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A smile of such delight,
As brilliant and as bright,
As when with ravish'd, aching, vassal eyes,
Lost in soft amaze,
I gaze, I gaze!
Who now, with greedy looks, eats up my feast?
What stare outfaces now my silver moon?
Ah! keep that hand unravish'd at the least;
Let, let, the amorous burn
But, prythee, do not turn
The current of your heart from me so soon.
O! save, in charity,
The quickest pulse for me.
Save it for me, sweet love! though music breathe
Voluptuous visions into the warm air,
Though swimming through the dance's dangerous
Be like an April day,
Smiling and cold and gay,
A temperate lily, temperate as fair ;
Then, Heaven! there will be
A warmer June for me.
Why, this-you'll say, my Fanny! is not true: Put your soft hand upon your snowy side, Where the heart beats: confess—'tis nothing new
Must not a woman be
A feather on the sea,
Sway'd to and fro by every wind and tide ?
Of as uncertain speed
As blow-ball from the mead ?
I know it-and to know it is despair
To one who loves you as I love, sweet Fanny !
Whose heart goes flutt'ring for you everywhere,
Nor, when away you roam,
Dare keep its wretched home,
Love, love alone, his pains severe and many:
Then, loveliest! keep me free,
From torturing jealousy.
Ah! if you prize my subdued soul above
The poor, the fading, brief pride of an hour;
Let none profane my Holy See of love,
Or with a rude hand break
The sacramental cake :
Let none else touch the just new-budded flower
If not — may my eyes close,
Love! on their last repose.
HAT can I do to drive away
• Remembrance from my eyes ? for they
Aye, an hour ago, my brilliant Queen!
Touch has a memory. O say, love, say,
What can I do to kill it and be free
In my old liberty?
When every fair one that I saw was fair
Enough to catch me in but half a snare,
Not keep me there :
When, howe'er poor or particolour'd things,
My muse had wings,
And ever ready was to take her course
Whither I bent her force,
Unintellectual, yet divine to me;
Divine, I say!—What sea-bird o'er the sea
Is a philosopher the while he goes
Winging along where the great water throes ?
How shall I do
To get anew
Those moulted feathers, and so mount once more
The reach of fluttering Love,
And make him cower lowly while I soar?
Shall I gulp wine ? No, that is vulgarism,
A heresy and schism,
Foisted into the canon-law of love;
No,- wine is only sweet to happy men;
More dismal cares
Seize on me unawares,
Where shall I learn to get my peace again ?
To banish thoughts of that most hateful land,
Dungeoner of my friends, that wicked strand
Where they were wreck'd and lived a wrecked life;
That monstrous region, whose dull rivers pour,
Ever from their sordid urns unto the shore,
Unown'd of any weedy-haired gods;
Whose winds, all zephyrless, hold scourging rods,
Iced in the great lakes, to afflict mankind;
Whose rank-grown forests, frosted, black, and blind,
Would fright a Dryad; whose harsh herbaged meads
Make lean and lank the starv'd ox while he feeds;
There bad flowers have no scent, birds no sweet song,
And great unerring Nature once seems wrong.
O, for some sunny spell To dissipate the shadows of this hell ! Say they are gone,— with the new dawning light Steps forth my lady bright! O, let me once more rest My soul upon that dazzling breast! Let once again these aching arms be placed; The tender gaolers of thy waist! And let me feel that warm breath here and there To spread a rapture in my very hair,O, the sweetness of the pain! Give me those lips again! Enough! Enough! it is enough for me To dream of thee! Oct. 1819.