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Where'er was dipped the toiling oar,
The waves danced round us as before,
As lightly, though of altered hue, 15
'Mid recent coolness, such as falls
At noontide from umbrageous walls
That screen the morning dew.
No vapour stretched its wings; no cloud
Cast far or near a murky shroud; 20
The sky an azure field displayed;
'Twas sunlight sheathed and gently charmed,
Of all its sparkling rays disarmed,
And as in slumber laid,—
Or something night and day between, 25
Like moonshine—but the hue was green;
It tinged the Julian steeps—it lay,
Lugano! on thy ample bay;
The solemnising veil was drawn
O'er villas, terraces, and towers;
To Albogasio's olive bowers, 35
Porlezza's verdant lawn.
But Fancy with the speed of fire
Hath past to Milan's loftiest spire,
And there alights 'mid that aerial host
Of Figures human and divine,1 40
White as the snows of Apennine
Indurated by frost.
Awe-stricken she beholds the array
1 See Note.
Angels she sees—that might from heaven have
And Virgin-saints, who not in vain
Sees long-drawn files, concentric rings
Each narrowing above each;—the wings, 50
The uplifted palms, the silent marble lips
The starry zone of sovereign height1—
All steeped in this portentous light!
All suffering dim eclipse!
Thus after Man had fallen (if aught 55
These perishable spheres have wrought
May with that issue be compared)
Throngs of celestial visages,
Darkening like water in the breeze,
A holy sadness shared. 60
Lo! while I speak, the labouring Sun
His glad deliverance has begun:
The cypress waves her sombre plume
More cheerily; and town and tower,
The vineyard and the olive-bower, 65
Their lustre re-assume!
O Te, who guard and grace my home
While in far-distant lands we roam,
What countenance hath this Day put on for
Or was it given you to behold
Like vision, pensive though not cold, 74
1 Above the highest circle of figures is a zone of metallic stars.
From the smooth breast of gay Winandermere?
I ask in vain—and know far less
If sickness, sorrow, or distress 80
Have spared my Dwelling to this hour;
Sad blindness! but ordained to prove
Our faith in Heaven's unfailing love
And all-controlling power.
THE THREE COTTAGE GIELS.
Hath cherished on a healthful soil;
Whom grief hath spared—who sheds no tear
11. Such (but O lavish Nature! why That dark unfathomable eye, 15
Where lurks a Spirit that replies
Such, haply, yon Italian Maid, *o
Our Lady's laggard Votaress,
Then, glittering like a star, she joins the festal band.
How blest (if truth may entertain
Coy fancy with a bolder strain)
The Helvetian Girl—who daily braves,
In her light skiff, the tossing waves, 30
And quits the bosom of the deep
Only to climb the rugged steep!
—Say whence that modulated shout!
From Wood-nymph of Diana's throng?
Or does the greeting to a rout 35
Of giddy Bacchanals belong?
Jubilant outcry! rock and glade
Resounded—but the voice obeyed
The breath of an Helvetian Maid.
rv. Her beauty dazzles the thick wood; 40
Her courage animates the flood;
Blithe Paragon of Alpine grace,
The fetters which the Matron wears;
"Sweet Highland Girl!' a very shower
Of beauty was thy earthly dower,"
When thou didst flit before mine eyes, 55
Gay vision under sullen skies,
While Hope and Love around thee played,
Near the rough Falls of Inversneyd!
Have they, who nursed the blossom, seen,
No breach of promise in the fruit? 60
Was joy, in following joy, as keen
As grief can be in griefs pursuit?
When youth had flown did hope still bless
Thy goings—or the cheerfulness
Of innocence survive to mitigate distress? 65
But from our course why turn—to tread
And there shall bloom, with Thee allied,
THK COLUMN INTENDED BY BUONAPARTE FOR A TRIUMPHAL EDIFICE IN MILAN, NOW LYING BY THE WAY-SIDE IN THE SIMPLON PASS.
Ambition — following down this far-famed slope 1 See address to a Highland GirI. P. 83.