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Where mingle, as for mockery combined, 10
Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks
""vallombrosa—I longed in thy shadiest wood To slumber, reclined on the moss-covered
floor!" Fond wish that was granted at last, and the
Flood, That lulled me asleep, bids me listen once more. Its murmur how soft! as it falls down the steep, Near that Cell—yon sequestered Retreat high
in air— 6
Where our Milton was wont lonely vigils to keep For converse with God, sought through study
The Monks still repeat the tradition with pride, And its truth who shall doubt? for his Spirit
is here; 10
In the cloud-piercing rocks doth her grandeur
abide, In the pines pointing heavenward her beauty
1 See Note.
2 See for the two first lines, "Stanzas composed in the Simplon Pass."
In the flwwer-besprent meadows his genius we
trace Turned to humbler delights, in which youth
might confide, That would yield him fit help while prefiguring
that Place 15
Where, if Sin had not entered, Love never had
When with life lengthened out came a desolate
time, And darkness and danger had compassed him
round, With a thought he would flee to these haunts
of his prime, 19
And here once again a kind shelter be found.
Vallombrosa! of thee I first heard in the page Of that holiest of Bards, and the name for my
Had a musical charm, which the winter of age And the changes it brings had no power to
unbind. And now, ye Miltonian shades! under you I repose, nor am forced from sweet fancy to
While your leaves I behold and the brooks they
will strew, And the realised vision is clasped to my heart.
Even so, and unblamed, we rejoice as we may In Forms that must perish, frail objects of sense; TTnblamed—if the Soul be intent on the day 35 When the Being of Beings shall summon her
hence. For he and he only with wisdom is blest Who, gathering true pleasures wherever they
grow, Looks up in all places, for joy or for rest, To the Fountain whence Time and Eternity
Under the shadow of a stately Pile,
The dome of Florence, pensive and alone,
Nor giving heed to aught that passed the while,
I stood, and gazed upon a marble stone,
The laurelled Dante's favourite seat. A throne,
In just esteem, it rivals; though no style 6
Be there of decoration to beguile
The mind, depressed by thought of greatness
flown. As a true man, who long had served the lyre, I gazed with earnestness, and dared no more. But in his breast the mighty Poet bore 11
A Patriot's heart, warm with undying fire. Bold with the thought, in reverence I sate down, And, for a moment, filled that empty Throne.
BEFORE THE PICTURE OF THE BAPTIST, BY RAPHAEL, IN THE GALLERY AT FLORENCE.
The Baptist might have been ordained to cry Forth from the towers of that huge Pile, wherein
His Father served Jehovah; but how win
Due audience, how for aught but scorn defy
The obstinate pride and wanton revelry 5
Of the Jerusalem below, her sin
And folly, if they with united din
Drown not at once mandate and prophecy?
Therefore the Voice spake from the Desert,
thence To Her, as to her opposite in peace, 10
Silence, and holiness, and innocence,
AT FLORENCE.—FEOM MICHAEL ANGELO.
Rapt above earth by power of one fair face,
So well, that by its help and through his grace I raise my thoughts, inform my deeds and
words, Clasping her beauty in my soul's embrace. Thus, if from two fair eyes mine cannot turn, I feel how in their presence doth abide 10
Light which to God is both the way and
guide; And, kindling at their lustre, if I burn, My noble fire emits the joyful ray That through the realms of glory shines for
AT FLORENCE.—FROM MICHAEL ANGELO.
Eternal Lord! eased of a cumbrous load,
The meek, benign, and lacerated face,
AMONG THE RUINS OF A CONVENT IN THE
Ye Trees! whose slender roots entwine
Altars that piety neglects;
Which no devotion now respects;