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"Twas night; on her fond hopes perpetual night;
80 Sweet harmonist! and beautiful as sweet! And young as beautiful! and soft as young! And gay as soft! and innocent as gay! And happy (if aught happy here) as good! For Fortune fond had built her nest on high. 85 Like birds quite exquisite of note and plume, Transfix'd by Fate (who loves a lofty mark) How from the summit of the grove she fell, And left it unharmonious! all its charm Extinguish'd in the wonders of her song! Her song still vibrates in my ravish'd ear, Still melting there, and with voluptuous pain (O) to forget her!) thrilling through my heart.
Song, beauty, youth, love, virtue, joy! this group Of bright ideas, flowers of Paradise,
95 As yet unforfeit! in one blazo we bind,
Kneel, and present it to the skies, as all
e guess of Heaven! and these were all her own; And she was mine; and I was-was !--most bless'd. Gay title of the deepest misery!
100 As bodies grow more ponderous robb’d of life, Good lost weighs more in grief than gain'd in joy. Like blossom'd trees o'erturn'd by vernal storm, Lovely in death the beauteous ruin lay; And if in death still lovely, lovelier there; 105 Far lovelier! pity swells the tide of love. And will not the severe excuse a sigh? Scorn the proud man that is ashamed to weep. Our tears indulged indeed deserve our shame. Ye that e'er lost an angel, pity me!
110 Soon as the lustre languish'd in her eye, Dawning a dimmer day on human sight, And on her cheek, the residence of Spring, Pale Omen sat, and scattered fears around On all that saw, (and who would cease to gaze 115 That once had seen?) with haste, parental haste, I flew, I snatch'd her from the rigid North, Her native bed, on which bleak Boreas blew, And bore her nearer to the Sun; the Sun (As if the Sun could envy) check'd his beam, 120 Denied his wonted succour; nor with more Regret beheld her drooping than the bells Of lilies; fairest lilies, not so fair!
Queen lilies ! and ye painted populace Who dwell in fields, and lead ambrosial lives! 125 In morn and evening dew your beauties bathe, And drink the sun, which gives your cheeks to glow, And outblush (mine excepted) every fair ; You gladlier grew, ambitious of her hand, Which often cropp'd your odours, incense meet 130 To thought so pure! Ye lovely fugitives ! Coeval race with man! for man you smile : Why not smile at him too ? You share, indeed, His gudden pass; but not his constant pain.
So man is made, nought ministers delight, 135 But what his glowing passions can engage ; And glowing passions, bent on aught below, Must, soon or late, with anguish turn the scale ; And anguish after rapture, liow severe ! Rapture ? bold man! who tcmpts the wrath divine, 140 By plucking fruit denied to mortal tasto, While here presuming on the rights of Heaven. For transport dost thou call on every hour, Lorenzo ? At thy friend's expense be wise : Lean not on earth ; 'twill pierce thee to the heart; A broken reed at best ; but oft a spear :
146 On its sharp point Peace bleeds, and Hnpe expires.
Turn, hopeless thought! turn from her.--Thought Resenting rallies, and wakes every woe. [repellid Snatch'd ere thy prime! and in thy bridal hour! 150 And when kind Fortune, with thy lover, smiled! And when high-flavour'd thy fresh opening joys ! And when blind man pronounced thy bliss complete ! And on a foreign shore, where strangers wept ! Strangers to thee, and, more surprising still, 155 Strangers to kindness wept. Their eyes let fall Inhuman tears; strange tears ! that trickled down From marble hearts ! obdurate tenderness! A tenderness that call'd them more severe, In spite of Nature's soft persuasion steel'd: 160 While Nature melted, Superstition raved ; That mourn'd the dead, and this denied a grave.
Their sighs incensed ; sighs foreign to the will ! Their will the tiger sucked, outraged the storm; For, oh! the cursed ungodliness of Zeal! 165 While sinful flesh relented, spirit nursed In blind Infallibility's embrace, The sainted spirit petrified the breast Denied the charity of dust to spread D'or dust! a charity their dogs enjoy.
170 What could I do? what succour? what resource ? With pious sacrilege a grave ) stole ;
With impious piety that grave I wrong'd ,
185 Sore grudged the savage land her sacred dust; Stamp'd the cursed soil; and with humanity (Denied Narcissa) wish’d them all a grave.
Glows my resentment into guilt? what guilt Can equal violations of the dead ?
190 The dead how sacred ! sacred is the dust Of this heaven-labour'd form, erect, divine ! This heaven-assumed, majestic robe of earth He deign’d to wear, who hung the vast expanse With azure bright, and clothed the Sun in gold. 195 When every passion sleeps that can offend; When strikes us every motive that can melt ; When man can wreak his rancour uncontroll’d, That strongest curb on insult and ill will ; Then! spleen to dust ? the dust of innocence ? 200 An angel's dust !- This Lucifer transcends ; When he contended for the patriarch’s bones. 'Twas not the strife of malice, but of pride ; The strife of pontiff pride, not pontiff gall. Far less than this is shocking in a race
205 Most wretched, but from streams of mutual love ; And uncreated, but for love divine ; And but for love divine this moment lost, By Fate resorb'd, and sunk in endless night. Fan hard of heart to man! of horrid things 210
Most horrid ! mid stupendous highly strange!
Fired is the Muse ? and let the Muse be fired: Who not inflamed, when what he speaks he feels, And in the nerve most tender, in his friends; 230 Shame to mankind! Philander had his foes ; He felt the truths í sing, and I in him ; But he nor I feel more. Past ills, Narcissa ! Are sunk in thee, thou recent wornd of heart, Which bleeds with other cares, with other pangs, 235 Pangs numerous as the numerous ills that swarm'd O’or thy distinguish'd fate, and, clustering there, Thick as the locust on the land of Nile, Made death more deadly, and more dark the grave. Reflect (if not forgot my touching tale)
24C How was each circumstance with aspics arm'd! An aspic each, and all an hydra woe. What strong Herculean virtue could suffice ? Or is it virtue to be conquer'd here? This hoary cheek a train of tears bedews, 245 And each tear mourns its own distinct distress, And each distress, distinctly mourn'd, demands of grief still more as heightend by the whole.