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This was no bad mistake, as it occurr'd,
They little knew, or might have sympathized,
That one scarce knew at what to marvel most
But what confused him more than smile or stare
For some vivacity among the fair,
Even in the country circle's narrow bound
(For little things upon my lord's estate
Were good small talk for others still less great)—
Was, that he caught Aurora's eye on his,
And something like a smile upon her cheek. Now this he really rather took amiss :
In those who rarely smile, their smile bespeaks
Smile of Aurora's there was nought to pique
'T was a mere quiet smile of contemplation,
But, what was bad, she did not blush in turn,
I know not; but her colour ne'er was highThough sometimes faintly flush'd-and always clear As deep seas in a sunny atmosphere.
But Adeline was occupied by fame
This day; and watching, witching, condescending To the consumers of fish, fowl, and game, And dignity with courtesy so blending, As all must blend whose part it is to aim (Especially as the sixth year is ending) At their lord's, son's, and similar connexion's Safe conduct through the rocks of re-elections.
Though this was most expedient on the whole,
Which she went through as though it were a dance (Betraying only now and then her soul
By a look scarce perceptibly askance
So well she acted all and every part
By turns-with that vivacious versatility,
A thing of temperament and not of art,
Though seeming so, from its supposed facility; And false-though true; for surely they 're sincerest, Who 're strongly acted on by what is nearest.
This makes your actors, artists, and romancers, Heroes sometimes, though. seldom-sages never; But speakers, bards, diplomatists, and dancers, Little that's great, but much of what is clever; Most orators, but very few financiers,
Though all Exchequer Chancellors endeavour, Of late years, to dispense with Cocker's rigours, And grow quite figurative with their figures.
The poets of arithmetic are they
Who, though they prove not two and two to be Five, as they would do in a modest way,
Have plainly made it out that four are three,
While Adeline dispensed her airs and graces,
The fair Fitz-Fulke seem'd very much at ease; Though too well-bred to quiz men to their faces, Her laughing blue eyes with a glance could seize The ridicules of people in all places
That honey of your fashionable bees-
However, the day closed, as days must close;
Their docile esquires also did the same,
Some praised her beauty; others her great grace;
Whose traits were radiant with the rays of verity.
Yes, she was truly worthy her high place!
No one could envy her deserved prosperity; And then her dress-what beautiful simplicity Draperied her form with curious felicity!?
Meanwhile sweet Adeline deserved their praises,
By an impartial indemnification
For all her past exertion and soft phrases,
In a most edifying conversation,
Which turn'd upon their late guests' miens and faces,
And families, even to the last relation;
Their hideous wives, their horrid selves and dresses, And truculent distortion of their tresses.
True, she said little-'t was the rest that broke Forth into universal epigram ;
But then 't was to the purpose what she spoke :
As music chimes in with a melodrame.
There were but two exceptions to this keen
And Juan too, in general behind none
'T is true he saw Aurora look as though
She approved his silence; she perhaps mistook Its motive for that charity we owe,
But seldom pay the absent, nor would look Farther; it might or it might not be so,
But Juan, sitting silent in his nook,
Observing little in his reverie,
Yet saw this much, which he was glad to see.
The ghost at least had done him this much good,
In making him as silent as a ghost,
If in the circumstances which ensued
He gain'd esteem where it was worth the most.
And certainly Aurora had renew'd
In him some feelings he had lately lost
Or harden'd; feelings which, perhaps ideal,
The love of higher things and better days;
The heart in an existence of its own,
Who would not sigh Αι αι των Κυθηρείαν
Unwithering myrtle round the unblunted dart
Of Eros but, though thou hast play'd us many tricks, Still we respect thee, "Alma Venus Genitrix!"
And full of sentiments, sublime as billows
Heaving between this world and worlds beyond,
The night was as before he was undrest,
He sate, with feelings awkward to express (By those who have not had such visitations), Expectant of the ghost's fresh operations.
And not in vain he listen'd-Hush! what's that?
Or tiptoe of an amatory Miss,
Gliding the first time to a rendezvous,
And dreading the chaste echoes of her shoe.
Again what is 't? The wind? No, no,-this time
It is the sable friar as before,
With awful footsteps, regular as rhyme,
Or (as rhymes may be in these days) much more, Again, through shadows of the night sublime,
When deep sleep fell on men, and the world wore The starry darkness round her like a girdle
Splangled with gems-the monk made his blood curdle.