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The nurse shall cry, of all her ills beguiled, “ 'Twas on these knees he sat so oft and smiled."

And soon again shall music swell the breeze; Soon, issuing forth, shall glitter through the trees Vestures of nuptial white; and hymns be sung, And violets scatter'd round; and old and young, In every cottage porch with garlands green, Stand still to gaze, and, gazing, bless the scene; While, her dark eyes declining, by his side Moves in her virgin veil the gentle bride.

And once, alas! nor in a distant hour,
Another voice shall come from yonder tower;
When in dim chambers long black weeds are seen,
And weepings heard where only joy has been;
When by his children borne, and from his door
Slowly departing to return no more,
He rests in holy earth with them that went before,

And such is Human Life! so, gliding on,
It glimmers like a meteor, and is gone!
Yet is the tale, brief though it be, as strange,
As full, methinks, of wild and wondrous change
As any that the wandering tribes require,
Stretch'd in the desert round their evening fire;
As any sung of old in hall or bower
To minstrel harps at midnight's witching hour!

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The hour arrives, the moment wish'd and fear'd ; The child is born, by many a pang endeard. And, now the mother's ear has caught his cry, Oh, grant the cherub to her asking eye! He comes : she clasps him. To her bosom pressid, He drinks the balm of life, and drops to rest.

Her, by her smile, how soon the stranger knows; How soon by his the glad discovery shows! As to her lips she lifts the lovely boy, What answering looks of sympathy and joy! He walks, he speaks. In many a broken word His wants, his wishes, and his griefs are heard. And ever, ever to her lap he flies, When rosy sleep comes on with sweet surprise,


Lock'd in her arms, his arms across her flung
(That name most dear for ever on his tongue),
As with soft accents round her neck he clings,
And, cheek to cheek, her lulling song she sings,
How bless'd to feel the beatings of his heart,
Breathe his sweet breath, and kiss for kiss impart;
Watch o'er his slumbers like the brooding dove,
And, if she can, exhaust a mother's love!

But soon a nobler task demands her care.
Apart she joins his little hands in pray’r,
Telling of Him who sees in secret there!
And now the volume on her knee has caught
His wandering eye: now many a written thought
Never to die, with many a lisping sweet,
His moving, murmuring lips endeavour to repeat.

Released, he chases the bright butterfly ;
Oh, he would follow, follow through the sky!
Climbs the gaunt mastiff slumbering in his chain,
And chides and buffets, clinging by the mane;
Then runs, and, kneeling by the fountain side,
Sends his brave ship in triumph down the tide,
A dangerous voyage; or, if now he can,
If now he wears the habit of a man,
Flings off the coat so long his pride and pleasure,
And, like a miser digging for his treasure,
His tiny spade in his own garden plies,
And in green letters sees his name arise !
Where'er he goes, for ever in her sight,
She looks, and looks, and still with new delight.

Ah who, when fading of itself away,
Would cloud the sunshine of his little day!
Now is the May of Life. Careering round,
Joy wings his feet, joy lifts him from the ground!
Pointing to such, well might Cornelia say,
When the rich casket shone in bright array,
“ These are my jewels !" Well of such as he,
When Jesus spake, well might his language be,
* Suffer these little ones to come to me!!

Thoughtful by fits, he scans and he reveres
The brow engraven with the thoughts of years ;

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Close by her side, his silent homage given,
As to some pure intelligence from Heaven;
His eyes cast downward with ingenuous shame,
His conscious cheeks, conscious of praise or blame,
At once lit up as with a holy flame!
He thirsts for knowledge, speaks but to inquire ;
And soon with tears relinquish'd to the sire,
Soon in his hand to Wisdom's temple led,
Holds secret converse with the mighty dead;
Trembles, and thrills, and weeps as they inspire,
Burns as they burn, and with congenial fire !
Like her most gentle, most unfortunate,
Crown'd but to die : who in her chamber sate
Musing with Plato, though the horn was blown,
And every ear and every heart was won,
And all in green array were chasing down the sun!

Then is the age of admiration : then
Gods walk the earth, or beings more than men,
Who breathe the soul of inspiration round,
Whose very shadows consecrate the ground !
Ah, then comes thronging many a wild desire,
And high imagining and thought of fire !
Then, from within, a voice exclaims, “ Aspire !"
Phantoms, that upward point, before him pass,
As in the cave athwart the wizard's glass;
They that on youth a grace, a lustre shed,
Of every age-the living and the dead !
Thou, all-accomplish'd Surrey, thou art known;
The flower of knighthood, nipp'd as soon as blown!
Melting all hearts but Geraldine's alone!
And, with his beaver up, discovering there
One who loved less to conquer than to spare',
Lo! the black warrior, he who, battle-spent,
Bareheaded served the captive in his tent!
Young Byron in the groves of Academe,
Or where Ilyssus winds his whispering stream;
Or where the wild bees swarm with ceaseless hum,
Dreaming old dreamsma joy for years to come ;
Or on the rock within the sacred fane,
Scenes such as Milton sought, but sought in vain :

And Milton's self (at that thrice-honour'd name
Well may we glow; as men, we share his fame),
And Milton's self, apart with beaming eye,
Planning, he knows not what—that shall not die!


'Twas night'; the noise and bustle of the day Were o'er. The mountebank no longer wrought Miraculous cures : he and his stage were gone; And he who, when the crisis of his tale Came, and all stood breathless with hope and fear, Sent round his cap; and he who thrumm'd his wire And sang, with pleading look and plaintive strain Melting the passenger. Thy thousand cries, So well portray'd, and by a son of thine, Whose voice had swell’d the hubbub in his youth, Were hush'd, Bologna; silence in the streets, The squares, when, hark! the clattering of fleet hoofs, And soon a courier, posting as from far, Housing and holster, boot and belted coat, And doublet stain'd with many a various soil, Stopp'd and alighted. 'Twas where hangs aloft That ancient sign, the Pilgrim, welcoming All who arrive there; all, perhaps, save those Clad, like himself, with staff and scallop-shell, Those on a pilgrimage: and now approach'd Wheels, through the lofty porticoes resounding, Arch beyond arch, a shelter or a shade As the sky changes. To the gate they come; And, ere the man had half his story done, Mine host received the master: one long used To sojourn among strangers, everywhere (Go where he would, along the wildest track) Flinging a charm that shall not soon be lost, And leaving footsteps to be traced by those Who love the haunts of genius; one who saw, Observed, nor shunn'd the busy scenes of life,

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But mingled not; and, mid the din, the stir,
Lived as a separate spirit.

Much had passid
Since last we parted; and those five short years;
Much had they told! His clustering locks were turn'd
Gray; nor did aught recall the youth that swam
From Sestos to Abydos. Yet his voice,
Still it was sweet; still from his eye the thought
Flash'd lightning-like, nor linger'd or the way,
Waiting for words. Far, far into the night
We sat, conversing : no unwelcome hour,
The hour we met; and, when Aurora rose,
Rising, we climbed the rugged Apennine.

Well I remember how the golden sun Fill'd with its beams the unfathomable gulfs As on we travell’d, and along the ridge, Mid groves of cork, and cistus, and wild fig, His motley household came. Not last nor least, Battista, who, upon the moonlight sea Of Venice, had so ably, zealously Served, and, at parting, flung his oar away To follow through the world; who without stain Had worn so long that honourable badge, The gondolier's, in a patrician house, Arguing unlimited trust. Not last nor least, Thou, though declining in thy beauty and strength, Faithful Moretto, to the latest hour Guarding his chamber door, and now along The silent, sullen strand of Missolonghi Howling in grief.

He had just left that place Of old renown, once in the Adrian Sea, Ravenna; where, from Dante's sacred tomb, He had so oft, as many a verse declares, Drawn inspiration; where, at twilight-time, Through the pine forest wandering with loose rein, Wandering and lost, he had so oft beheld (What is not visible to a poet's eye ?)

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