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“ Fear not a constraining measure ! - Yielding to this gentle spell, Lucida! from domes of pleasure, Or from cottage-sprinkled dell, Come to regions solitary, Where the eagle builds her aery, Above the hermit's long-forsaken cell!”
She comes ! — behold That Figure, like a ship with snow-white sail ! Nearer she draws; a breeze uplifts her. veil ; Upon her coming wait As pure a sunshine and as soft a gale As e'er, on herbage covering earthly mould, Tempted the bird of Juno to unfold His richest splendor, - when his veering gait And
every motion of his starry train Seem governed by a strain Of music, audible to him alone.
“O Lady, worthy of earth's proudest throne ! Nor less, by excellence of nature, fit Beside an unambitious hearth to sit Domestic queen, where grandeur is unknown; What living man could fear The worst of Fortune's malice, wert thou near, Humbling that lily-stem, thy sceptre meek, That its fair flowers may from his cheek Brush the too happy tear ?
Queen, and handmaid lowly! Whose skill can speed the day with lively cares,
And banish melancholy
By all that mind invents or hand prepares ;
O Thou, against whose lip, without its smile
And in its silence even, no heart is proof;
Whose goodness, sinking deep, would reconcile
The softest Nursling of a gorgeous palace
To the bare life beneath the hawthorn-roof
Of Sherwood's Archer, or in caves of Wallace,
Who that hath seen thy beauty could content
His soul with but a glimpse of heavenly day ?
Who that hath loved thee, but would lay
His strong hand on the wind, if it were bent
To take thee in thy majesty away?
- Pass onward; (even the glancing deer Till we depart intrude not here ;) That mossy slope, o'er which the woodbine throws A canopy,
is smoothed for thy repose !”
Glad moment is it when the throng
Of warblers in full concert strong
Strive, and not vainly strive, to rout
The lagging shower, and force coy Phoebus out,
Met by the rainbow's form divine,
Issuing from her cloudy shrine;
So may the thrillings of the lyre
Prevail to further our desire,
While to these shades a sister Nymph I call.
“ Come, if the notes thine ear may pierce, Come, youngest of the lovely Three,
Submissive to the might of verse
And the dear voice of harmony,
By none more deeply felt than thee !”
- I sang; and lo! from pastimes virginal
She hastens to the tents
Of nature, and the lonely elements.
Air sparkles round her with a dazzling sheen;
But mark her glowing cheek, her vesture green!
And, as if wishful to disarm
Or to repay the potent Charm,
She bears the stringèd lute of old romance,
That cheered the trellised arbor's privacy,
And soothed war-wearied knights in raftered hall.
How vivid, yet how delicate, her glee !
So tripped the Muse, inventress of the dance ;
So, truant in waste woods, the blithe Euphrosyne !
But the ringlets of that head,
Why are they ungarlanded ?
Why bedeck her temples less
Than the simplest shepherdess?
Is it not a brow inviting
Choicest flowers that ever breathed,
Which the myrtle would delight in
With Idalian rose enwreathed ?
But her humility is well content
With one wild floweret, (call it not forlorn,)
FLOWER OF THE WINDS, beneath her bosom
Open, ye thickets ! let her fly,
Swift as a Thracian Nymph, o'er field and height!
For she, to all but those who love her shy,
Would gladly vanish from a Stranger's sight;
Though where she is beloved and loves,
Light as the wheeling butterfly she moves ;
Her happy spirit as a bird is free,
That rifles blossoms on a tree,
Turning them inside out with arch audacity.
Alas ! how little can a moment show
Of an eye where feeling plays
In ten thousand dewy rays ;
A face o'er which a thousand shadows go!
is fastened to that rivulet's side ;
And there (while, with sedater mien,
O’er timid waters that have scarcely left
Their birthplace in the rocky cleft
She bends) at leisure may be seen
Features to old ideal grace allied,
Amid their smiles and dimples dignified, -
Fit countenance for the soul of primal truth ;
The bland composure of eternal youth !
What more changeful than the sea ?
But over his great tides
Fidelity presides ;
And this light-hearted Maiden constant is as he.
High is her aim as heaven above,
And wide as ether her good-will ;
And, like the lowly reed, her love
Can drink its nurture from the scantiest rill:
Insight as keen as frosty star
Is to her charity no bar,
Nor interrupts her frolic graces
When she is, far from these wild places,
Encircled by familiar faces.
O the charm that manners draw,
Nature, from thy genuine law !
If from what her hand would do,
Her voice would utter, aught ensue
Untoward or unfit;
She, in benign affections pure,
In self-forgetfulness secure,
Sheds round the transient harm or vague
A light unknown to tutored elegance :
Hers is not a cheek shame-stricken,
But her blushes are joy-flushes;
And the fault (if fault it be)
Only ministers to quicken
And kindle sportive wit, -
Leaving this Daughter of the mountains free
As if she knew that Oberon king of Faery
Had crossed her purpose with some quaint vagary,
And heard his viewless bands
Over their mirthful triumph clapping hands.
“ Last of the Three, though eldest born, Reveal thyself, like pensive Morn