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IMITATION OF SPENSER.
Now Morning from her orient chamber came
Which round its marge reflected woven bowers, And, in its middle space, a sky that never lowers.
There the kingfisher saw his plumage bright,
And on his back a fay reclined voluptuously.
Ah! could I tell the wonders of an isle That in that fairest lake had placed been, I could e'en Dido of her grief beguile; Or rob from aged Lear his bitter teen: For sure so fair a place was never seen Of all that ever charmed romantic eye: It seem'd an emerald in the silver sheen Of the bright waters; or as when on high, Through clouds of fleecy white, laughs the cœrulean sky.
And all around it dipp'd luxuriously
Slopings of verdure through the glossy tide,
Which, as it were in gentle amity,
Rippled delighted up the flowery side;
As if to glean the ruddy tears it tried,
In strife to throw upon the shore a gem
WOMAN! when I behold thee flippant, vain,
E'en then, elate, my spirit leaps and prances,
Thy winning graces ;-to be thy defender
A very Red Cross Knight-a stout Leander-
Light feet, dark violet eyes, and parted hair;
Soft dimpled hands, white neck, and creamy breast;
Are things on which the dazzled senses rest
Till the fond, fixed eyes, forget they stare.
From such fine pictures, Heavens! I cannot dare
To turn my admiration, though unpossess'd They be of what is worthy, though not drest, In lovely modesty, and virtues rare.
Yet these I leave as thoughtless as a lark;
These lures I straight forget,-e'en ere I dine, Or thrice my palate moisten : but when I mark Such charms with mild intelligences shine, My ear is open like a greedy shark,
To catch the tunings of a voice divine.
Ah! who can e'er forget so fair a being?
Who can forget her half-retiring sweets?
God! she is like a milk-white lamb that bleats For man's protection. Surely the All-seeing,
Who joys to see us with his gifts agreeing,
In truth there is no freeing
A dewy flower, oft would that hand appear,
And o'er my eyes the trembling moisture shake.
ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk :
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
O for a draught of vintage, that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth, Tasting of Flora and the country-green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sun-burnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth :
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest dim: