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hour 1 brew the lorer ia's in

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THE PORTRAIT.

WHITHER are thy thoughts now roaming, gentle lady? Why lies the rose neglected by thy side-and why, unnoticed and uncared for, does thy bower spread around thee its fragrance and its shade? Perchance, thou art dreaming of days of old romance, when young knights laid at the feet of beauty their hard-won spurs, or sought at twilight hour her pity and her love-or when the palmer threw aside his cloak and scalloped hat, to disclose the lover who had brought her many a trophy from Syria's burning fields—or when in lofty and glittering halls and amid gorgeous dames, crowds of warriors sought her smile—or when she listened from her lofty lattice to the songs of passing minstrels, sweeter to her pleased ear than the melody of the nightingale, that warbled from the silver beech tree the live-long night. Perchance, thou art dreaming of less gaudy scenes, where nature, in unimpaired and silent grandeur, spreads all her charms—when thou wouldst have no companions, but the gay and

careless revellers in the sunshine and the grove-no sound to disturb thy wandering fancy, but the humming of glittering insects, the notes of the birds, the dying murmurs of the breeze, or the falling of distant waters-no brightness but the chequered sun-beams, scarcely stealing through the quivering trees, and purple twilight slowly chasing them away, till at last the only lamp to light up the vast and tranquil theatre, is the flitting fire-fly or the twinkling star. Perchance, thou art dreaming neither of old days of romantic splendour, nor scenes of rural and tranquil joysome secret thought may be swelling that gentle bosom-scarcely acknowledged to thyself, and of which profane curiosity may not venture to inquire.

As I gaze upon thy portrait, I forget the lonely seclusion of my little study; I am no longer seated among scattered volumes; I am no longer catching dubious light from its narrow windows. Those sunny locks, those bright blue eyes, that neck 'pure as monumental alabaster,' place me by thy side, when thou wert first ushered upon the gay and flattering world, in all the buoyancy of youth and beauty, eager for anticipated joys. "I trace thee in the glittering ball-room, floating like a sylph amid gay crowds and sparkling lights and mirrors, and inspiring music; thy eye lit by animation, intelligence, and hope ; thy cheek yet radiant and blooming. I recall thee in thy calmer moments, when, seated by thy side, I have heard thy young heart pour forth, in artless exuberance, all the gentle

benevolence of its nature. I walk with thee once more in thy moon-lit gardens; I listen once more to the notes of thy harp.

Wherever thy thoughts are roaming, gentle ladywhatever of the past or future now dwells upon thy guileless spirit, and calms the smile that is wont to rest upon thy lips: may fate have in store for thee no hours but those of joy; may no sorrow dim the lustre of thy eye, no care destroy the roses of thy cheek.

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