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CATHERINE.

FRIEND.

ELIZA.

ELIZA.

FRIEND.

FRIEND.

ity, by mutual infirmities, and even by a feeling of guise of playful raillery, and the countless other nodesty which will arise in delicate minds, when infinitesimals of pleasurable thought and genial they are conscious of possessing the same or the feeling. correspondent excellence in their own characters. In short, there must be a mind, which, while it feels Well, Sir ; you have said quite enough to make me the beautiful and the excellent in the beloved as its despair of finding a “ John Anderson, my jo, John," own, and by right of love appropriates it, can call to totter down the hill of life with. Goodness its Playfellow, and dares make sport of time and infirmity, while, in the person of a thou

Not so! Good men are not, I trust, so much scarcer sand-foldly endeared partner, we feel for aged VIRTUE the caressing fondness that belongs to the INNOCENCE than good women, but that what another would find of childhood, and repeat the same attentions and in you, you may hope to find in another. But well, tender courtesies as had been dictated by the same however, may that boon be rare, the possession of affection to the same object when attired in feminine which would be more than an adequate reward for loveliness or in manly beauty.

the rarest virtue.

Surely, he who has described it so beautifully, What a soothing-what an elevating idea!

must have possessed it? CATHERINE. If it be not only an idea.

If he were worthy to have possessed it, and had

believingly anticipated and not found it, how bitter At all events, these qualities which I have enumer- the disappointment! ued, are rarely found united in a single individual. How much more rare must it be, that two such in

(Then, after a pause of a few minutes). dividuals should meet together in this wide world

ANSWER (ez improviso). under circumstances that admit of their union as Yes, yes! that boon, life's richest treat, Hoshand and Wife! A person may be highly estima- He had, or fancied that he had ; ble on the whole, nay, amiable as neighbor, friend, Say, 't was but in his own conceitborsemate-in short, in all the concentric circles of

The fancy made him glad! attachment, save only the last and inmost ; and yet Crown of his cup, and garnish of his dish! fra how many causes be estranged from the highest The boon, prefigured in his earliest wish! perfection in this! Pride, coldness or fastidiousness The fair fulfilment of his poesy,

nature, worldly cares, an anxious or ambitious dis- When his young heart first yearn'd for sympathy! cestion, a passion for display, a sullen temper-one in the other—too often proves the dead fly in the But e'en the meteor offspring of the brain compost of spices," and any one is enough to unfit it

Unnourish'd wane! ka the precious balm of unction. For some mighty Faith asks her daily bread, good sort of people, too, there is not seldom a sort of And Fancy must be fed! Roletan saturnine, or, if you will, ursine vanity, that Now so it chanced— from wet or dry, keeps itself alive by sucking the paws of its own self

It boots not how I know not whyimportance. And as this high sense, or rather sensa. She miss'd her wonted food : and quickly ca of their own value is, for the most part, ground. Poor Fancy stagger'd and grew sickly. $ ma negative qualities, so they have no better means Then came a restless state, 't wixt yea preserving the same but by negatives—that is, by His faith was fix'd, his heart all ebb and flow;

nay, sa dung or saying any thing, that might be put down Or like a bark, in some half-shelter'd bay, far fad, silly, or nonsensical, or (to use their own Above its anchor driving to and fro. phrasej by never forgetting themselves, which some of their acquaintance are uncharitable enough to think the most worthless object they could be employed in That boon, which but to have possess'd

In a belief, gave life a zest

Uncertain both what it had been,
ZUILA (in answer to a whisper from CATHERINE).

And if by error lost, or luck;
To a hair! He must have sate for it himself. Save And what it was :-an evergreen
the fram soch folks! But they are out of the question. Which some insidious blight had struck,
FRIEND.

Or annual flower, which past its blow,
True! but the same effect is produced in thousands No vernal spell shall e'er revive;

the too general insensibility to a very important Uncertain, and afraid to know, 13h; this, namely, that the misery of human life is Doubts toss'd him to and fro;

up of large masses, each separated from the Hope keeping Love, Love Hope alive, erat ben certain intervals. One year, the death of a Like babes bewilder'd in a snow, eld; years after, a failure in trade;

after another That cling and huddle from the cold kriget or shorter interval, a danghter may have In hollow tree or ruin'd fold. zaried unhappily ;- in all but the singularly unkritrate, the integral parts that compose the sum Those sparkling colors, once his boast, total of the unhappiness of a man's life, are easily Fading, one by one away, saulted

, and distinctly remembered. The HAPPINESS Thin and hueless as a ghost, fizie, on the contrary, is made up of minute frac

Poor Fancy on her sick-bed lay; Mos the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss, a ni at distance, worse when near, sale, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment in the dis- Telling her dreams to jealous Fear !

and

membering.

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Where was it then, the sociable sprite

Or lent a lustre to the earnest scan
That crown'd the Poet's cup and deck'd his dish! of manhood, musing what and whence is man!
Poor shadow cast from an unsteady wish,

Wild strain of Scalds, that in the sea-worn caves
Itself a substance by no other right

Rehearsed their war-spell to the winds and waves But that it intercepted Reason's light;

Or fateful hymn of those prophetic maids,
It dimm'd his eye, it darken’d on his brow, That callid on Hertha in deep forest glades;
A peevish mood, a tedious time, I trow!

Or minstrel lay, that cheer'd the baron's feast;
Thank Heaven! 't is not so now.

Or rhyme of city pomp, of monk and priest,
Judge, mayor, and many a guild in long array,

To high-church pacing on the great saint's day.
O bliss of blissful hours !

And many a verse which to myself I sang, The boon of Heaven's decreeing,

That woke the tear, yet stole away the pang,
While yet in Eden's bowers

Of hopes which in lamenting I renewid.
Dwelt the First Husband and his sinless Mate! And last, a matron now, of sober mien,
The one sweet plant which, piteous Heaven agreeing, Yet radiant still and with no earthly sheen,
They bore with them through Eden's closing gate! Whom as a faëry child my childhood wood
of life's gay summer-tide the sovran Rose ! Even in my dawn of thought-Philosophy.
Late autumn's Amaranth, that more fragrant blows Though then unconscious of herself, pardie,
When Passion's flowers all fall or fade ;

She bore no other name than Poesy;
If this were ever his, in outward being,

And, like a gift from heaven, in lifeful glee, Or but his own true love's projected shade, That had but newly left a mother's knee, Now, that at length by certain proof he knows, Prattled and play'd with bird and flower, and stone, That whether real or magic show,

As if with elfin playfellows well known,
Whate'er it was, it is no longer so;

And life reveal'd to innocence alone.
Though heart be lonesome, Hope laid low,
Yet, Lady! deem him not unblest :
The certainty that struck Hope dead,

Thanks, gentle artist! now I can descry
Hath left Contentment in her stead :

Thy fair creation with a mastering eye,
And that is next to best !

And all awake! And now in fix'd gaze stand,
Now wander through the Eden of thy hand;
Praise the green arches, on the fountain clear
See fragment shadows of the crossing deer,
And with that serviceable nymph I stoop,

The crystal from its restless pool to scoop.
THE GARDEN OF BOCCACCIO. I see no longer! I myself am there,

Sit on the ground-sward, and the banquet share.
Of late, in one of those most weary hours,

'T is I, that sweep that lute's love-echoing strings, When life seems emptied of all genial powers,

And gaze upon the maid who gazing sings : A dreary mood, which he who ne'er has known Or pause and listen to the tinkling bells May bless his happy lot, I sate alone;

From the high tower, and think that there she dwells And, from the numbing spell to win relief,

With old Boccaccio's soul I stand possest,
Callid on the past for thought of glee or grief.

And breathe an air like life, that swells my chest.
In vain! bereft alike of grief and glee,
I sate and cower'd o'er my own vacancy!
And as I watch'd the dull continuous ache, The brightness of the world, O thou once free,
Which, all else slumb'ring, seem'd alone to wake; And always fair, rare land of courtesy !
O Friend! long wont to notice yet conceal, O, Florence! with the Tuscan fields and hills!
And soothe by silence what words cannot heal, And famous Arno fed with all their rills;
I but half saw that quiet hand of thine

Thou brightest star of star-bright Italy!
Place on my desk this exquisite design,

Rich, ornate, populous, all treasures thine, Boccaccio's Garden and its faëry,

The golden corn, the olive, and the vine. The love, the joyaunce, and the gallantry!

Fair cities, gallant mansions, castles old, An Idyll, with Boccaccio's spirit warm,

And forests, where beside his leafy hold Framed in the silent poesy of form.

The sullen boar hath heard the distant horn,
Like flocks adown a newly-bathed steep

And whets his tusks against the gnarled thorn ;
Emerging from a mist: or like a stream Palladian palace with its storied halls;
Of music soft that not dispels the sleep,

Fountains, where Love lies listening to their falls
But casts in happier moulds the slumberer's dream, Gardens, where flings the bridge its airy span,
Gazed by an idle eye with silent might

And Nature makes her happy home with man;
The picture stole upon my inward sight.

Where many a gorgeous flower is duly fed
A tremulous warmth crepi gradual o'er my chest, With its own rill, on its own spangled bed,
As though an infant's finger touch'd my breast. And wreathes the marble urn, or leans its head,
And one by one (I know not whence) were brought A mimic mourner, that with veil withdrawn
All spirits of power that most had stirr'd my thought. Weeps liquid gems, the presents of the dawn,
In selfless boyhood, on a new world tost

Thine all delights, and every muse is thine :
Of wonder, and in its own fancies lost;

And more than all, the embrace and intertwine Or charm’d my youth, that kindled from above, Or all with all in gay and twinkling dance' Loved ere it loved, and sought a form for love ; 'Mid gods of Greece and warriors of romance,

See! Boccace sits, unfolding on his knees

O all-enjoying and all-blending sage, The new-found roll of old Mæonides ;*

Long be it mine to con thy mazy page, But from his mantle's fold, and near the heart, Where, half conceal'd, the eye of fancy views Peers Ovid's Holy Book of Love's sweet smart ! Fauns, nymphs, and winged saints, all gracious to thy

muse! • Boccaccio claimed for himself the glory of having first introduced the works of Homer to his countrymen.

Still in thy garden let me watch their pranks, f I know few more striking or more interesting proofs of the And see in Dian's vest between the ranks overwhelming influence which the study of the Greek and Ro- of the trim vines, some maid that half believes man classics exercised on the judgments, feelings, and imagidations of the literati of Europe at the commencement of the The vestal fires, of which her lover grieves, restoration of literature, than the passage in the Filocopo of With that sly satyr peering through the leaves ! Boccaccio : wbere the sage instructor, Racheo, as soon as the Foung prince and the beautiful girl Biancafiore had learned their letters, sets them to study the Holy Book, Ovid's Art of nato a conoscer le lettere, fece legere il santo libro d' Onvidio, Love. Incomincið Racheo a mettere il suo officio in essecu- nel quale il sommo poeta mostra, come i santi fuochi di Venero zione con intera sollecitudine. E loro, in breve tempo, inseg- si debbano ne freddi cuori occendere."

235

THE END OF COLERIDGE'S POETICAL WORKS.

THE

POETIOAL WORKS

OF

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.

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