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I saw a vapor in the sky,
Thin, and white, and very high ; I ne'er beheld so thin a cloud ;
Perhaps the breezes that can fly
Now below and now above,
Of Lady fair—that died for love.
Hush ! my heedless feet from under
Slip the crumbling banks for ever;
They plunge into the gentle river.
Your movements to some heavenly tune! O beauteous birds ! 'tis such a pleasure,
To see you move beneath the moon,
I know the place where Lewti lies,
It is a breezy jasmine bower,
Voice of the night! had I the power
As these two swans together heave
On the gently swelling wave.
Oh! that she saw me in a dream,
And dreamt that I had died for care;
Yet fair withal, as spirits are !
OR THE LOVER'S RESOLUTION. THROUGH weeds and thorns, and matted un
derwood I force my way; now climb, and now descend O’er rocks, or bare or mossy, with wild foot Crushing the purple whorts; while oft unseen, Hurrying along the drifted forest-leaves, The scared snake rustles. Onward still I toil I know not, ask not whither! A new joy, Lovely as light, sudden as summer gust, And gladsome as the first-born of the spring, Beckons me on, or follows from behind, Playmate or guide! The master-passion quelled, I feel that I am free. With dun-red bark The fir-trees, and the unfrequent slender oak, Forth from this tangle wild of bush and brake Soar up, and form a melancholy vault High o'er me, murmuring like a distant sea.
Here Wisdom might resort, and here Remorse :
Here too the love-lorn man, who, sick in soul, | And of this busy human he:urt aweary,
Worships the spirit of unconscious life
And you, ye
But hence, fond wretch! breathe not contagion
here! No myrtle-walks are these: these are no groves Where Love dare loiter! If in sullen mood He should stray hither, the low stumps shall gore His dainty feet, the brier and the thorn Make his plumes haggard. Like a wounded bird Easily caught, ensnare him, 0 ye Nymphs, Ye Oreads chaste, ye dusky Dryades ! Earth-winds !
that make at morn The dew-drops quiver on the spiders' webs! You, O ye wingless Airs ! that creep between The rigid stems of heath and bitten furze, Within whose scanty shade, at summer-noon, The mother-sheep hath worn a hollow-bedYe, that now cool her fleece with dropless damp, Now pant and murmur with her feeling lamb. Chase, chase him, all ye Fays, and elfin Gnomes ! With prickles sharper than his darts bemock His little Godship, making him perforce Creep through a thorn-bush on yon hedgehog's back.
This is my hour of triumph! I can now With my own fancies play the merry fool,
And laugh away worse folly, being free
Sweet breeze! thou only, if I guess aright,
Had from her countenance turned, or looked by
stealth, (For fear is true love's cruel nurse), he now With steadfast gaze and unoffending eye, Worships the watery idol, dreaming hopes Delicious to the soul, but fleeting, vain, E’en as that phantom-world on which he gazed, But not unheeded gazed ! for see, ah! see, The sportive tyrant with her left hand plucks The heads of tall flowers that behind her grow, Lychnis, and willow- herb, and fox-glove bells ; And suddenly, as one that toys with time, Scatters them on the pool! Then all the charm Is broken-all that phantom-world so fair Vanishes, and a thousand circlets spread, And each mis-shape the other. Stay awhile, Poor youth, who scarcely dar’st lift up thine eyes ! The stream will soon renew its smoothness, soon The visions will return! And lo! he stays: And soon the fragments dim of lovely forms Come trembling back, unite, and now once more The pool becomes a mirror; and behold Each wild-flower on the marge inverted there, And there the half-uprooted tree-but where O where the virgin's snowy arm that leaned On its bare branch ? He turns and she is gone! Homeward she steals through many a woodland
Which he shall seek in vain. Ill-fated youth !