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SONNETS FROM THE ITALIAN.

ADAL1NA TO ADHfiMAB.
I.

FIRST LOVE.

I Have not parted with my fifteenth year—

The flowers of childhood still illume my way—

The founts of childhood just hehind me play—

The songs of childhood still are in my ear—

Its footsteps in the halls of memory;

Yet, if my life he counted, not by years,

But drops of bliss commingled with my tears,

Already have I lived a century;

And should have gray hairs stealing from my wimple,

Like Julia's nurse, be leaning on a staff,

With squeaking voice, and melancholy laugh,

And hoar frosts gleaming in my rosy dimple—

But, like brimmed wine-bowl Bach'nal founts replenish,

Is my heart bubbling o'er with love's life-giving rhenish. II.

THE TIME WE MET.

It was the time of vernal bud and blossom,

When blushing Flora roved by wood and lea,

Breathing perfume from her ambrosial bosom,

Fresh palpitating from the Deity;

When pearly-footed brooklets down the vale,

Went leaping into ocean's calm embrace;

And sweet-voiced fountains sang in every dale,

As glad to leave their ice-bound hiding-place,

And bask in April's renovating noon;

When from a thousand wind-harps music burst,

And my young heart with nature was in tune,

That I beheld thee, dear Adhemar, first,

And from Love's quiver sped the fatal dart

That held, and holds transfixed my bleeding heart. III.

LOVE BORN FULL-STATUREI).

My love was born full-statured. With degree,
Of Heaven's high school, from out ray soul it hove,
As sprang Minerva from the brow of Jove.
A beam launched into immortality.
It walks beside me like a guiding star,
Flinging a halo on my earthly way
More vivifying than the god of day
Sheds on the orbit that he treads afar.
It holds my pulses—drains my purple veins—
Gobbles my heart down, when it does not need it,
Which, like Prometheus' liver grows to feed it,
Drawing its nutriment from sweetest pains—
And though it tears me, well I love its culture,
Nor crave a Hercules to slay the gnawing vulture.

IV.

THE CITY OF MY HEART IN ASHES.

Why is the ground thou treadst more hallowed to nie?

Why does thy voice transfix me like a dart?

Thy glances burn their way into my heart

Like rockets? Why thine image e'er pursue me?

I am not sick—yet whence this strange emotion—

Bewildering, wild, delicious pain I feel—

Dizzy delirium with which I reel,

Like shallop staggering on a stormy ocean?

Whence this new fire that through my bosom flashes—

These Adonean flames whose naphtha breath

Is suffocating health, hope, peace to death?

Alas! the city of my heart's in ashes!

O Cupid! O incendiary cruel!

How couldst thou fling thy torch mid such inflammable fuel?

V.

NATURE'S MASTER-PIECE.

Thou'rt' Nature's masterpiece. Most perfect of

Her works, in execution and design.

Most beautiful, Adhemar, most divine,

Of all the temples she has built for love,

And lofty virtue, honor, chivalry.

In what high world, great Mother! didst thou find

The attributes of such capacious mind?

The essence of such magnanimity?

Of such majestic, such high-statured soul?

From what volcano was such genius caught?

From what swift lightning such enrapturing thought?

From what magnetic fount of feeling stole

The eloquence, whose rapid current lifts us,

And o'er the wide empyrean sea of beauty drifts us?

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