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And leafy dreams affords me, and a feeling (ing; The worst of Prince Giovanni, as his bride
Punctual and right in common offices,
The scattering smiles on this uneasy earth;
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,
And struck a meaner deference in the many,
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,
Without much trouble of the reasoning art,
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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One Nor And Off
. Or better still, in my ideas, at least,
Or when to please him, after martial play,
She strained her late to some old fiery lay
In battle you might know where Richard was.
Yet all the while, no doubt, however stern
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,
And like a morning beam wake to himevery morrow.
Paulo, meantime, who ever since the day
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,
Look, gesture, smile, speech, silence, every thing,
Then would he blush with sudden self-disdain,
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
About him for his falcon or his book,
Scorning that ever he should entertain
This start however came so often round,-
So often fell he in deep thought, and found
Occasion to renew his carelessness,
Till 'twas his food and habit day by day,
One thought that in the end might give his brother
Yet every time the power grown less and less
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 placidly, yet fast, the days succeeded
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,
Secure in his self-love and sense of 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,
Retreating lightly with a lovely fear.
Clearly was felt,or down the leaves laughed through;
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,
Where when the sunshine struck a yellow shade,
But 'twixt the wood and flowery walks, halfway,
A spot, that struck you like enchanted ground:-
Of sloping shrubs, that mounted by degrees,
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
Heaped towards the centre, and with citron bowers;
The door was to the wood, forward, and square,
The rest was domed at top, and circular;
And through the dome the only light came in,
It was a beauteous piece of ancient skill,
By most supposed the work of fairy hands,
, 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-
Some by the water side on bowery shelves
Leaning at will, --some in the water sporting
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,
Some tying up their long moist hair,--some sleeping
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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;
And how in journeying on in her despair,
She reached a lake, and met a lady there,
Who pitied her, and took the baby sweet
Into her arms, when lo, with closing feet
She sprang up all at once, like bird from brake,
And vanished with him underneath the lake.
The mother's feelings we as well may pass:-
The fairy of the place that lady was,
And Launcelot (so the boy was called) became
Her inmate, till in search of knightly fame
He went to Arthur's court, and played his part
So rarely, and displayed so frank a heart,
That what with all his charms of look and limb,
The Queen Geneura fell in love with him :-
And here, with growing interest in her reading,
The princess, doubly fixed, was now proceeding.
Ready she sat with one hand to turn o'er
The leaf, to which her thoughts ran on before,
The other propping her white brow, and throwing
Its ringlets out, under the skylight glowing.
So sat she fixed; and so observed was she
Of one, who at the door stood tenderly,
Paulo,—who from a window seeing her
Go straight across the lawn, and guessing where,
Had thought she was in tears, and found, that day
His usual efforts vain to keep away.
May I come in?" said he:-it made her start,
That smiling voice;—she coloured, pressed her heart
A moment, as for breath, and then with free
And usual tone said, “O yes,-certainly."
There's apt to be, at conscious times like these,
An air of something quite serene and sure,
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,
And Paulo, by degrees, gently embraced
With one permitted arm her lovely waist;
And both their cheeks, like peaches on a tree,
Leaned with a touch together thrillingly;
And o'er the book they hung, and nothing said,
As thus they sat, and felt with leaps of heart
Their colour change, they came upon the part