The Northern Way

Song and Legend From the Middle Ages

Italian Literature

Page 9

Sad my nights; from morn till eve,

Tenanting the woods, I sigh:

But, ere I shall cease to grieve,

Ocean's vast bed shall be dry,

Suns their light from moons shall gain,

And spring wither on each plain.

Pensive, weeping, night and day,

From this shore to that I fly,

Changeful as the lunar ray;

And, when evening veils the sky,

Then my tears might swell the floods,

Then my sighs might bow the woods!

Towns I hate, the shades I love;

For relief to you green height,

Where the rill resounds, I rove

At the grateful calm of night;

There I wait the day's decline,

For the welcome moon to shine.

Song, that on the wood-hung stream

In the silent hour wert born,

Witness'd but by Cynthia's beam,

Soon as breaks to-morrow's morn,

Thou shalt seek a glorious plain,

There with Laura to remain!

------Nott.

II. To Laura in Death.

SONNET I.

On the announcement of the death of Laura.

Woe for the 'witching look of that fair face!

The port where ease with dignity combined!

Woe for those accents, that each savage mind

To softness tuned, to noblest thoughts the base!

And the sweet smile, from whence the dart I trace,

Which now leaves death my only hope behind!

Exalted soul, most fit on thrones to 've shined,

But that too late she came this earth to grace!

For you I still must burn, and breathe in you;

For I was ever yours; of you bereft,

Full little now I reck all other care.

With hope and with desire you thrill'd me through,

When last my only joy on earth I left:---

But caught by winds each word was lost in air.

-----Anon., Ox., 1795.

SONNET XLII.

The spring only renews his grief.

The soft west wind, returning, brings again

It's lovely family of herbs and flowers;

Progne's gay notes and Philomela's strain

Vary the dance of springtide's rosy hours;

And joyously o'er every field and plain

Glows the bright smile that greets them from above,

And the warm spirit of reviving love

Breathes in the air and murmurs from the main.

But tears and sorrowing sighs, which gushingly

Pour from the secret chambers of my heart,

Are all that spring returning brings to me;

And in the modest smile, or glance of art,

The song of birds, the bloom of heath and tree,

A desert's rugged tract and savage forms I see.

------Greene.

SONNET LII.

He revisits vaucluse.

I feel the well-known breeze, and the sweet hill

Again appears, where rose that beauteous light,

Which, while Heaven willed it, met my eyes, then bright

With gladness, but now dimmed with many an ill.

Vain hopes! weak thoughts! Now, turbid is the rill;

The flowers have drooped; and she hath ta'en her flight

From the cold nest, which once, in proud delight,

Living and drying, I had hoped to fill:

I hoped, in these retreats, and in the blaze

Of her fair eyes, which have consumed my heart,

To taste the sweet reward of troubled days.

Thou, whom I serve, how hard and proud thou art!

Erewhile, thy flame consumed me; now, I mourn

Over the ashes which have ceased to burn.

-------Roscoe.

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