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I saw thee young and lovely; but I deemed
Thy beauty like some consecrated shrine,
Which might not be profaned by aught of mine,
Save holiest aspirations : and I seemed,
E'en while I gazed, as if I only dreamed
Of some fair vision, delicately fine
And of aërial softness, more divine
Than all that e'er on waking fancy beamed.
One year, one little year, has passed away ;
And thou art of my heart's most cherished treasures :
I am no stranger to thy simple pleasures ;
For me thy sweet familiar smiles may play ;
And I may love thee with a brother's love,
And greet thee thus, and thou wilt not reprove.
There is a love-charm in thy magic smile,
Pale star of evening. As thy circlet shone
In twilight's rosy ocean, like an isle
Elysian, I have gazed and wandered on,
And paused fantastic lays of love to con,
And started with a sigh, and gazed again.
The visions of the love-sick boy are gone ;
Yet still thy spell recalls their idle train,
And memory's quiet tears the cheek of manhood stain.
In the wild worship of the earlier day,
Youths, blest by vows at Hymen's virgin shrine,
Enraptured viewed at last thy loitering ray,
•* And deemed that love's own goddess might entwine
Her power, her honours, and her name, with thine.
Still thou art love's own star; the fond and fair
Still smile to see thee in thy beauty shine ;
And burning blushes, murmured tones, are there, More deep than twilight glow, more soft than evening air.
Love breathes his sighs in stillness and in shade ;
And purple clouds, dim stars, and twinkling dews,
And slumbrous music by the breezes made,
A love of loving to the soul infuse.
O'er eve's calm beauties sweet it is to myse
In some fushed Southern climate of the day,
Where light more lovely lives in all her hues ;
How sweet, through many a wild and lonely way,
By slant Italian sun, with lady-love to stray!
Such paradise the dreaming mind may form,
And fly from colder climes and duller skies :
And oft, when night lets loose the gathered storm,
And trees are moaning, and the wind's low sighs
In louder gusts of sudden wrath arise,
And the blast beats upon the rattling pane ;
The mingled murmur on my senses dies,
And fancy wanders in her golden reign,
And eyes meet eloquent eyes, and yielding lips complain.
Once more thy smile too well remembered beams;
Thine eyes of light upon my soul are glancing,
Fair lady of my lonely land of dreams ;
The magic of some twilight hour enhancing,
And thought in thought's best paradise entrancing.
In eve's soft shadows once I roamed with thee,
And watched her star upon the waters dancing :
And oh ! that I were as my spirit free,
To Arno's sun-set glades, and thee, and love, to flee !
And thou, Montgomery, shall wind up the series, for upon whose lines can the heart or the ear repose with a more complete satisfaction !
The gift, dear maid, which thou hast sent
To gladden me to-day,
I'll worship as thy monument
When thou art far away,
"Twill lighten many a dreary mood,
To think how young, how fair, how good,
How fancifully gay,
Was she whose smiles once deigned to bless
My spirit in its loneliness.
The sunshine of thine open brow
For me is nearly o’er,
And dim forebodings tell me now
That we shall meet no more.
But thou art with the vision'd things,
The dreams and dear imaginings,
The treasured thoughts of yore,
Which in my breast still swarm and play
On many a mental holiday.
Thy luring presence, artless one,
Oh! bear it far from me;
I know not what its charms had done
Had I been fancy-free.
But now e'en from thy smiles I shrink,
And oh! 'twould break my heart to think
That I was loved by thee ;
For, maiden, not that angel eye
Must shake my soul's fidelity.
Farewell! and if for aye we part,
May grief ne'er cloud thy brow,
Nor Fashion make thy guileless heart
As cold-as mine is now.
Yet, trust me, wheresoe'er I rove,
I'll love thee with a brother's love,
Nor thou despise my vow;
But grant me still, in woe or weal,
Such love as gentle sisters feel.
TO A LADY,
With Davenant Cecil's “ Beauty."
Lady! there's scarce a holier thing on earth
Than the first dream of a young poet's brain ;
Therefore, with reverence view this wayward strain: And should it, haply, seem of doubtful worth, Yet, as the premature but wondrous birth
Of a great soul, respect it, and refrain
From captious censure or cold scorn, nor stain Thy Spirit's brightness with unseemly mirth. Then least the vision and the soul divine,
Exquisite thoughts, and fancies high and proud ;
And never, never, hath my spirit bowd In woman's presence as it bows in thine ; Nor have I found on earth a heart more fit Than thine to feel this lay and cherish it.
LONDON: PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES,