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Move o'er sea-shells and bright sands,
Is heard the sound of dipping oars.
Swift o'er the wave the light bark springs,
Love's midnight hour draws lingering near: And list!--his tuneful viol strings
The young Venetian Gondolier.
Lo! on the silver-mirrored deep,
On earth, and her embosomed lakes, And where the silent rivers sweep
From the thin cloud fair moonlight breaks.
Soft music breaths around, and dies
On the calm bosom of the sea; Whilst in her cell the novice sighs
Her vespers to her rosary.
At their dim altars bow fair forms,
In tender charity for those,
That, helpless left to life's rude storms,
Have never found this calm repose.
The bell swings to its midnight chime,
Relieved against the deep blue sky! Haste!-dip the oar again!—'t is time
To seek Genevra’s balcony.
My hour has come, I lay me down
With the dark grave in view;
And hoping for a heavenly crown,
I bid the world adieu.
The angry forms of earth are fled,
The gentle in decay;
For me no golden beams are shed,
My eyes are closed for aye.
One sense remains. I feel a hand
That gently grasps my own;
I deem it one by sorrow fanned,
So tremulous its tone.
If it be thine, my gentle bride!
Grieve not thy fond heart thus;
For, though the grave awhile divide,
Death opens a Heaven to us.
I asked of God an easy death,
And he has heard my prayer;
My soul ebbs like the zephyr's breath
When noon-day calms the air.
A little throbbing of my heart
Weak as an infant's cry;-
If thus life's links are rent apart
Why are we loth to die?
I deemed of tortures in death's hour, Of fevered brain and limb,
And of unearthly forms that lower,
When the eye waxes dim.
My dreams in death have other mould,
Forms beautiful and bright
Are with me-not the beaten gold
Shines like those shapes of light.
I'm sinking as a bird on wing
Drops from his soaring high;
Comes to my tongue a faltering,
And darkness to my eye.
Oh! lift the mighty hill of snow
From off my frozen breast;
I come—the scene is closed below,
And I enjoy a rest.
A SONG OVER THE GRAVE OF A LOVER.
Aye, flowers may glow In new born beauty, and the rosy spring To deck the earth its sparkling wreaths may bring,
But where art thou ?
The early bloom
Of flowers in freshest infancy I wreathe,
Their transient life of fragrancy to breathe
Upon thy tomb.
And I have sought The lowly violet, that in shade appears, Shrinking from view like young love's tender fears,
With sweetness fraught;
And rosebuds too, Crimson as young Aurora's blush, or white As woman's cheek when touched by sorrow's blight,
O'er thee I strew;
And flowers, that close
Their buds beneath the sun, but pure and pale
Ope their sweet blossom ’neath the dewy veil,
That evening throws.
The fragrant leaves
Of the white lily too with these I twine-
The drooping lily—that seems born to shine
Where true love grieves.
There will be none To deck thy grave with flowers, and chant for thee These snatches of remembered melody,
When I am gone.
But thou shalt have
A gift more precious than the buds I fling-
A broken heart!-my latest offering
Upon thy grave.
I never knew a man profaner
Than him they call reformed Tom Bell ;
Or one who more became a gainer
in worldly goods by arts of hell.
He cheated all, but most affected
Those easiest ruined by his guile;
If he but found one unprotected,
Few were his years and brief his smile.
His father-mother died of sorrow
Brought on by his unkind career,
His wives, one, two, three, could not borrow
Of nuptial life, a single year.
And many a maiden, fondly trusting,
Heard in his vow her funeral knell;
And many an orphan with heart bursting,
Asked heaven for vengeance on Tom Bell.
And as for orisons and preaching
In the bright temple where man soars,
Tom would be sooner seen beseeching
For entrance at a wanton's doors.
He held religion “a mere bubble,
An idle tale made by the priest;
Got up to gull with little trouble
The loving fools who would be fleeced.”
And thus Tom Bell went on despising
Religion, virtue, God, and good;