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Forth, to the billow and the breeze,
Their odours from the shore; Joy, when the soft air's fanning sigh Bears on the breath of Araby.
Oh! welcome are the winds that tell
A wanderer of the deep
And where the myrrh-trees weep!
The sailor at the helm they meet,
And hope his bosom stirs,
The fair earth's messengers,
They woo him, whispering lovely tales
Of many a flowering glade,
Of golden-fruited shade:
And, O ye masters of the lay!
Come not even thus your songs
Amidst her toiling throngs ?
Their power is from the brighter clime
That in our birth hath part;
Sears not within the heart:
They call us, with a voice divine,
Back to our early love,
Whence far and fast we rove.
THE DYING IMPROVISATORE.*
My heart shall be pour'd over thee-and break."
Prophecy of Dante. The spirit of my land, It visits me once more !—though I must die Far from the myrtles which thy breeze hath fann’d,
My own bright Italy!
It is, it is thy breath,
Still trembling, yet the same!
Sestini, the Roman Improvisatore, when on his deathbed at Paris, is said to have poured forth a Farewell to Italy, in his most impassioned poetry.
Oh! that love's quenchless power Might waft my voice to fill thy summer sky, And through thy groves its dying music shower,
The nightingale is there,
It will not pierce the tomb!
Never, oh! never more, On thy Rome's purple heaven mine eye shall dwell, Or watch the bright waves melt along thy shore
My Italy! farewell!
Alas!-thy hills among
Unto immortal fame!
But like a lute's brief tone,
So hath my spirit pass'd
Pouring itself away As a wild bird amidst the foliage turns That which within him triumphs, beats, or burns,
Into a fleeting lay;
That swells, and floats, and dies, Leaving no echo to the summer woods
Of the rich breathings and impassion'd sighs
Which thrill’d their solitudes.
Yet, yet remember me! Friends! that upon its murmurs oft have hung, When from my bosom, joyously and free,
The fiery fountain sprung.
Under the dark rich blue Of midnight heavens, and on the star-lit sea, And when woods kindle into spring's first hue,
Sweet friends! remember me!
And in the marble halls, Where life's full glow the dreams of beauty wear, And poet-thoughts embodied light the walls, Let me be with
Fain would I bind for you,
Sweet friends! bright land! farewell !
MUSIC OF YESTERDAY.
"0! mein Geist, ich fühle es in mir, strebt nach etwas Ueberir
dischem, das keinem Menschen gegönnt ist."--TIECK.
The chord, the harp's full chord is hushid,
The voice hath died away, Whence music, like sweet waters, gush'd
Th' awakening note, the breeze-like swell,
The full o'ersweeping tone,
Are gone—all gone!
The love, whose fervent spirit pass'd
With the rich measure's flow; The grief, to which it sank at last
Where are they now ?
They are with the scents by summer's breath
Borne from a rose now shed: With the words from lips long seal'd in death
For ever fled.
The sea-shell of its native deep
A moaning thrill retains ; But earth and air no record keep
Of parted strains.
And all the memories, all the dreams,
They woke in floating by;
Could these too die ?
They died! As on the water's breast
The ripple melts away, When the breeze that stirr'd it sinks to rest
So perish'd they!
Mysterious in their sudden birth,
And mournful in their close,