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Or better still,
-in my ideas, at least,-

Or when to please him, after martial play, A summer party to the greenwood shade,

She strained her late to some old fiery lay With lutes prepared, and cloth on herbage laid, Of fierce Orlando, or of Ferumbras, And ladies' laughter coming through the air,- Or Ryan's cloak, or how by the red grass He was the readiest and the blithest there;

In battle you might know where Richard was. And made the time so exquisitely pass With stories told with elbow on the grass,

Yet all the while, no doubt, however stern Or touched the music in his turn so finely,

Or cold at times, he thought he loved in turn, That all he did, they thought, was done divinely.

And that the joy he took in her sweet ways,

The pride he felt when she excited praise, The lovely stranger could not fail to see

In short, the enjoyment of his own good pleasure, Too soon this difference, more especially

Was thanks enough, and passion beyond measure. As her consent, too lightly now, she thought,

She, had she loved him, might have thought so too: With hopes far different had been strangely bought;

For what will love's exalting not go through, And many a time the pain of that neglect

Till long neglect, and utter selfishness, Would strike in blushes o'er her self-respect:

Shame the fond pride it takes in its distress? But since the ill was cureless, she applied

But ill prepared was she, in her hard lot, With busy virtue to resume her pride,

To fancy merit where she found it not,And hoped to value her submissive heart

She, who had been beguiled,-she, who was made On playing well a patriot daughter's part,

Within a gentle bosom to be laid, Trying her new-found duties to prefer

To bless and to be blessed to be heart-bare To what a father might have owed to her.

To one who found his bettered likeness there,The very day too when her first surprise

To think for ever with him, like a bride, Was full, kind tears had come into her eyes

To haunt his eye, like taste personified,On finding, by his care, her private room Furnished, like magic, from her own at home;

To double his delight, to share his sorrow, The very books and all transported there,

And like a morning beam wake to him every morrow. The leafy tapestry, and the crimson chair,

Paulo, meantime, who ever since the day The lute, the glass that told the shedding hours,

He saw her sweet looks bending o'er his way, The little urn of silver for the flowers,

Had stored them up, unconsciously, as graces The frame for broidering, with a piece half done,

By which to judge all other forms and faces, And the white falcon, basking in the sun,

Had learnt, I know not how, the secret snare, Who, when he saw her, sidled on his stand,

Which gave her up, that evening, to his care. And twined his neck against her trembling hand. But what had touched her nearest, was the thought,

Some babbler, may-be, of old Guido's court,

Or foolish friend had told him, half in sport: That if 'twere destined for her to be brought But to his heart the fatal flattery went; To a sweet mother's bed, the joy would be

And grave he grew, and inwardly intent, Giovanni's too, and his her family:

And ran back, in bis mind, with sudden spring, He seemed already father of her child, (smiled.

Look, gesture, smile, speech, silence, every thing, And on the nestling pledge in patient thought she

Even what before had seemed indifference, Yet then a pang would cross her, and the red

And read them over in another sense.
In either downward clieek startle and spread,
To think that he, who was to have such part

Then would he blush with sudden self-disdain,

To think how fanciful he was, and vain;
In joys like these, had never shared her heart; And with half angry, half regretful sigh,
But back she chased it with a sigh austere;
And did she chance, at times like these, to hear

Tossing his chin, and feigning a free eye,

Breathe off, as 'twere, the idle tale, and look Her husband's footstep, she would haste the more, About him for his falcon or his book, And with a double smile open the door, And ask him after all his morning's doing,

Scorning that ever he should entertain How his new soldiers pleased him in reviewing,

One thought that in the end might give his brother Orif the boar was slain which he had been pursuing.

This start however came so often round

So often fell he in deep thought, and found The prince, at this, would bend on her an eye Occasion to renew his carelessness, Cordial enough, and kiss her tenderly;

Yet every time the power grown less and less

, Nor, to say truly, was he slow in common To accept the attentions of this lovely woman;

That by degrees, half wearied, half inclined, But then meantime he took no generous pains,

To the sweet struggling image he resigned;

And merely, as he thought, to make the best By mutual pleasing, to secure his gains;

Of what by force would

come about his breast, He entered not, in turn, in her delights,

Began to bend down his admiring eyes
Her books, her flowers, her taste for rural sights;

On all her touching looks and qualities,
Nay, scarcely her sweet singing minded he,
Unless his pride was roused by company;

Turning their shapely sweetness every way,
Till 'twas his food and habit day by day,

(pain. And she became companion of his thought.

His brother only, more than hitherto, Silence her gentleness before him brought,

He would avoid, or sooner let subdue, Society her sense, reading her books,

Partly from something strange unfelt before, Music her voice, every sweet thing her looks, Partly because Giovanni sometimes wore Which sometimes seemed, when he sat fixed awhile, A knot his bride had worked him,green and gold ;To steal beneath his eyes with upward smile: For in all things with nature did she hold; And did he stroll into some lonely place,

And while 'twas being worked, her fancy was Under the trees, upon the thick soft grass,

Of sunbeams mingling with a tuft of grass. How charming, would be think, to see her here! Francesca from herself but ill could hide How heightened then, and perfect would appear What pleasure now was added to her side, The two divinest things this world has got,

How placidly, yet fast, the days succeeded A lovely woman in a rural spot!

With one who thought and felt so much as she did,

And how the chair he sat in, and the room, Thus daily went he on, gathering sweet pain Began to look, when he had failed to come. About his fancy, till it thrilled again;

But as she better knew the cause than he, And if his brother's image, less and less,

She seemed to have the more necessity Startled him up from his new idleness,

For struggling hard, and rousing all her pride; 'Twas not,-he fancied, that he reasoned worse,

And so she did at first; she even tried Or felt less scorn of wrong, but the reverse.

To feel a sort of anger at his care; That one should think of injuring another,

But these extremes brought but a kind despair ; Or trenching on his peace,—this too a brother,

And then she only spoke more sweetly to him, And all from selfishness and pure weak will,

And found her failing eyes give looks that melted To him seemed marvellous and impossible.

through him. 'Tis true, thought he, one being more there was, Who might meantime have weary hours to pass,- Giovanni too, who felt relieved indeed One weaker too to bear them,mand for whom - To see another to his place succeed, No matter;-he could not reverse her doom; Or rather filling up some trifling hours, And so he sighed and smiled, as if one thought Better spent elsewhere, and beneath his powers, Of paltering could suppose that he was to be caught. Left the new tie to strengthen day by day,

Talked less and less, and longer kept away,
Yet if she loved him, common gratitude,

Secure in his self-love and sense of right,
If not, a sense of what was fair and good,
Besides his new relationship and right,

That he was welcome most, come when he might.

And doubtless, they, in their still finer sense, Would make him wish to please her all he might;

With added care repaid this confidence, And as to thinking,—where could be the harm,

Turning their thoughts from his abuse of it If to his heart he kept its secret charm?

To what on their own parts was graceful and was fit. He wished not to himself another's blessing, But then he might console for not possessing ; Ah now, ye gentle pair,—now think awhile, And glorious things there were, which but to see Now, while ye still can think, and still can smile; And not admire, was mere stupidity:

Now, while your generous hearts have not been He might as well object to his own eyes

griev For loving to behold the fields and skies,

Perhaps with something not to be retrieved, His neighbour's grove, or story-painted hall; And ye have still, within, the power of gladness, 'Twas but the taste for what was natural;

From self-resentment free and retrospective madOnly his fav’rite thought was loveliest of them all. ness! Concluding thus, and happier that he knew So did they think ;-but partly from delay, His ground so well, near and more near he drew; Partly from fancied ignorance of the way, And, sanctioned by his brother's manner, spent And most from feeling the bare contemplation Hours by her side as happy as well-meant.

Give them fresh need of mutual consolation, He read with her, he rode, he went a hawking, They scarcely tried to see each other less, He spent still evenings in delightful talking,

And did but meet with deeper tenderness, While she sat busy at her broidery frame;

Living, from day to day, as they were used, Or touched the lute with her, and when they came Only with graver thoughts, and smiles reduced, To some fine part, prepared her for the pleasure, And sighs more frequent, which, when one would And then with double smile stole on the measure. The other longed to start up and receive, (heave, Then at the tournament,—who there but she For whether some suspicion now had crossed Made him more gallant still than formerly

Giovanni's mind, or whether he had lost Couch o'er his tightened lance with double force, More of his temper lately, he would treat Pass like the wind, sweeping down man and horse, His wife with petty scorns, and starts of heat, And franklier then than ever, midst the shout And, to his own omissions proudly blind, And dancing trumpetsride, uncovered, roundabout? O'erlook the pains she took to make him kind,

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And yet be angry, if he thought them less;

Where at her drink you started the slim deer, He found reproaches in her meek distress,

Retreating lightly with a lovely fear. Forcing her silent tears, and then resenting, And all about, the birds kept leafy house, Then almost angrier grown from half repenting, And sung and sparkled in and out the boughs; And, hinting at the last, that some there were And all about, a lovely sky of blue Better perhaps than he, and tastefuller,

Clearly was felt,or down the leaves laughed through; And these, for what he knew,-he little cared, And here and there, in every part, were seats, Might please her, and be pleased, though he des- Some in the open walks, some in retreats ; paired.

With bowering leaves o'erhead, to which the eye Then would he quit the room, and half disdain Looked up half sweetly and half awfully, Himself for being in so harsh a strain,

Places of nestling green, for poets made, And venting thus his temper on a woman ;

Where when the sunshine struck a yellow shade, Yet not the more for that changed he in common, The slender trunks, to inward peeping sight, Or took more pains to please her, and be near:- Thronged in dark pillars up the gold green light. What! should he truckle to a woman's tear?

But 'twixt the wood and flowery walks, halfway, At times like these the princess tried to shun And formed of both, the loveliest portion lay, The face of Paulo as too kind a one;

A spot, that struck you like enchanted ground:And shutting up her tears with resolute sigh, It was a shallow dell, set in a mound Would walk into the air, and see the sky,

Of sloping shrubs, that mounted by degrees, And feel about her all the garden green, (tween. The birch and poplar mixed with heavier trees; And hear the birds that shot the covert boughs be- From under which, sent through a marble spout,

Betwixt the dark wet green, a rill gushed out, A noble range it was, of many a rood,

Whose low sweet talking seemed as if it said Walled round with trees, and ending in a wood: Something eternal to that happy shade: Indeed the whole was leafy; and it had

The ground within was lawn, with plots of flowers A winding stream about it, clear and glad,

Heaped towards the centre, and with citron bowers; That danced from shade to shade, and on its way And in the midst of all, clustered about Seemed smiling with delight to feel the day. With bay and myrtle, and just gleaming out, There was the pouting rose, both red and white, Lurked a pavilion,-a delicious sight, The flamy heart's-ease, flushed with purple light, Small, marble, well-proportioned, mellowy white, Blush-hiding strawberry, sunny-coloured box, With yellow vine-leaves sprinkled, but no more, Hyacinth, handsome with his clustering locks, And a young orange either side the door. The lady lily, looking gently down,

The door was to the wood, forward, and square, Pure lavender, to lay in bridal gown,

The rest was domed at top, and circular; The daisy, lovely on both sides,-in short,

And through the dome the only light came in, All the sweet cups to which the bees resort; Tinged, as it entered, with the vine-leaves thin. With plots of grass, and perfumed walks between Of citron, honeysuckle, and jessamine,

It was a beauteous piece of ancient skill, With orange, whose warm leaves so finely suit, Spared froin the rage of war, and perfect still; And look as if they'd shade a golden fruit;

By most supposed the work of fairy hands, And midst the flowers, turfed round beneath a shade Famed for luxurious taste, and choice of lands, Of circling pines, a babbling fountain played, Alcina, or Morgana,—who from fights And 'twixt their shafts you saw the water bright, And errant fame inveigled amorous knights, Which through the darksome tops glimmered with And lived with them in a long round of blisses, showering light.

Feasts, concerts, baths, and bower-enshaded kisses. So now you walked beside an odorous bed

But 'twas a temple, as its sculpture told, Of gorgeous hues, white, azure, golden, red; Built to the nymphs that haunted there of old; And now turned off into a leafy walk,

For o'er the door was carved a sacrifice Close and continuous, fit for lovers' talk;

By girls and shepherds brought, with reverent eyes, And now pursued the stream, and as you trod Of sylvan drinks and foods, simple and sweet, Onward and onward o'er the velvet sod,

And goats with struggling horns and planted feet: Felt on your face an air, watery and sweet,

And on a line with this ran round about And a new sense in your soft-lighting feet;

A like relief, touched exquisitely out, (selves; And then perhaps you entered upon shades, That shewed, in various scenes, the nymphs themPillowed with dells and uplands 'twixt the glades, Some by the water side on bowery shelves Through which the distant palace, now and then, Leaning at will,—some in the water sporting Looked lordly forth with many-windowed ken; With sides half swelling forth, and looks of courtA land of trees, which reaching round about, Some in a flowery dell, hearing a swain [ing,In shady blessing stretched their old arms out, Play on his pipe, till the hills ring again, With spots of sunny opening, and with nooks, Some tying up their long moist hair,--some sleeping To lie and read in, sloping into brooks,

Under the trees, with fauns and satyrs peeping,


Or, sidelong-eyed, pretending not to see

And read with a full heart, half sweet, half sad, The latter in the brakes come creepingly,

How old King Ban was spoiled of all he had While their forgotten urns, lying about

But one fair castle: how one summer's day In the green herbage, let the water out.

With his fair queen and child he went away Never, be sure, before or since was seen

To ask the great King Arthur for assistance; A summer-house so fine in such a nest of green. How reaching by himself a hill at distance

He turned to give his castle a last look, All the green garden, flower-bed, shade, and plot,

And saw its far white face: and how a smoke, Francesca loved, but most of all this spot.

As he was looking, burst in volumes forth, Whenever she walked forth, wherever went

And good King Ban saw all that he was worth, About the grounds, to this at last she bent:

And his fair castle, burning to the ground, Here she had brought a lute and a few books;

So that bis wearied pulse felt over-wound, Here would she lie for hours with grateful looks,

And he lay down, and said a prayer apart Thanking at heart the sunshine and the leaves,

For those he loved, and broke his poor old heart. The summer rain-drops counting from the eaves,

Then read she of the queen with her young child, And all that promising, calm smile we see

How she came up, and nearly had gone wild; In nature's face, when we look patiently.

And how in journeying on in her despair, Then would she think of heaven; and you might hear

She reached a lake, and met a lady there, Sometimes, when every thing was hushed and clear,

Who pitied her, and took the baby sweet Her gentle voice from out those shades emerging,

Into her arms, when lo, with closing feet Singing the evening anthem to the Virgin.

She sprang up all at once, like bird from brake, The gardeners and the rest, who served the place,

And vanished with him underneath the lake. And blest whenever they beheld her face,

The mother's feelings we as well may pass :Knelt when they heard it, bowing and uncovered,

The fairy of the place that lady was, And felt as if in air some sainted beauty hovered.

And Launcelot (so the boy was called) became One day,-'twas on a summer afternoon,

Her inmate, till in search of knightly fame

He went to Arthur's court, and played his part When airs and gurgling brooks are best in tune, And grasshoppers are loud, and day-work done,

So rarely, and displayed so frank a heart,

That what with all his charms of look and limb, And shades have heavy outlines in the sun,

The Queen Geneura fell in love with him :The princess came to her accustomed bower

And here, with growing interest in her reading, To get her, if she could, a soothing hour,

The princess, doubly fixed, was now proceeding. Trying, as she was used, to leave her eares Without, and slumberously enjoy the airs,

Ready she sat with one hand to turn o'er And the low-talking leaves, and that cool light

The leaf, to which her thoughts ran on before, The vines let in, and all that hushing sight

The other propping her white brow, and throwing Of closing wood seen through the opening door,

Its ringlets out, under the skylight glowing. And distant plash of waters tumbling o'er,

So sat she fixed; and so observed was she And smell of citron blooms, and fifty luxuries more.

Of one, who at the door stood tenderly,– She tried, as usual, for the trial's sake,

Paulo,—who from a window seeing her For even that diminished her heart-ache;

Go straight across the lawn, and guessing where, And never yet, how ill soe'er at ease,

Had thought she was in tears, and found, that day

His usual efforts vain to keep away.
Came she for nothing, midst the flowers and trees.
Yet somehow or another, on that day,

May I come in?" said he:-it made her start,She seemed to feel too lightly borne away,

That smiling voice;—she coloured, pressed her heart Too much relieved,—too much inclined to draw

A moment, as for breath, and then with free A careless joy from every thing she saw,

And usual tone said, “O yes,-certainly." And looking round her with a new-born eye,

There's apt to be, at conscious times like these, As if some tree of knowledge had been nigh, An affectation of a bright-eyed ease, To taste of nature, primitive and free,

An air of something quite serene and sure, And bask at ease in her heart's liberty.

As if to seem so, was to be secure: Painfully clear those rising thoughts appeared,

With this the lovers met, with this they spoke, With something dark at bottom that she feared;

With this they sat down to the self-same book, And snatching from the fields her thoughtful look,

And Paulo, by degrees, gently embraced She reached o'er-head, and took her down a book,

With one permitted arm her lovely waist; And fell to reading with as fixed an air,

And both their cheeks, like peaches on a tree, As though she had been wrapt since morning there.

Leaned with a touch together thrillingly;

And o'er the book they hung, and nothing said, 'Twas Launcelot of the Lake, a bright romance, And every lingering page grew longer as they read. That like a trumpet, made young pulses dance, Yet had a softer note that shook still more;

As thus they sat, and felt with leaps of heart She had begun it but the day before,

Their colour change, they came upon the part

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Where fond Geneura, with her flame long nurst, He felt the sharp sweetness more strengthen his
Smiled upon Launcelot when he kissed her first:- Ten times than ever the spicy rains, (veins,
That touch, at last, through every fibre slid; And ere they're aware, he has burst his chains :
And Paulo turned, scarce knowing what he did, He has burst his chains, and ah, ha! he's gone,
Only he felt he could no more dissemble,

And the links and the gazers are left alone,
And kissed her, mouth to mouth, all in a tremble. And off to the mountains the panther's flown.
Sad were those hearts, and sweet was that long kiss:
Sacred be love from sight, whate'er it is.

Now what made the panther a prisoner be;
The world was all forgot, the struggle o'er,

Lo! 'twas the spices and luxury.
Desperate the joy.-That day they read no more.

And what set that lordly panther free?
'Twas Love !'twas Love!-'twas no one but he.




The panther leaped to the front of his lair,
And stood with a foot up, and snuffed the air;
He quivered his tongue from his panting mouth,
And looked with a yearning towards the south;
For he scented afar in the coming breeze,
News of the gums and their blossoming trees;
And out of Armenia that same day,
He and his race came bounding away.
Over the mountains and down to the plains
Like Bacchus's panthers with wine in their veins,
They came where the woods wept odorous rains;
And there, with a quivering, every beast
Fell to his old Pamphylian feast.

The people who lived not far away,
Heard the roaring on that same day;
And they said, as they lay in their carpeted rooms,
The panthers are come, and are drinking the gums:
And some of them going with swords and spears,
To gather their share of the rich round tears,
The panther I spoke of followed them back;
And dumbly they let him tread close in the track,
And lured him after them into the town;
And then they let the portcullis down,
And took the panther, which happened to be
The largest was seen in all Pamphily.

Who would believe that in a human form,
And underneath these lowly shepherd's weeds,
There walked a hidden God? and he no God
Sylvan, or of the common crowd of heaven,
But the most potent of their greatest ;-one
Who many a time has made the hand of Mars
Let fall his bloody sword; and looked away,
From the earth-shaker Neptune, his great trident;
And his old thunders from consuminate Jove.

Doubtless beneath this aspect and this dress,
Venus will not soon know me,-me, her son,
Her own son, Love. I am constrained to leave her,
And hide from her pursuit; because she wishes
That I should place my arrows and myself
At her discretion solely; and like a woman,
Vain and ambitious, she would hunt me back
Among mere courts, and coronets, and sceptres,
There to pin down my powers; and to my ministers
And minor brethren, leave sole liberty
To lodge in the green woods, and flesh their darts
In bosoms rude. But I, who am no boy,
Whate'er I seem in visage or in act,
Would of myself dispose as it should please me;
Since not to her, but me, were given by lot
The torch omnipotent, and golden bow.

Therefore I hide about; and so escaping
Not her authority, which she has not in me,
But the strong pressure of a mother's prayers,
I cover me in the wood, and do become
An inmate with its lowly populace.
She follows me, and promises to give
To whomsoever will betray me to her,
Sweet kisses, or a something else still dearer!
As if, fors th, I knew not how to give
To whomsoever will conceal me from her,
Sweet kisses, or a something else still dearer.
This, at the least, is certain ; that my kisses
Will be much dearer to the lasses' lips,
If I, who am Love's self, to love apply me;
So that in many an instance, she must needs
Ask after me in vain. The lips are sealed.

But to keep closer still, and to prevent her
From finding me by any sign or symptom,
I have put off my wings, my bow and quiver.

By every one there was the panther admired,
So fine was his shape and so sleekly attired,
And such an air, both princely and swift,
He had, when giving a sudden lift
To his mighty paw, he'd turn at a sound,
And so stand panting and looking around,
As if he attended a monarch crowned.
And truly, they wondered the more to behold
About his neck a collar of gold,
On which was written, in characters broad,
“ Arsaces the king to the Nysian God.”
So they tied to the collar a golden chain,
And made the panther a captive again,
And by degrees he grew fearful and still,
As if he had lost his lordly will.

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But now came the spring, when free-born love
Calls up nature in forest and grove,
And makes each thing leap forth, and be
Loving, and lovely, and blithe as he.
The panther he felt the thrill o' the air,
And he gave a leap up like that at his lair;

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