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As to-night will be proved to my sorrow, when, supping

in state,

We shall feast our grape-gleaners (two dozen, three over

one plate) With lasagne so tempting to swallow in slippery ropes, And gourds fried in great purple slices, that colour of

popes. Meantime, see the grape bunch they ’ve brought you :

the rain-water slips O'er the heavy blue bloom on each globe which the wasp

to your lips Still follows with fretful persistence. Nay, taste, while

awake, This half of a curd-white smooth cheese-ball that peels,

flake by flake, Like an onion, each smoother and whiter : next, sip this

weak wine From the thin green glass flask, with its stopper, a leaf o.

the vine ; And end with the prickly pear's red flesh that leaves

thro' its juice The stony black seeds on your pearl-teeth.

Scirocco is loose ! Hark, the quick, whistling pelt of the olives which, thick

in one's track, Tempt the stranger to pick up and bite them, tho' not yet

half black ! How the old twisted olive trunks shudder, the medlars

let fall Their hard fruit, and the brittle great fig-trees snap off,

figs and all,

For here comes the whole of the tempest ! no refuge, but

creep Back again to my side and my shoulder, and listen or

sleep.

O how will your country show next week, when all the

vine-boughs Have been stripped of their foliage to pasture the mules

and the cows? Last eve, I rode over the mountains ; your brother, my

guide, Soon left me, to feast on the myrtles that offered, each

side, Their fruit-balls, black, glossy, and luscious,-or strip

from the sorbs A treasure, or, rosy and wondrous, those hairy gold orbs ! But my mule picked his sure sober path out, just stopping

to neigh When he recognized down in the valley his mates on their

way With the faggots and barrels of water. And soon we

emerged From the plain where the woods could scarce follow; and

still, as we urged Our way, the woods wondered, and left us.

Up, up still we trudged, Though the wild path grew wilder each instant, and place

was e'en grudged 'Mid the rock-chasms and piles of loose stones like the

loose broken teeth Of some monster which climbed there to die, from the

ocean beneath

Place was grudged to the silver-grey fume-weed that clung

to the path, And dark rosemary ever a-dying, that, 'spite the wind's

wrath, So loves the salt rock's face to seaward : and lentisks as

staunch To the stone where they root and bear berries : and ...

what shows a branch Coral-coloured, transparent, with circlets of pale seagreen

leaves ; Over all trod my mule with the caution of gleaners o'er

sheaves. Still, foot after foot like a lady, still, round after round, He climbed to the top of Calvano : and God's own

profound Was above me, and round me the mountains, and under,

the sea,

And within me my heart to bear witness what was and

shall be. Oh, heaven and the terrible crystal ! no rampart

excludes Your eye from the life to be lived in the blue solitudes. Oh, those mountains, their infinite movement ! still

moving with you ; For, ever some new head and breast of them thrusts into

view To observe the intruder ; you see it, if quickly you turn And, before they escape you, surprise them. They grudge

you should learn How the soft plains they look on, lean over and love

(they pretend) -Cower beneath them, the black sea-pine crouches, the

wild fruit-trees bend,

E’en the myrtle-leaves curl, shrink and shut : all is silent

and grave :

'T is a sensual and timorous beauty,-how fair ! but a

slave. So, I turned to the sea ; and there slumbered, as greenly

as ever

Those isles of the siren, your Galli. No ages can sever The Three, nor enable their sister to join them,-half

way On the voyage, she looked at Ulysses-no farther to-day! Tho' the small one, just launched in the wave, watches

breast-high and steady From under the rock her bold sister, swum halfway

already. Fortù, shall we sail there together, and see, from the

sides, Quite new rocks show their faces, new haunts where the

siren abides ? Shall we sail round and round them., ciose over the rocks,

tho’ unseen, That ruffle the grey glassy water to glorious green ? Then scramble from splinter to splinter, reach land, and

explore, On the largest, the strange square black turret with never

a door, Just a loop to admit the quick lizards? Then, stand there

and hear The birds' quiet singing, that tells us what life is, so

clear ? -The secret they sang to Ulysses when, ages ago, He heard and he knew this life's secret, I hear and I

know.

Ah, see ! The sun breaks o'er Calvano. He strikes

the great gloom And futters it o'er the mount's summit in airy gold

fume. All is over.

Look out, see, the gipsy, our tinker and smith, Has arrived, set up bellows and forge, and down-squatted

forthwith To his hammering under the wall there ! One eye keeps

aloof The urchins that itch to be putting his jews'-harp to

proof, While the other, thro' locks of curled wire, is watching

how sleek Shines the hog, come to share in the windfall. Chew,

abbot's own cheek ! All is over.

Wake up and come out now, and down let

us go,

And see the fine things got in order at church for the

show Of the Sacrament, set forth this evening. To-morrow 's

the Feast Of the Rosary's Virgin, by no means of Virgins the

least : As you 'll hear in the off-hand discourse which (all nature,

no art) The Dominican brother, these three weeks, was getting by

heart. Not a pillar nor post but is dizened with red and blue

papers ; All the roof waves with ribbons, each altar a-blaze with

long tapers.

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