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Or pause and listen to the tinkling bells
From the high tower, and think that there she dwells.
With old Boccaccio's soul I stand possest,
And breathe an air like life, that swells my chest.

The brightness of the world, O thou once free,
And always fair, rare land of courtesy
O, Florence 1 with the Tuscan fields and hills '
And famous Arno fed with all their rills;
Thou brightest star of star-bright Italy |
Rich, ornate, populous, all treasures thine,
The golden corn, the olive, and the vine.
Fair cities, gallant mansions, castles old,
And forests, where beside his leafy hold
The sullen boar hath heard the distant horn,
And whets his tusks against the gnarled thorn;
Palladian palace, with its storied halls;
Fountains, where Love lies listening to their falls;
Gardens, where flings the bridge its airy span,
And Nature makes her happy home with man;
Where many a gorgeous flower is duly fed
With its own rill, on its own spangled bed,
And wreathes the marble urn, or leans its head,
A mimic mourner, that with veil withdrawn
Weeps liquid gems, the presents of the dawn,
Thine all delights, and every muse is thine:
And more than all, the embrace and intertwine
Of all with all in gay and twinkling dance 1

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All thoughts, all passions, all delights,

Whatever stirs this mortal frame,

All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.

Oft in my waking dreams do I

Live o'er again that happy hour,

When midway on the mount I lay

The moonshine stealing o'er the scene

Had blended with the lights of eve;

And she was there, my hope, my joy,
My own dear Genevieve

She lean’d against the armed man,

The statue of the armed knight:

She stood and listened to my harp
Amid the ling'ring light.

Few sorrows hath she of her own,

My hope, my joy, my Genevieve

She loves me best, whene'er I sing
The songs that make her grieve.

I played a soft and doleful air,

I sang an old and moving story—

An old rude song that fitted well
The ruin wild and hoary.

She listened with a flitting blush,

With downcast eyes and modest grace;

For well she knew, I could not choose
But gaze upon her face.

I told her of the Knight, that wore

Upon his shield a burning brand;

And that for ten long years he wooed
The Lady of the Land.

I told her how he pined: and, ah

The low, the deep, the pleading tone,

With which I sang another's love,
Interpreted my own.

She listened with a flitting blush,

With downcast eyes and modest grace;

And she forgave me that I gazed
Too fondly on her face

But when I told the cruel scorn

Which crazed this bold and lovely Knight,

And that he crossed the mountain woods,

That sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade,
And sometimes starting up at once,

In green and sunny glade,

There came, and looked him in the face,
An angel beautiful and bright ;
And that he knew it was a fiend,

This miserable Knight!

And how, unknowing what he did,
He leap'd amid a murd'rous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death

The Lady of the Land;

And how she wept and clasped his knees,
And how she tended him in vain,
And ever strove to expiate

The scorn, that crazed his brain :

And that she nursed him in a cave;
And how his madness went away
When on the yellow forest leaves

A dying man he lay;

His dying words—But when I reached
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
My falt'ring voice and pausing harp

Disturbed her soul with pity!

All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrilled my guileless Genevieve,
The music, and the doleful tale,

The rich and balmy eve;

And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng !
And gentle wishes long subdued,

Subdued and cherished long !

She wept with pity and delight,
She blushed with love and maiden shame;
And, like the murmur of a dream,

Her bosom heaved—she stepped aside;

As conscious of my look, she stepped—

Then suddenly with timorous eye
She fled to me and wept.

She half enclosed me with her arms,

She pressed me with a meek embrace;

And bending back her head, looked up,
And gazed upon my face.

'Twas partly love, and partly fear,

And partly 'twas a bashful art,

That I might rather feel than see
The swelling of her heart.

I calmed her fears; and she was calm,

And told her love with virgin pride;

And so I won my Genevieve,
My bright and beauteous bride!


No cloud, no relique of the sunken day
Distinguishes the west, no long thin slip
Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues.
Come, we will rest on this old mossy bridge |
You see the glimmer of the stream beneath,
But hear no murmuring : it flows silently
O'er its soft bed of verdure. All is still,
A balmy night ! and though the stars be dim,
Yet let us think upon the vernal showers
That gladden the green earth, and we shall find
A pleasure in the dimness of the stars.
And hark' the nightingale begins its song,
“Most musical, most melancholy” bird
A melancholy bird O idle thought !
In nature there is nothing melancholy.
—But some night-wand'ring man, whose heart was pierced
With the remembrance of a grievous wrong,
Or slow distemper, or neglected love,
(And so, poor wretch ! filled all things with himself,

Of his own sorrows, he and such as he
First named these notes a melancholy strain :
And many a poet echoes the conceit;
Poet, who hath been building up the rhyme
When he had better far have stretched his limbs
Beside a brook in mossy forest-dell,
By sun or moonlight, to the influxes
Of shapes, and sounds, and shifting elements,
Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song
And of his fame forgetful! so his fame
Should share in nature's immortality,
A venerable thing! and so his song
Should make all nature lovelier, and itself
Be loved, like nature !—But 'twill not be so ;
And youths and maidens most poetical,
Who lose the deep’ning twilights of the spring
In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still
Full of meek sympathy must heave their sighs
O'er Philomela's pity-pleading strains.
My friend, and my friend's sister! we have learnt
A different lore : we may not thus profane
Nature's sweet voices always full of love
And joyance! 'Tis the merry Nightingale
That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates,
With fast thick warble, his delicious notes,
As he were fearful that an April night
Would be too short for him to utter forth
His love-chant, and disburthen his full soul
Of all its music! and I know a grove
Of large extent, hard by a castle huge,
Which the great lord inhabits not: and so
This grove is wild with tangling underwood,
And the trim walks are broken up, and grass,
Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths.
But never elsewhere in one place I knew
So many Nightingales : and far and near
In wood and thicket over the wide grove
They answer and provoke each other's songs-
With skirmish and capricious passagings,
And murmurs musical, and swift jug-jug,
And one low piping sound more sweet than all-
Stirring the air with such an harmony,
That, should you close your eyes, you might almost

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