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[83]

A MOONLIGHT ASSIGNATION.

[A FRAGMENT.]

“ Where is the nymph whose azure eye

Can shine through rapture's tear?
The sun is sunk, the moon is high,
And yet she comes not here.”

Moore.

Hail to the lovely Queen of Night,
In all her chastened glory dight!
How sweet her mild yet regal mien !
How rich her realms of starry sheen!
No threatening shades her brows enshroud,
Her veil is of the fleecy cloud ;-
She rules o'er scenes of love and light,
Calmly blest and purely bright,
And the beam is soft of her pensive eye,
As she looks from her silver throne on high!

Now Solitude, meek timid maid !
Is stealing from the birchen glade,
And as she leaves her silent cell,
Beneath the light she loveth well,
She startles at the rustling trees,
And the plaintive voice of the sad night-breeze,
And the music wild of the restless stream
Glimmering in the lunar beam !

Ye radiant stars! and thou, sweet moon,
That oft have heard at night's still noon
Her vows of love, Oh, say if e'er,
Ye aught could doubt that maiden fair,

Or Echo's tremulous voice reply
To sweeter sounds of melody!

But oh! your rays begin to fade,
And absent still the faithless maid
Than ye, proud host of stars ! more bright,
Or even thou, fair Queen of Night!

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The Spirit of Morn advances near,
And all the neighbouring grove doth cheer!
Before her form of holy light
Off glide the dream-like shades of night!

Maid of my heart! oh, why so long ?
The nightingale hath ceased its song,
The speckled lark ascends the sky
To hail the morn's bright majesty,
The mavis and merle are gaily singing,
And the woods with their joyous matins are ringing!

Is it Fancy's vision wild ?
Is Reason from my soul exiled ?
Is it Hope's delusive beam ?
Is it Love's delirious dream ?

Oh, rapturous joy ! 'Twas her I love
Whose advent waked the vocal grove,
Whose form a fresh radiance of beauty adorning,
I deemed in my madness the spirit of Morning!

[85]

A LOVER'S THOUGHT.

'Tis true that we no more may meet,

Our paths are far apart,
I may not hear thy lips repeat

The dictates of thine heart ;-
Yet though divided thus we stray,

We share love's golden dream,
As 'neath the same unbroken ray

The clouds, though parted, gleam !

SONNET.

WRITTEN ON THE BANKS OF THE GANGES.

How fraught with music, beauty and repose,
This holy time, and solitude profound !
The lingering day along the mountain glows;
With songs of birds the twilight woods resound.
Through the soft gloom, yon sacred fanes around,
The radiant fly* its mimic lightning throws;
Fair Gunga's stream along the green vale flows,
And gently breathes a thought-awakening sound!
Such hour and scene my spirit loves to hail,
When nature's smile is so divinely sweet-
When every note that trembles on the gale,
Seems caught from realms untrod by mortal feet-
Where everlasting harmonies prevail —
Where rise the purified, their God to greet !

* The Fire-fly.

SONNET-EVENING AT SEA.

How calm and beautiful! The broad sun now
Behind its rosy curtain lingering stays,
Yet downward and above the glorious rays
Pierce the blue flood, and in the warm air glow;
While clouds from either side, like pillars, throw
Their long gigantic shadows o'er the main ;-
Between their dusky bounds, like golden rain,
Though still the sun-beams on the wave below
A shower of radiance shed, the misty veil
Of twilight spreads around—the orient sky
Is mingling with the sea- -the distant sail
Hangs like a dim-discovered cloud on high,
And faintly bears the cold unearthly ray
Of yon pale moon, that seems the ghost of day!

SONNET-TO A CHILD.

Thou lovely child! When I behold the smile
Over thy rosy fcatures brightly play,
As darts on rippling waves the morning ray,
Thy fair and open brow upraised the while,
Untouched by withering fears of worldly guile,
Nor taught the trusting bosom to betray,-
Thy sinless

win
my
soul

away
From dreams and thoughts that darken and defile !
Scion of Beauty! If a stranger's eye
Thus linger on thee--if his bosom's pain
Charmed by thy cherub looks forget to smart-
Oh! how unutterably sweet her joy!
Oh! how indissolubly firm the chain,
That binds, with links of love, thy Mother's heart !

graces

IMITATIVE HARMONY.

'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
The sound must seem an echo to the sense.

Pope's Essay on Criticism*.
'Tis not enough his verses to complete
In measure, numbers, or determined feet;
Or render things by clear expression bright,
And set each object in a proper light:
To all proportioned terms he must dispense,
And make the sound a picture of the sense.

Pitt's Translation of Vidu's Art of Poetry.

DOCTOR Johnson has remarked, that “ the notion of imitative metre, and the desire of discovering frequent adaptations of the sound to the sense, have produced many wild conceits and imaginary beauties.” The truth of this observation does not overthrow the critical canon which Pope has rendered so familiar. As well might the occasional failures of the painter, or the mistaken interpretations of different judges, be adduced as an argu

* In Spence's Anecdotes, Pope's remarks on this subject are thus reported :I have followed the significance of the numbers, and the adapting them to the sense, much more even than Dryden ; and much oftener than any one minds it. Particularly in the translations of Homer, where 'twas most necessary to do so; and in the Dunciad, often, and indeed in all my poems. The great rule of verse is to be musical ; this other is only a secondary consideration, and should not jar too much with the former. I remember two lines I wrote, when I was a boy, that were very faulty this way. 'Twas on something that I was to describe as passing away as quick as thought :

So swift—this moment here, the next 'tis gone,
So imperceptible the motion.

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