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Thus memory draws from delight, ere it dies,`
An essence that breathes of it many a year;
Thus bright to my soul, as 'twas then to my eyes,
Is that bower on the banks of the calm Bendemeer!
When I view thy proud trophies of glory long past,
Thy vicissitudes, Italy, darken my brow;
But when I behold thy bright spirit o'ercast,
I weep for thee, Italy, weep for thee now!
That once thou hast stood on the blood-heat of power,
Thy monuments still to the peasant record;
But now that thy gold is a Gothic Lord's dower,
Where-where is Camillus to throw in the sword?
Ah! shame to thee, Italy! shame to thee, lying
In the dark narrow dungeon thy tyrants allow !
For ages the lamp of thy life has been dying,
But ne'er has been wholly extinguished till now.
Still Venice and Genoa gallantly daring,
Had sons to waye dauntless their flag o'er the foam; Pisani and Doria were seen in their bearing,
And still the Italian was master at home. Mad
But now must Pisani or Doria's descendant
E'en a sigh for his country-dear name-disavow: In the chains of the German disgraced and dependent-for thee, Italy, weep for thee now!
Thou hast daughters whose eyes might a hero inspire
Whose one tear of tenderness, smile of delight, Might arm thy defenders with weapons of fire
To consume in their palace the Lords of the Night!
How vain is the caution-how base the mock bravery,
That longing for liberty, shrinks from the strife;
The spirit that saves from the dungeon of slavery,can't
Or gives us to freedom, or takes us from life. *
Nay, William, nay, not so; the changeful year
In all its due successions to my sight
Presents but varied beauties, transient all,
All in their season good. These fading leaves
That with their rich variety of hues
Make yonder forest in the slanting sun
So beautiful, in you awake the thought
Of winter, cold, drear winter; when these trees
Each like a fleshless skeleton shall stretch
Its bare brown boughs; when not a flower shall spread
Its colours to the day, and not a bird
Carol its joyance,—but all nature wear
One sullen aspect, bleak and desolate,
To eye, ear, feeling, comfortless alike.
To me their many-coloured beauties speak
Of times of merriment and festival,
The year's best holiday: I call to mind
The school-boy days, when in the falling leaves
I saw with eager hope the pleasant sign
Of coming Christmas, when at morn I took
My wooden kalendar, and counting up
Once more its often-told account, smoothed off
Each day with more delight the daily notch.
you the beauties of the autumnal year
Make mournful emblems, and you think of man
Doomed to the grave's long winter, spirit-broke,
Bending beneath the burden of his years,
Sense-dulled and fretful, full of aches and pains,'
Yet clinging still to life. To me they show
The calm decay of nature, when the mind
Retains its strength, and in the languid eye
Religion's holy hopes kindle a joy
That makes old age look lovely.
All to you
Is dark and cheerless; you in this fair world
See some destroying principle abroad,
Air, earth, and water, full of living things
Each on the other preying; and the ways
Of man, a strange perplexing labyrinth,
Where crimes and miseries, each producing each,
Render life loathsome, and destroy the hope
That should in death bring comfort. Oh my friend
That thy faith were as mine! that thou couldst see
Death still producing life, and evil still
Working its own destruction; couldst behold
The strifes and tumults of this troubled world
With the strong eye that sees the promised day
Dawn through this night of tempest! all things then
Would minister to joy; then should thine heart
Be healed and harmonized, and thou shouldst feel
God, always, every-where, and all in all.
If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moon-light;
For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild, but to flout, the ruins gray.
When the broken arches are black in night,
And each shafted oriel glimmers white;
When the cold light's uncertain shower
Streams on the ruined central tower;
When buttress and buttress, alternately,
Seem framed of ebon and ivory;
When silver edges the imagery,
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die ;
When distant Tweed is heard to rave,
And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grave;
Then go but go alone the while
Then view St David's ruined pile.