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FrLL’d with the wonders I had seen,
In Rome's stupendous shrines and halls,
I felt the veil of sleep, serene,
Come o'er the mem'ry of each scene,
As twilight o'er the landscape falls.
Nor was it slumber, sound and deep,
But such as suits a poet's rest—
That sort of thin, transparent sleep,
Through which his day-dreams shine the best
Methought upon a plain I stood,
Where certain wondrous men, 'twas said,
With strange, mirac'lous power endu'd,
Were coming, each in turn, to shed
His arts' illusions o'er the sight,
And call up iniracles of light.
The sky above this lonely place,
Was of that cold, uncertain hue,
The canvass wears, ere, warm'd apace,
Its bright creation dawns to view

But soon a glimmer from the east
Proclaim'd the first enchantments nigh;"
And as the feeble light increas'd,
Strange figures mov’d across the sky,
With golden glories deck'd, and streaks
Of gold among their garments' dyes;f
And life's resemblance ting'd their cheeks,
But nought of life was in their eyes;–
Like the fresh-painted Dead one meets,
Borne slow along Rome's mournful streets
But soon these figures pass'd away;
And forms succeeded to their place,
With less of gold in their array,
But shining with more natural grace,
And all could see the charming wands
Had pass'd into more gifted hands.t

Among these visions there was one,S
Surpassing fair, on which the sun,
That instant ris'n, a beam let fall,
Which through the dusky twilight trembled,
And reach'd at length, the spot where all
Those great magicians stood assembled
And as they turn'd their heads, to view
The shining Justre, I could trace
The bright varieties it threw
On each uplifted studying face;|
While many a voice with loud acclaim,
Call'd forth, “Masaccio” as the name
Of him, the Enchanter, who had rais'd
This miracle, on which all gaz'd.

1.

‘Twas daylight now—the sun had ris'n,
From out the dungeon of old Night,
Like the Apostle, from his prison
Led by the Angel's hand of light;
And—as the setters, when that ray
Of glory reach'd them, dropp'd away,"
So fled the clouds at touch of day!
Just then, a bearded sage ** came forth,
Who oft in thoughtful dream would stand
To trace upon the dusky earth
Strange learned figures with his wand; if
And oft he took the s.lver 1, ite
His little page behind him. bore,
And wak'd such music as, w.hen mute,
Left in the soul a thirst for more :

Meanwhile, his potent spells went on,
And forms and faces, that from out
A depth of shadow mikily shone,
Were in the soft air seen about.
Though thick as midnight stars they beam’d,
Yet all like living sisters seem’d,
So close, in every point, resembling
Each other's beauties—from the eyes
Lucid as if through crystal trembling,
Yet soft as if suffus'd with sighs,
To the long, fawn-like mouth, and chin,
Lovely tapering, less and less,
Till, by this very charm's excess,
Like virtue on the verge of sin,
It touch'd the bounds of ugliness.
Here look'd as when they liv'd the shades
Of some of Arno's dark-ey'd maids—
Such maids as should alone live on,
In dreams thus, when their charms are gone.
Some Mona Lisa, on whose eyes
A painter for whole years might gaze, it
.Nor find in all his pallet’s dyes,
One that could even approach their blaze

Here float two spirit shapes,SS the one, With her white fingers to the sun Outspread, as if to ask his ray Whether it e'er had chranc'd to play On lilies half so fair as they ! This self-pleas'd nymph, was VanityAnd by her side another smil'd, In-form as beautiful as she, . But with that air, subdu'd and mild, That still reserve of purity, Which is to beauty like the haze Of ev'ning to some sunny view, Soft'ning such charms as it displays, And veiling others in that hue, Which fancy only can see through This phantom nymph, who could she be, But the bright Spirit, Modesty 2

Long did the learn'd enchanter stay
To weave his spells, and still there pass'd,
As in the lantern's shifting play.
Group after group in close array,
Each fairer, grander, than the last
But the great triumph of his pow'r
Was yet to come:—gradual and slow,
(As all that is ordain'd to tow'r,
Among the works of man must grow,)
The sacred vision stole to view,
In that half light, half shadow shown,

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Which gives to ev'n the gayest hue,
A sober'd, melancholy tone.
It was a vision of that last,"
Sorrowful night which Jesus pass'd
With his disciples, when he said
Mournfully to them—“I shall be
“Betray'd by one, who here hath fed
“This night at the same board with me.”
And though the Saviour, in the dream
Spoke not these words, we saw them beam
Legibly in his eyes (so well
The great magician work'd his spell,)
And read in every thoughtful line
Imprinted cn that brow divine,
The meek, the tender nature, griev'd,
Not anger'd, to be thus deceived—
Celestial love requited ill
For all its care, yet loving still—
Deep, deep regret that there should fall
From man's deceit so foul a blight
Upon that parting hour—and all
His Spirit must have felt that night,
Who, soon to die for human-kind,
Thought only, 'mid his mortal pain,
How many a soul was left behind
For whom he died that death in vain :

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From the first moment, when we find
Thy spirit haunted by a swarm
0f dark desires,—like demons shrin'd
Unholily in that fair form,-
Till when, by touch of Heav'n set free,
Thou cam'st, with those bright locks of gold
(So of the gaze of BETHANY.,)
And, cov'ring in their precicos fold
Thy Saviour's feet, didst shed so ch tears
As paid, each drop, the sins of years!
Thence on, through all thv course of love
To Him, thv Heavenly Master,-Him,
Whose bitter death-cup from above
Had yet this cordial round the brim,
That woman's faith and love stood fast
And fearless by Him to the last:—
Till, oh, blest boon for truth like thine!
Thou wert, of all, the chosen one,
Before whose eyes that Face Divine,
When risen from the dead, first shone;

That thou might'st see how, like a cloud,
Had pass'd away its mortal shroud,
And make that bright revealinent known
To hearts, less trusting than thy own.
All is affecting, cheering, grand;
The kindliest record ever giv'n,
Ev'n under God's own kindly hand,
Of what Repentance wins from Heav'n .

No wonder, MARY, that thy face,
In all its touching light of tears,
Should meet us in each holy place,
Where Man before his God appears,
Ho! eless--were he nor taught to see
All hope in Him, who pardon'd thee!
No wonder that the painter's skill
Should oft have triumph'd in the pow'r
Of keeping thee all lovely still
Ev’n in thy sorrow's bitt'rest hour;
That soft Corra EGGIo should diffuse
His melting shadows round thy form;
That GUIDo's pale, unearthly hues
Should, in portraying thee, grow warm-
That all—from the ideal, grand,
Inimitable Roman hand,
Down to the small, enamelling touch
Of smooth CARLINo—should delight
In pict'ring her, who “lov’d so much,”
And was, in spite of sin, so bright!

But, MARY, 'mong these bold essays
Of Genius and of Art to raise
A semblance of those weeping eyes—
A vision, worthy of the sphere
Thy faith has earn'd thee in the skies,
And in the hearts of all men here,
None e'er hath match'd, in grief or grace,
CANov.A's day-dream of thy sace,
In those bright sculptur'd forms, more brigh-
With true expression's breathing light,
Than ever yet, beneath the stroke
Of chisel, into life awoke.
The one,f portraying what thou wert
In thy first grief—while yet the flow'r
Of those young beauties was unhurt
By sorrow's slow, consuming pow'r;
And mingling earth's seductive grace
With heav'n's subliming thoughts so well,
We doubt, while gazing, in which place
Such beauty was most form'd to dwell !
The other, as thou look'dst, when years
Of fasting, penitenee, and tears
Had worn thy frame;—and ne'er did Art
With half such speaking pow'r express
The ruin which a breaking heart
Spreads, by degrees, o'er loveliness.
Those wasting arms, that keep the trace,
Fv’n still, of all their youthful grace,
That loosen'd hair, of which thy brow
Was once so proud, neglected now !—
Those features, ev’n in fading worth
The freshest bloom to others giv'n,
And those sunk eyes, now lost to earth,
But, to the last, still full of heav'n'

Wonderful artist! praise, like mine—
Though springing from a soul that feels
Deep worship of those works divine,
Where Genius all his light reveals—
How veak 'tis to the words that came
From rom, thy peer in art and fame,
Whom I have known, by day, by night,
Hang o'er thy marble with delight;
And, while his ling'ring hand would steal

'The Lost Supper of Leonardo da Vinci, which is in the Refoctory of the Convent delle Grazie at Milan. see L’Histoire de la peinture * Italie, liv iii. chap. 45. The writer of that interesting work (to whom I take this opportunity of of ring my acknowledgments, for the topy he sent me a year since from Rome) will see I have profited by *one of his observations on this celebrated picture.

! Leonardo appears to have used a mixture of oil and varnish for **picture, which alone, without the various other causes of its ruin,

would have prevented any long duration of its beauties. It is now

almost o effaced. t This statue is one of the last works of Canova, and was not yet in

marble when l left Rome. The other, which seems to prove, in con

tradiction to very high authority, that expression, of the intensest

kind, is fully within the sphere of sculpture, was executed many

years ago, and is in the possession of the Count Scmar.va, at Paris. § Chanre?

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I may be cold;—may want that glow Of high romance, which bards should know ; That holy homage, which is felt In treadong where the great have dwelt; This rev'rence, whatsoe'er it be, I fear, I feel. I have it not :— For here, at this still hour, to me The charms of this delightful spot; Its calm seclusion from the throng, From all the heart would fain forget; This narrow valley, and the song Of its small murm'ring rivulet; The flitting, to and fro, of birds, Tranquil and tame as they were once In Eden, ere the startling words . Of Man disturb’d their orisons: Those little, shadowy paths, that wind Up the hill-side, with fruit-tree's lin'd, And lighted only by the breaks The gay wind in the foliage makes, Or vistas, here and there, that ope Through weeping willows, like the snatches Of far-off scenes of light, which Hope Even through the shade of sadness catches!— All this, which—could I once but lose The memory of those vulgar ties, Whose grossness all the heavenliest hues Of Genius can no more disguise,

• Canova always shows his fine statue, he Venere Vincitrice, ty the light of a small candle.

Than the sun's beams can do away
The filth of fens o'er which they play—
This scene, which would have fill'd my heart
With thoughts of all that happiest is;
Of Love, where self hath only part,
As echoing back another bliss;
Of solitude, secure and sweet,
Beneath whose shade the virtues meet;
Which, while it shelters, never chills
Our sympathies with human woe,
But keeps them, like sequester'd rills,
Purer and fresher in their flow;
Of happy days, that share their beams
*Twixt quiet mirth and wise employ;
Of tranquil nights, that give, in dreams,
The moonlight of the morning’s joy!—
All this my heart could dwell on here,
But for those gross memento's near;
Those sullying truths, that cross the track
Of each sweet thought, and drive them back
Full into all the mire, and strife,
And vanities of that man's life,
Who, more than all that e'er have glow’d
With Fancy's flame (and it was his,
In fullest warmth and radiance) show’d
What an impostor Genius is;
How, with that strong, mimetic art,
Which forms its life and soul, it takes
All shapes of thought, all hues of heart.
Nor feels, itself, one throb it wakes
How like a gem its light may smile
O'er the dark path, by mortals trod.
Itself as mean a worm, the while,
As crawls at midnight o'er the sod,
What gentle words and thoughts may fall
From its false lip, what zeal to bless,
While home, friends, kindred, country, all
Lie waste beneath its selfishness :
How, with the pencil hardly dry
From colouring up such scenes of love
And beauty, as make young hearts sigh,
And dream, and think through heav'n they too
They, who can thus describe and move,
The very workers of these charms.
Nor seek, nor know a joy, apot &
Some Maman's or Theresa's arms

How all, in short, that makes the boast
Of their false tongues, they want the most,
And, while with freedom on their lips,
Sounding their trimbrels, to set free
This bright world, labouring in the eclipse
Of priestcraft, and of slavery,
They may, themselves, be slaves as low
As ever Lord or Patron made
To blossom in his smile, or grow,
Like stunted brushwood, in his shade.
Out on the craft!—I’d rather be
One of those hinds, that round me tread,
With just enough of sense to see
The noonday sun that's o'er his head,
Than thus, with high-built genius curst,
That hath no heart for its foundation,
Be all, at once, that's brightest, worst,
Sublimest, meanest in creation 1

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Where Wisdom flings not joy away—
As Pallas in the stream, they say,
Once flung her flute—but smiling owns
'..hat woman's lip can send fort, to, es
Worth all the music of those spheres
So many dream of, but none hears;
Where Virtue's self puts on so well
Her sister Pleasure's smile, that, loth
From either nymph apart to dwell,
We finish by embracing both.

Yes, such the place of bliss, I own,
From all whose charms I just have flown;
And even while thus to thee I write,
And by the Nile's dark flood recline,
Fondly, in thought, I wing my flight
Back to those groves and gardens bright,
And often think, by this sweet light,
How lovelily they all must shine;
Can see that graceful temple throw
Down the green slope its lengthened shade,
While, on the marble steps below,
There sits some fair Athenian maid,
Over some favourite volume bending;
And, by her side, a youthful sage
Holds back the ringlets that, descending,
Would else o’ershadow all the page.
But hence such thoughts!—nor let me grieve
O'er scenes of joy that I but leave,
As the bird quits awhile its nest
To come again with livelier zest.

And now to tell thee—what I fear
Thou'lt gravely smile at—why I'm here.
Though through my life's short, sunny dream,
I've floated without pain or care,
Like a light leaf, down pleasure's stream,
Caught in each sparkling eddy there;
Though never Mirth awaked a strain
That my heart echoed not again;
Yet have I felt, when even most gay,
Sad thoughts—I knew not whence or why—
Suddenly o'er my spirit fly,
Like clouds, that, ere we've time to say
“How bright the sky is : " shade the sky.
Sometimes so vague, so undefin'd,
Were these strange dark'nings of my mind–
While nought but joy around me beam’d—
So causelessly they've come and flown,
That not of life or earth they seem’d,
But shadows from some world unknown.
More ost, however, 'twas the thought
How soon that scene, with all its play
Of life and gladness, must decay—
Those lips I prest, the hands I caught—
Myself—the crowd that mirth had brought
Around me—swept like weeds away :

This thought it was that came to shed
O'er rapture's hour its worst alloys;
And, close as shade with sunshine, wed
Its sadness with my happiest joys.
Oh, but for this dishearthing voice,
Stealing amid our mirth to say
That a'!, in which we most rejoice,
Fre night may be the earth-worm's prey;
out for this bitter—only this—
ull as the world is brinm'd with bliss,
And capable as feels my soul
draining to its dregs the whole,
I should turn earth to heav'n, and be,
If bliss made Gods, a Deity:

To knowst that night—the very last

W at 'mong my Garden friends I pass'd– hen the School held its feast of mirth

To celebrate our founder's birth,

Abd all that He in dreams but saw When he set Pleasure on the throne this bright world, and wrote her law on human hearts, was felt and known—

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That night, when all our mirth was o'er,
The minstrels silent, and the feet
Of the young maidens heard no more—
So stilly was the time, so sweet,
And such a calm came o'er that scene,
Where life and revel late had been—
Lone as the quiet of some bay,
From whicn the sea hath ebb'd away—
That still I linger'd, lost in thought,
Gazing upon the stars of night,
Sad and intent, as if I sought
Some mournful secret in their light;
And ask’d them, 'mid that silence, why
Man, glorious man, alone must die,
While they, less wonderful than he,
Shine on through all eternity.

That night thou haply may'st forget
Its loveliness—but 'twas a night
To make earth's meanest slave regret
Leaving a world so soft and bright.
On one side, in the dark blue sky, -
Lonely and radiant, was the eye
Of Jove himself, while, on the other,
*Mong stars that came out one by one,
The young moon—like the Roman mother
Among her living jewels—shone.
“Oh that from yonder orbs,” I thought,
“Pure and eternal as they are,
“There could to earth some power be brought,
“Some charm, with their own essence fraught,
“To make man deathless as a star;
“And open to his vast desires
“A course, as boundless and sublime
“As that which waits those comet-fires,
“That burn and roam throughout all time!”

While thoughts like these absorb'd my mind,
That weariness which earthly bliss,
However sweet, still leaves behind,
As if to show how earthly 'tis,
Came lulling o'er me, and I laid
My limbs at that fair statue's base—
That miracle, which Art hath made
Of all the choice of Nature's grace—
To which so oft I’ve kneht and sworn,
That, could a living maid like her
Unto this wondering world be born,
I would, myself, turn worshipper.

Sleep came then o'er me—and I seem'd
To be transported far away
To a bleak desert plain, where gleam'd
One single, melancholy ray,
Throughout that darkness dimly shed
From a small taper in the hand
Of one, who, pale as are the dead,
Before me took his spectral stand,
And said, while, awfully, a smile
Came o'er the wanness of his cheek—
“Go, and beside the sacred Nile
“You’ll find the Eternal Life you seek”

Soon as he spoke these words, the hue
Of death o'er all his features grew,
Like the pale morning, when o'er night
She gains the victory, full of light;
While the small torch he held became
A glory in his hand, whose flame
Brighten’d the desert suddenly,
Even to the far horizon's line—
Along whose level I could see
Gardens and groves, that seem'd to shine,
As if then o'er them freshly play'd
A vernal rainbow’s rich cascade;
And music floated every where,
Circling, as 'twere itself the air,

And spirits, on whose wings the hue
Of heaven still linger'd, round me flew,
Till from all sides such splendours broke,
That, with the excess of light, I woke'

Such was my dream:—and, I confess,
Though none of all our creedless School
E'er conn'd, believ'd, or reverenc'd less
The fables of the priest-led fool,
Who tells us of a soul, a mind,
j." and pure, within us shrin'd,
Which is to live—ah, hope too bright!
For ever in yon fields of light;
Who fondly thinks the guardian eyes
Of Gods are on him—as if, blest
And blooming in their own blue skies,
The eternal Gods were not too wise
To let weak man disturb their rest!—
Though thinking of such creeds as thou
And all our Garden sages think,
Yet is there something, I allow,
In dreams like this—a sort of link
With worlds unseen, which, from the hour
I first could lisp my thoughts till now,
Hath master'd me with spell-like power.

And who can tell, as we're combin’d .
Of various atoms—some refin'd,
Like those that scintillate and play
In the fix'd stars—some, gross as they -
That frown in clouds or sleep in clay—
Who can be sure, but ’tis the best
And brightest atoms of our frame,
Those most akin to stellar flame,
That shine out thus, when we’re at rest
Ev’n as the stars themselves, whose lig
Comes out but in the silent night.
Or is it that there lurks, indeed,
Some truth in Man's prevailing creet
And that our Guardians, from on his
Come, in that pause from toil an’. . .,
To put the senses' curtain by,
And on the wakeful soul look i

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Farewell—when to our Garden friends
Thou talk'st of the wild dream that sends
The gavest of their school thus far,
Wandering beneath Canopus' star,
Tell them that, wander where he will,
Or, hows Ne'er they now condemn
His vague at d vain pursuit, he still
Is worthy of the School and them;-
Still, all their own—nor eler forgets,
Ev’n while his heart and soul pursue
Th’ Eternal Light which never sets,
The manv meteor jows that do,
But seeks them, hails them with delight,
Where'er they meet his longing sight.
And, if his life must wane away,
Like other lives, at least the day,
The hour it lasts shall, like a fire
With incense fed, in sweets expire.

LETTER II. FROM THE BAME To the saxie.

Memphis 'Tis true, alas—the myst’ries and the lore I came to study on this wondrous shore, Are all forgotten in the new delights, The strange, wild joys that fill my days and nights. Instead of dark, dull oracles that speak From subterranean temples, those 1 seek Come from the breathing shrines where Beauty lives And [..ove, her priest, the soft responses gives fnsteal of honouring Isis in those rives At Coptos held, I hail her, when she lignts Her first young crescent on the holy stream— When wandering youths and maidens watch her beam. And number o'er the nights she hath to run, Ere she again embrace her bridegroom sun. While o'er some mystic leaf, that dimly lends A clue into past times, the student bends, And by its glimmering guidance learns to tread Back through the shadowy knowledge of the deadThe only skill, alas, I yet can claim Lies in deciphering some new lov'd-one's name— Some gentle missive, hinting time and place, In language, soft as Memphian reed can trace.

And where—oh where's the heart that could withstand
The unnumber'd witcheries of this sun-born land,
Where first young Pleasure's banner was unfurl’d,
And Love hath temples ancient as the world!
Where mystery, like the veil by Beauty worn,
Hides but to win, and shades but to adorn;
Where that luxurious melancholy, born
Of passion and of genius, sheds a gloom
Making joy holy:-where the bower and tomo
Stand side by side, and Pleasure learns from Death
The instant value of each moment's breath

Couldst thou but see how like a poet's dream
This lovely land now looks!—the glorious stream,
That late, between its banks, was seen to glide
'Mong shrines and marble cities, on each side
Glitt'ring like jewels strung along a chain,
Hath now sent forth its waters, and o'er plain
And valley, like a giant from his bed
Rising with outstretch'd limbs, hath grandly spread;
While far as sight can reach, beneath as clear
And blue a heaven as ever bless'd our sphere,
Gardens, and pillar'd streets, and porphyry domes,
And high-built temples, fit to be the homes
Of mighty Gods, and pyramids, whose hour
Outlasts all time, above the waters tower

Then, too, the scenes of pomp and joy, that make
One theatre of this vast, peopled lake,
Where all that Love, Religion, Commerce gives
Of life and motion, ever moves and lives.
Here, up the steps of temples from the wave
Ascending, in procession slow and grave,
Priests in white garments go, with sacred wands
And silver cymbals gleaming in their hands;
While there, rich barks—fresh from those sunny tracts
Far off, beyond the sounding cataracts—
Glide, with their precious lading to the sea,
Plumes of bright birds, rhinoceros ivory,
Gems from the Isle of Meroe, and those groirs
Of gold, wash'd down by Abyssinian rains.
Here, where the waters wind into a bay
Shadowy and cool, some pilgrims, on their way
To Saïs or Bubastus, among beds
Of lotus flowers, that close above their heads,
Push their light barks, and there, as in a bowei,
Sing, talk, or sleep away the sultry hour;
Oft dipping in the Nile, when faint with heat,
That leaf, from which its waters drink Inost sweet -
While haply, not far off beneath a bank
Of blossoming acacias, many a prank
Is played in the cool current by a train
Of laughing nymphs, lovely as she," whose chain

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