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Of this sweet spot of earth. The bowery shore
The sidelong view of swelling leafiness,
The lonely turret, shatter'd, and outworn, Stands venerably proud ; too proud to mourn Its long-lost grandeur: fir-trees grow around, Aye dropping their hard fruit upon the ground. The little chapel, with the cross above, Upholding wreaths of ivy; the white dove, That on the windows spreads his feathers light, And seems from purple clouds to wing its flight.
Green tufted islands casting their soft shades Across the lake; sequester'd leafy glades, That through the dimness of their twilight show Large dock-leaves, spiral foxgloves, or the glow Of the wild cat's-eyes, or the silvery stems Of delicate birch-trees, or long grass which hems A little brook. The youth had long been viewing These pleasant things, and heaven was bedewing The mountain flowers, when his glad senses caught A trumpet's silver voice. Ah! it was fraught With many joys for him: the warder's ken Had found white coursers prancing in the glen, Friends very dear to him he soon will see; So pushes off his boat most eagerly. And soon upon the lake he skims along,
Deaf to the nightingale's first under-song;
be seen the castle gloomy and grand : Nor will a bee buzz round two swelling peaches, Before the point of his light shallop reaches Those marble steps that through the water dip : Now over them he goes with hasty trip, And scarcely stays to ope the folding doors : Anon he leaps along the oaken floors Of halls and corridors. Delicious sounds! those little bright-eyed things That float about the air on azure wings, Had been less heartfelt by him than the clang Of clattering hoofs; into the court he sprang, Just as two noble steeds, and palfreys twain, Were slanting out their necks with loosen'd rein ; While from beneath the threatening portcullis They brought their happy burthens. "What a kiss, What gentle squeeze he gave each lady's hand ! How tremblingly their delicate ankles spann'd! Into how sweet a trance his soul was gone, While whisperings of affection Made him delay to let their tender feet Come to the earth; with an incline so sweet From their low palfreys o'er his neck they bent : And whether there were tears of languishment, Or that the evening dew had pearld their tresses, He feels a moisture on his cheek, and blesses With lips that tremble, and with glistening eye, All the soft luxury That nestled in his arms. A dimpled hand, Fair as some wonder out of fairy land, Hung from his shoulder like the drooping flowers Of whitest Cassia, fresh from summer showers : And this he fondled with his happy cheek,
As if for joy he would no further seek :
Amid the pages, and the torches' glare,
a courtly smile upon his face,
pendent, And gave the steel a shining quite transcendent.
Soon in a pleasant chamber they are seated, The sweet-lipp'd ladies have already greeted All the green leaves that round the window clamber, To show their purple stars, and bells of amber. Sir Gondibert has doff’d his shining steel, Gladdening in the free and airy feel Of a light mantle; and while Člerimond Is looking round about him with a fond And placid eye, young Calidore is burning To hear of knightly deeds, and gallant spurning Of all unworthiness; and how the strong of arm Kept off dismay, and terror, and alarm From lovely woman : while brimful of this, He gave each damsel's hand so warm a kiss, And had such manly ardour in his eye, That each at other look'd half-staringly: And then their features started into smiles, Sweet as blue heavens o’er enchanted isles. Softly the breezes from the forest came, Softly they blew aside the taper's flame; Clear was the song from Philomel’s far bower; Grateful the incense from the lime-tree flower; Mysterious, wild, the far-heard trumpet's tone; Lovely the moon in ether, all alone : Sweet too the converse of these happy mortals, As that of busy spirits when the portals Are closing in the West: or that soft humming We hear around when Hesperus is coming. Sweet be their sleep.
TO SOME LADIES,
ON RECEIVING A CURIOUS SHELL.
HAT though, while the wonders of nature
exploring, I cannot your light, mazy footsteps attend; Nor listen to accents, that almost adoring,
Bless Cynthia's face, the enthusiast's friend :
Yet over the steep, whence the mountain-stream
rushes, With you, kindest friends, in idea I rove: Mark the clear tumbling crystal, its passionate
gushes, Its spray, that a wild flower kindly bedews.
Why linger ye so, the wild labyrinth strolling ?
Why breathless, unable your bliss to declare? Ah! you list to the nightingale's tender condoling,
Responsive to sylphs, in the moon-beamy air.
'Tis morn, and the flowers with dew are yet droop
ing, I see you are treading the verge of the sea : And now! ah, I see it — you just now are stooping
To pick up the keepsake intended for me.
If a cherub, on pinions of șilver descending,
blending, The blessings of Tighe had melodiously given;