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VII.

LAURA'S SCORN.

Sennuccio, I would that thou didst know

How I am used. What, is my life accursed?

I struggle with my burning love as erst—

Still Laura guides my steps where'er I go.

Now seems she humble, now with haughty mien,

Now stern, now soft, now cold, displeased, now pleased,

Now clothed in candor, now by kindness seized,

Now fierce, disdainful, smiling, sweet, serene.

Here once she sweetly sang, and here she sate,

Here gazed on me, here melancholy stood,

And with her beauteous eyes transfixed my heart.

Here once she spake, here wept, here smiled elate,

Here changed expression. In this pensive mood,

Day, night, Love holds me with his ruthless dart.

VIII.

BEAUTY'S ARROW.

It was the day that Phoebus draped the skies

In memory of his god, that Beauty blessed

First sheathed her barbed arrow in my breast,

And chained my soul with beatific eyes.

My bosom then had never known a shield,

Nor dreamed of erring shaft—unconsciously

I chased the entrancing spell, till woe is me!

Too late I woke to find my fate was sealed.

Love, finding me disarmed against the foe,

Oped, through mine eyes, a channel to the heart,

Through which the tide of tears might ebb and flow;

And thence, all honor, duty did forego

To pierce me with his unrelenting dart—

To arm my lady—and to show not me his bow.

IX.

THE MYSTIC POWER OF LAURA'S EYES.

Blessed be the day, the week, the month, the year,

The happy season, time, the moment, hour,

The lovely land, the place, where mystic power

Of two bright eyes enchained me in their sphere.

Blessed be the grief that did the tear-drops start,

When T was wedded to eternal Love—

The bow, the arrow that my bosom clove—

The wounds that burn for ever in my heart.

Blessed be the voice with which so often I

Have called that name, I've most on earth adored.

The rapturous wish, the silent tears, the sigh.

Blessed be all paper whereon I have traced

Her beauty's fame, the breathing thoughts I've poured,

From which her image had all else effaced.

X.

LOVE'S LOFTY FOOD.

Love's lofty food so lifts my spirit up,

I envy Jove not his ambrosial dew.

I gaze on Beauty, and my soul anew

All else forgets in her inebriate cup.

Her songs, her words I prison in my soul,

That it may kneel before them in its cell,

Conquered by Love. Unknown his fatal spell,

Thrice blessed, I yield to Laura's twirl control,

I drink the music of her every tone,

Whose holy harmony to Heaven is dear—

And none can feel who've not its rapture known.

I feed my eyes upon her speaking face,

Where concentrated visibly appear,

Art, genius, beauty, beatific grace.

XI.

LOVE'S SWEET ANGER.

Sweet anger, sweetest wrath, sweet peace, sweet ire,
Sweet pain, sweet woe, sweet burthen of sweet good,
Sweet speech, so sweetly felt and understood,
With thy sweet pinions fan this sweetest fire.
Weep not, my soul, but suffer and be brave,
In thy too ardent flame bid honor come
Unto thy aid, and hold her blessed to whom
I erst did say, "t'hou only me canst save!"
Another Century, perchance, will sing
With sigh of envy, this undying flame,
And weep my love's melodious suffering.
While others will exclaim, "Oh, blinding woe 1
Why seal'dst our eyelids? Why did we not claim
An earlier birth—or they a later know?"

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