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She had once loved in very early days;
That was a thing gone by. One had call’d forth
The music of her soul.-He loved her too,
But not as she did :-she was unto him
As a young bird, whose early flight he train’d,
Whose first wild songs were sweet, for he had taught
Those songs :—but she look'd up to him with all
Youth's deep and passionate idolatry;
Love was her heart's sole universe-he was
To her, Hope, Genius, Energy,—the God
Her inmost spirit worship’d, in whose smile
Was all e'en minstrel pride held precious; praise
Was prized but as the echo of his own.
But other times and other feelings came :-
Hope is love's element, and love with her
Sicken'd of its own vanity.-She lived
Mid bright realities and brighter dreams,
Those strange but exquisite imaginings
That tinge with such sweet colours minstrel thoughts;
And Fame, like sunlight, was upon her path;
And strangers heard her name, and eyes that never
Had look'd on Sappho, yet had wept with her.
Her first love never wholly lost its power,
But, like rich incense shed, although no trace
Was of its visible presence, yet its sweetness
Mingled with every feeling, and it gave
That soft and melancholy tenderness
Which was the magic of her song.--That Youth
Who knelt before her was so like the shape
That haunted her spring dreams—the same dark eyes,
Whose light had once been as the light of heaven!
Others breathed winning flatteries, she turn'd
A careless hearing ;—but when Phaon spoke,
Her heart beat quicker, and the crimson light
Upon her cheek gave most tender answer.
She loved with all the ardour of a heart
Which lives but in itself; her life had pass'd
Amid the grand creations of the thought.
Love was to her a vision ;-it was now
Heighten'd into devotion.-But a soul
So gifted and so passionate as her's
Will seek companionship in vain, and find
Its feelings solitary.- Phaon soon
Forgot the fondness of his Lesbian maid ;
And Sappho knew that talents, riches, fame,
May not sooth slighted love.
There is a dark rock looks on the blue sea;
'Twas there love's last song echo'd:~there she sleeps,
Whose lyre was crown'd with laurel, and whose name
Will be remember'd long as Love or Song
Are sacred—the devoted Sappho !
" Like the lost Pleiad seen no more below."-LORD BYRON.
And is there glory from the Heavens departed ?
Oh, void unmark'd !- thy sisters of the sky
Still hold their place on high,
Though from its rank thine orb so long hath started,
Thou! that no more art seen of mortal eye!
Hath the night lost a gem, the regal night?
-She wears her crown of old magnificence,
Though thou art exiled thence!
No desert seems to part those urns of light,
Midst the far depths of purple gloom intense.
They rise in joy, the starry myriads burning!
The shepherd greets them on his mountains free,
And from the silvery sea
To them the sailor's wakeful eye is turning;
Unchanged they rise, they have not mourn'd for thee!
Couldst thou be shaken from thy radiant place,
E’eu as the dewdrop from the myrtle spray,
Swept by the wind away?
Wert thou not peopled by some glorious race,
And was there power to smite them with decay?
Why, who shall talk of thrones, of sceptres riven?
It is too sad to think on what we are,
When from its height afar,
A world sinks thus; and yon majestic Heaven
Shines not the less for that one vanish'd star!
ON A PORTRAIT,
SUPPOSED TO BE OF NELL GWYN.
BEAUTIFUL and radiant girl!
I have heard of teeth of pearl,-
Lips of coral, --cheeks of rose,
Necks and brows like drifted snows, –
Eyes, as diamonds sparkling bright,
Or the stars of summer's night,
And expression, grace, and soul,
Softly tempering down the whole :-
But à form so near divine,
With a face so fair as thine,-
And so sunny bright a brow,
Never met my gaze till now!
Thou wert Venus' sister-twin
If this shade be thine, Nell Gwyn!
120 ON A PORTRAIT OF NELL GWYN.
Cast that carcanet away,
Thou hast need of no display-
Gems, however rare, to deck
Such an alabaster neck!
Can the brilliant's lustre vie
With the glories of thine eye?
Or the ruby's red compare
With the two lips breathing there?
Can they add a richer glow
To thy beauties? No, sweet, no!
Though thou bear'st the name of one
Whom 'twas virtue once to shun,-
It were sure to taste a sin,
Now to pass thee by–NELL Gwyn.
But they've wrong'd thee ;—and I swear
By that brow, so dazzling fair,-
By the light subdued that flashes
From thy drooping lids' silk lashes,-
By the deep blue eyes beneath them,-
By the clustering curls that wreathe them,-
By thy softly blushing cheek,-
By thy lips, that more than speak,“
By thy stately swanlike neck,
Glossy white without a speck,-
By thy slender fingers fair,
Modest mien,—and graceful air,-
'Twas a burning shame and sin,
Sweet, to christen thee-Nell Gwyn.
Wreathe for aye thy snowy arms,
Thine are, sure, no wanton's charms !
Like the fawn's as bright and shy-
Beams thy dark, retiring eye;-
No bold invitation's given
From the depths of that blue heaven, --
Nor one glance of lightness hid
'Neath its pale declining lid !
No, I'll not believe thy name
Can be aught allied to shame.
Then let them call thee what they will,
I've sworn, and I'll maintain it still
(Spite of tradition's idle din),
Thou art not-canst not be-NELL Gwyn!
BY JOSEPH RITCHIE, ESQ. Thy chalky cliffs are fading from my view, Our bark is dancing gaily on the sea, I sigh while yet I may, and say adieu, Albion, thou jewel of the earth, to thee! Whose fields first fed my childish fantasy, Whose mountains were my boyhood's wild delight, Whose rocks, and woods, and torrents, were to me
The food of my soul's youthful appetite,Were music to my ear, a blessing to my sight!
I never dreamt of beauty, but, behold,
Straightway thy daughters flash'd upon my eye;
I never mused on valour, but the old
Memorials of thy haughty chivalry
Fill'd my expanding soul with ecstasy;
And when I thought on wisdom and the crown
The muses give, with exultation high,
I turn’d to those whom thou hast call'd thine own, Who fill the spacious earth with their and thy renown.
When my young heart, in life's gay morning hour,
At beauty's summons, beat a wild alarm,
Her voice came to me from an English bower,
And English were the smiles that wrought the charm;