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SONNET, TO THE NILE.
MONTH after month the gathered rains descend
Drenching yon secret Ethiopian dells,
And from the desart's ice-girt pinnacles
Where Frost and Heat in strange embraces blend On Atlas, fields of moist snow half depend.
Girt there with blasts and meteors Tempest dwells By Nile's aërial urn, with rapid spells
Urging those waters to their mighty end.
O'er Egypt's land of Memory floods are level
And they are thine O Nile-and well thou knowest
That soul-sustaining airs and blasts of evil
And fruits and poisons spring where'er thou flowest.
Beware O Man-for knowledge must to thee
Like the great flood to Egypt, ever be.
PASSAGE OF THE APENNINES.
LISTEN, listen, Mary mine,
To the whisper of the Apennine,
It bursts on the roof like the thunder's roar,
Or like the sea on a northern shore,
Heard in its raging ebb and flow
By the captives pent in the cave below.
The Apennine in the light of day
Is a mighty mountain dim and grey,
Which between the earth and sky doth lay;
But when night comes, a chaos dread
On the dim starlight then is spread,
And the Apennine walks abroad with the storm.
WILT thou forget the happy hours
Which we buried in Love's sweet bowers,
Heaping over their corpses cold
Blossoms and leaves, instead of mould?
Blossoms which were the joys that fell,
And leaves, the hopes that yet remain.
Forget the dead, the past? O yet
There are ghosts that may take revenge for it,
Memories that make the heart a tomb,
Regrets which glide through the spirit's gloom,
And with ghastly whispers tell
That joy, once lost, is pain.
LIFT not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,-behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
COME, be happy!-sit by me,
Coy, unwilling, silent bride,
Mourning in thy robe of pride,
Come, be happy!-sit near me:
Sad as I may seem to thee,
I am happier far than thou,
Lady, whose imperial brow
Is endiademed with woe.
Misery we have known each other,
Like a sister and a brother
Living in the same lone home,
Many years-we must live some
Hours or ages yet to come.
"Tis an evil lot, and yet
Let us make the best of it;
If love lives when pleasure dies,
We will love, till in our eyes
This heart's Hell seem Paradise.
Come, be happy-lie thee down
On the fresh grass newly mown,
Where the Grasshopper doth sing
Merrily-one joyous thing
In a world of sorrowing!
There our tent shall be the willow,
And thine arm shall be my pillow;
Sounds and odours sorrowful
Because they once were sweet, shall lull Us to slumber, deep and dull.
Ha! thy frozen pulses flutter
With a love thou darest not utter.
Thou art murmuring-thou art weeping-
Is thine icy bosom leaping
While my burning heart lies sleeping?
Kiss me;-oh! thy lips are cold:
Round my neck thine arms enfold-
They are soft, but chill and dead;
And thy tears upon my head
Burn like points of frozen lead.
Hasten to the bridal bed-
Underneath the grave 'tis spread:
In darkness may our love be hid,
Oblivion be our coverlid-
We may rest, and none forbid.
Clasp me till our hearts be grown
Like two shadows into one;
Till this dreadful transport may
Like a vapour fade away,
In the sleep that lasts alway.
We may dream, in that long sleep,
That we are not those who weep;
E'en as Pleasure dreams of thee,
Thou mayst dream of her with me.
Let us laugh, and make our mirth,
At the shadows of the earth,
As dogs bay the moonlight clouds,
Which, like spectres wrapt in shrouds,
Pass o'er night in multitudes.
All the wide world, beside us
Show like multitudinous
Puppets passing from a scene;
What but mockery can they mean,
Where I am-where thou hast been?
O MARY dear, that you were here
With your brown eyes bright and clear,
And your sweet voice, like a bird
Singing love to its lone mate
In the ivy bower disconsolate;
Voice the sweetest ever heard!
And your brow more...
Of this azure Italy.
Mary dear, come to me soon,
I am not well whilst thou art far;
As sunset to the spherèd moon,
As twilight to the western star,
Thou, beloved, art to me.
O Mary dear, that you were here;
The Castle echo whispers "Here!'
THE WOODMAN AND THE NIGHTINGALE.
A WOODMAN whose rough heart was out of tune (I think such hearts yet never came to good) Hated to hear, under the stars or moon,
One nightingale in an interfluous wood
Satiate the hungry dark with melody;—
And as a vale is watered by a flood,
Or as the moonlight fills the open sky
Struggling with darkness-as a tuberose
Peoples some Indian dell with scents which lie
Like clouds above the flower from which they rose,
The singing of that happy nightingale
In this sweet forest, from the golden close
Of evening, till the star of dawn may fail,
Was interfused upon the silentness;
The folded roses and the violets pale