him brought,

He would avoid, or sooner let subdue, Society her sense, reading her books,

Partly from something strange unfelt before, Music her voice, every sweet thing her looks, Partly because Giovanni sometimes wore Which sometimes seemed, when he sat fixed awhile, A knot his bride had worked him,green and gold ;To steal beneath his eyes with upward smile: For in all things with nature did she hold; And did he stroll into some lonely place,

And while 'twas being worked, her fancy was Under the trees, upon the thick soft grass,

Of sunbeams mingling with a tuft of grass.
How charming, would he think, to see her here! Francesca from herself but ill could hide
How heightened then, and perfect would appear What pleasure now was added to her side,
The two divinest things this world has got,

How placidly, yet fast, the days succeeded
A lovely woman in a rural spot!

With one who thought and felt so much as she did,

And how the chair he sat in, and the room, Thus daily went he on, gathering sweet pain Began to look, when he had failed to come. About his fancy, till it thrilled again;

But as she better knew the cause than he, And if his brother's image, less and less,

She seemed to have the more necessity Startled him up from his new idleness,

For struggling hard, and rousing all her pride; "Twas not,-he fancied that he reasoned worse,

And so she did at first; she even tried Or felt less scorn of wrong, but the reverse.

To feel a sort of anger at his care; That one should think of injuring another,

But these extremes brought but a kind despair; Or trenching on his peace,-this too a brother,

And then she only spoke more sweetly to him, And all from selfishness and pure weak will, To him seemed marvellous and impossible.

And found her failing eyes give looks that melted

through him. 'Tis true, thought he, one being more there was, Who might meantime have weary hours to pass,- Giovanni too, who felt relieved indeed One weaker too to bear them,-and for whom To see another to his place succeed, No matter;-he could not reverse her doom; Or rather filling up some trifling hours, And so he sighed and smiled, as if one thought Better spent elsewhere, and beneath his powers, Of paltering could suppose that he was to be caught. Left the new tie to strengthen day by day,

Talked less and less, and longer kept away,
Yet if she loved him, common gratitude,

Secure in his self-love and sense of right,
If not, a sense of what was fair and good,
Besides his new relationship and right,

That he was welcome most, come when he might.

And doubtless, they, in their still finer sense, Would make him wish to please her all he might;

With added care repaid this confidence, And as to thinking,—where could be the harm,

Turning their thoughts from his abuse of it If to his heart he kept its secret charm ?

To what on their own parts was graceful and was fit. He wished not to himself another's blessing, But then he might console for not possessing ; Ah now, ye gentle pair,—now think awhile, And glorious things there were, which but to see Now, while ye still can think, and still can smile; And not admire, was mere stupidity:

Now, while your generous hearts have not been He might as well object to his own eyes For loving to behold the fields and skies,

Perhaps with something not to be retrieved, His neighbour's grove, or story-painted hall; And ye have still, within, the power of gladness, 'Twas but the taste for what was natural;

From self-resentment free and retrospective madOnly his fav’rite thought was loveliest of them all. ness! Concluding thus, and happier that he knew So did they think ;—but partly from delay, His ground so well, near and more near he drew; Partly from fancied ignorance of the way, And, sanctioned by his brother's manner, spent

And most from feeling the bare contemplation Hours by her side as happy as well-meant.

Give them fresh need of mutual consolation, He read with her, he rode, he went a hawking, They scarcely tried to see each other less, He spent still evenings in delightful talking,

And did but meet with deeper tenderness, While she sat busy at her broidery frame;

Living, from day to day, as they were used, Or touched the lute with her, and when they came Only with graver thoughts, and smiles reduced, To some fine part, prepared her for the pleasure, And sighs more frequent, which, when one would And then with double smile stole on the measure. The other longed to start up and receive. [heave, Then at the tournament,—who there but she For whether some suspicion now had crossed Made him more gallant still than formerly

Giovanni's mind, or whether he had lost Couch o'er his tightened lance with double force, More of his temper lately, he would treat Pass like the wind, sweeping down man and horse, His wife with petty scorns, and starts of heat, And franklier then than ever, midst the shout And, to his own omissions proudly blind, And dancing trumpetsride, uncovered, roundabout? O'erlook the pains she took to make him kind,


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And yet be angry, if he thought them less;

Where at her drink you started the slim deer,
He found reproaches in her meek distress,

Retreating lightly with a lovely fear.
Forcing her silent tears, and then resenting, And all about, the birds kept leafy house,
Then almost angrier grown from half repenting, And sung and sparkled in and out the boughs;
And, hinting at the last, that some there were And all about, a lovely sky of blue
Better perhaps than he, and tastefuller,

Clearly was felt,or down the leaves laughed through;
And these, for what he knew,-he little cared, And here and there, in every part, were seats,
Might please her, and be pleased, though he des- Some in the open walks, some in retreats ;

With bowering leaves o'erhead, to which the eye Then would he quit the room, and half disdain Looked up half sweetly and half awfully,Himself for being in so harsh a strain,

Places of nestling green, for poets made,
And venting thus his temper on a woman;

Where when the sunshine struck a yellow shade,
Yet not the more for that changed he in common, The slender trunks, to inward peeping sight,
Or took more pains to please her, and be near:- Thronged in dark pillars up the gold green light.
What! should he truckle to a woman's tear?

But 'twixt the wood and flowery walks, halfway,
At times like these the princess tried to shun And formed of both, the loveliest portion lay,
The face of Paulo as too kind a one;

A spot, that struck you like enchanted ground:-
And shutting up her tears with resolute sigh, It was a shallow dell, set in a mound
Would walk into the air, and see the sky,

Of sloping shrubs, that mounted by degrees,
And feel about her all the garden green, (tween. The birch and poplar mixed with heavier trees;
And hear the birds that shot the covert boughs be- From under which, sent through a marble spout,

Betwixt the dark wet green, a rill gushed out, A noble range it was, of many a rood,

Whose low sweet talking seemed as if it said Walled round with trees, and ending in a wood: Something eternal to that happy shade: Indeed the whole was leafy; and it had

The ground within was lawn, with plots of flowers
A winding stream about it, clear and glad,

Heaped towards the centre, and with citron bowers;
That danced from shade to shade, and on its way And in the midst of all, clustered about
Seemed smiling with delight to feel the day. With bay and myrtle, and just gleaming out,
There was the pouting rose, both red and white, Lurked a pavilion,-a delicious sight,
The flamy heart's-ease, flushed with purple light, Small, marble, well-proportioned, mellowy white,
Blush-hiding strawberry, sunny-coloured box, With yellow vine-leaves sprinkled,—but no more,-
Hyacinth, handsome with his clustering locks, And a young orange either side the door.
The lady lily, looking gently down,

The door was to the wood, forward, and square,
Pure lavender, to lay in bridal gown,

The rest was domed at top, and circular;
The daisy, lovely on both sides,-in short,

And through the dome the only light came in,
All the sweet cups to which the bees resort; Tinged, as it entered, with the vine-leaves thin.
With plots of grass, and perfumed walks between
Of citron, honeysuckle, and jessamine,

It was a beauteous piece of ancient skill,
With orange, whose warm leaves so finely suit, Spared froin the rage of and perfect still;
And look as if they'd shade a golden fruit;

By most supposed the work of fairy hands,
And midst the flowers, tursed round beneath a shade Famed for luxurious taste, and choice of lands,–
Of circling pines, a babbling fountain played, Alcina, or Morgana,—who from fights
And 'twixt their shafts you saw the water bright, And errant fame inveigled amorous knights

, Which through the darksome tops glimmered with

And lived with them in a long round of blisses, showering light.

Feasts, concerts, baths, and bower-enshaded kisses. So now you walked beside an odorous bed

But 'twas a temple, as its sculpture told, Of gorgeous hues, white, azure, golden, red;

Built to the nymphs that haunted there of old; And now turned off into a leafy walk,

For o'er the door was carved a sacrifice Close and continuous, fit for lovers' talk;

By girls and shepherds brought, with reverenteyes, And now pursued the stream, and as you trod

Of sylvan drinks and foods, simple and sweet, Onward and onward o'er the velvet sod,

And goats with struggling horns and planted feet: Felt on your face an air, watery and sweet,

And on a line with this ran round about And a new sense in your soft-lighting feet;

A like relief, touched exquisitely out, And then perhaps you entered upon shades,

That shewed, in various scenes, the nymphs them-
Pillowed with dells and uplands 'twixt the glades,

Some by the water side on bowery shelves
Through which the distant palace, now and then,
Looked lordly forth with many-windowed ken;

Leaning at will, --some in the water sporting
A land of trees, which reaching round about,

With sides half swelling forth, and looks of courtIn shady blessing stretched their old arms out,

Some in a flowery dell, hearing a swain (ingia With spots of sunny opening, and with nooks,

Play on his pipe, till the hills ring again,
To lie and read in, sloping into brooks,

Some tying up their long moist hair,--some sleeping
Under the trees, with fauns and satyrs peeping,

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Or, sidelong-eyed, pretending not to see

And read with a full heart, half sweet, half sad, The latter in the brakes come creepingly,

How old King Ban was spoiled of all he had While their forgotten urns, lying about

But one fair castle: how one summer's day In the green herbage, let the water out.

With his fair queen and child he went away Never, be sure, before or since was seen

To ask the great King Arthur for assistance; A summer-house so fine in such a nest of green. How reaching by himself a hill at distance

He turned to give his castle a last look, All the green garden, flower-bed, shade, and plot,

And saw its far white face: and how a smoke, Francesca loved, but most of all this spot.

As he was looking, burst in volumes forth, Whenever she walked forth, wherever went

Aud good King Ban saw all that he was worth, About the grounds, to this at last she bent:

And his fair castle, burning to the ground, Here she had brought a lute and a few books;

So that his wearied pulse felt over-wound, Here would she lie for hours with grateful looks,

And he lay down, and said a prayer apart by Thanking at heart the sunshine and the leaves,

For those he loved, and broke his poor old heart. The summer rain-drops counting from the eaves,

Then read she of the queen with her

young child, And all that promising, calm smile we see

How she came up, and nearly had gone wild;
In nature's face, when we look patiently.

And how in journeying on in her despair,
Then would she think of heaven; and you might hear

She reached a lake, and met a lady there,
Sometimes, when every thing was hushed and clear,

Who pitied her, and took the baby sweet
Her gentle voice from out those shades emerging,

Into her arms, when lo, with closing feet
Singing the evening anthem to the Virgin.

She sprang up all at once, like bird from brake,
The gardeners and the rest, who served the place,

And vanished with him underneath the lake.
And blest whenever they beheld her face,

The mother's feelings we as well may pass:-
Knelt when they heard it, bowing and uncovered,

The fairy of the place that lady was,
And felt as if in air some sainted beauty hovered.

And Launcelot (so the boy was called) became

Her inmate, till in search of knightly fame
One day,
'twas on a summer afternoon,

He went to Arthur's court, and played his part
When airs and gurgling brooks are best in tune,
And grasshoppers are loud, and day-work done,

So rarely, and displayed so frank a heart,

That what with all his charms of look and limb,
And shades have heavy outlines in the sun,

The Queen Geneura fell in love with him :-
The princess came to her accustomed bower

And here, with growing interest in her reading,
To get her, if she could, a soothing hour,

The princess, doubly fixed, was now proceeding.
Trying, as she was used, to leave her eares
Without, and slumberously enjoy the airs,

Ready she sat with one hand to turn o'er
And the low-talking leaves, and that cool light

The leaf, to which her thoughts ran on before,
The vines let in, and all that hushing sight

The other propping her white brow, and throwing
Of closing wood seen through the opening door,

Its ringlets out, under the skylight glowing.
And distant plash of waters tumbling o'er,

So sat she fixed; and so observed was she
And smell of citron blooms, and fifty luxuries more.

Of one, who at the door stood tenderly,

Paulo,—who from a window seeing her
She tried, as usual, for the trial's sake,

Go straight across the lawn, and guessing where,
For even that diminished her heart-ache;

Had thought she was in tears, and found, that day
And never yet, how ill soe'er at ease,

His usual efforts vain to keep away.
Came she for nothing, midst the flowers and trees.

May I come in?" said he:-it made her start,
Yet somehow or another, on that day,
She seemed to feel too lightly borne away,

That smiling voice;—she coloured, pressed her heart

A moment, as for breath, and then with free
Too much relieved,—too much inclined to draw

And usual tone said, “O yes,-certainly."
A careless joy from every thing she saw,
And looking round her with a new-born eye,

There's apt to be, at conscious times like these,
As if some tree of knowledge had been nigh, An affectation of a bright-eyed ease,
To taste of nature, primitive and free,

An air of something quite serene and sure,
And bask at ease in her heart's liberty.

As if to seem so, was to be secure:

With this the lovers met, with this they spoke, Painfully clear those rising thoughts appeared,

With this they sat down to the self-same book,
With something dark at bottom that she feared;

And Paulo, by degrees, gently embraced
And snatching from the fields her thoughtful look,

With one permitted arm her lovely waist;
She reached o'er-head, and took her down a book,

And both their cheeks, like peaches on a tree,
And fell to reading with as fixed an air,

Leaned with a touch together thrillingly;
As though she had been wrapt since morning there.

And o'er the book they hung, and nothing said,
'Twas Launcelot of the Lake, a bright romance, And every lingering page grew longer as they read.
That like a trumpet, made young pulses dance,
Yet had a softer note that shook still more;-

As thus they sat, and felt with leaps of heart
She had begun it but the day before,

Their colour change, they came upon the part

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