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And she became companion of his thought.
His brother only, more than hitherto,
He would avoid, or sooner let subdue,
Partly from something strange unfelt before,
And while 'twas being worked, her fancy was
Of sunbeams mingling with a tuft of grass.
How placidly, yet fast, the days succeeded
With one who thought and felt so much as she did,
And how the chair he sat in, and the room,
Began to look, when he had failed to come.
But as she better knew the cause than he,
She seemed to have the more necessity
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
To feel a sort of anger at his care;
But these extremes brought but a kind despair ;
And then she only spoke more sweetly to him,
And found her failing eyes give looks that melted
Giovanni too, who felt relieved indeed
Talked less and less, and longer kept away,
Secure in his self-love and sense of right,
That he was welcome most, come when he might.
And doubtless, they, in their still finer sense,
With added care repaid this confidence,
Turning their thoughts from his abuse of it
To what on their own parts was graceful and was fit.
Now, while your generous hearts have not been
grieved For loving to behold the fields and skies,
Perhaps with something not to be retrieved,
From self-resentment free and retrospective mad-
And most from feeling the bare contemplation
Give them fresh need of mutual consolation,
Living, from day to day, as they were used,
Giovanni's mind, or whether he had lost
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And yet be angry, if he thought them less;
Where at her drink you started the slim deer,
Retreating lightly with a lovely fear.
Clearly was felt,or down the leaves laughed through;
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,
Where when the sunshine struck a yellow shade,
But 'twixt the wood and flowery walks, halfway,
A spot, that struck you like enchanted ground:-
Of sloping shrubs, that mounted by degrees,
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
Heaped towards the centre, and with citron bowers;
The door was to the wood, forward, and square,
The rest was domed at top, and circular;
And through the dome the only light came in,
It was a beauteous piece of ancient skill,
By most supposed the work of fairy hands,
, 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 reverenteyes, 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, And then perhaps you entered upon shades,
That shewed, in various scenes, the nymphs them-
Some by the water side on bowery shelves
Leaning at will, --some in the water sporting
With sides half swelling forth, and looks of courtIn shady blessing stretched their old arms out,
Some in a flowery dell, hearing a swain (ingia With spots of sunny opening, and with nooks,
Play on his pipe, till the hills ring again,
Some tying up their long moist hair,--some sleeping
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Dr, sidelong-eyed, pretending not to see
And read with a full heart, half sweet, half sad, Che 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, rancesca 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, Jere she had brought a lute and a few books;
So that his 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. C'he 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, Shen 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:(nelt 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,
So rarely, and displayed so frank a heart, And grasshoppers are loud, and day-work done,
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.
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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From finding me by any sign or symptom,
I have put off my wings, my bow and quiver.
Where fond Geneura, with her flame long nurst, He felt the sharp sweetness more strengthen his
And ere they're aware, he has burst his chains:
And the links and the gazers are left alone,
Now what made the panther a prisoner be;
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.
FROM MYNTAS. The panther leaped to the front of his lair,
PROLOGUE. And stood with a foot up, and snuffed the air;
LOVE, DISGUISED AS A SHEPHERD.
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 Over the mountains and down to the plains
Who many a time has made the hand of Mars Like Bacchus's panthers with wine in their veins,
Let fall his bloody sword; and looked away, They came where the woods wept odorous rains;
From the earth-shaker Neptune, his great trident;
And his old thunders from consummate 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 The panthers are come, and are drinking the gums:
At her discretion solely; and like a woman, And some of them going with swords and spears,
Vain and ambitious, she would hunt me back To gather their share of the rich round tears,
Among mere courts, and coronets, and sceptres, The panther I spoke of followed them back;
There to pin down my powers; and to my ministers And dumbly they let him tread close in the track,
And minor brethren, leave sole liberty And lured him after them into the town;
To lodge in the green woods, and filesh their darts And then they let the portcullis down,
In bosoms rude. But I, who am no boy, And took the panther, which happened to be Whate'er I seem in visage or in act, The largest was seen in all Pamphily.
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, To his mighty paw, he'd turn at a sound,
But the strong pressure of a mother's prayers, And so stand panting and looking around,
I cover me in the wood, and do become As if he attended a monarch crowned.
An inmate with its lowly populace. And truly, they wondered the more to behold She follows me, and promises to give About his neck a collar of gold,
To whomsoever will betray me to her, On which was written, in characters broad,
Sweet kisses, or a something else still dearer! “ Arsaces the king to the Nysian God.”
As if, forsooth, I knew not how to give So they tied to the collar a golden chain,
To whomsoever will conceal me from her, And made the panther a captive again,
Sweet kisses, or a something else still dearer. And by degrees he grew fearful and still,
This, at the least, is certain; that my kisses As if he had lost his lordly will.
Will be much dearer to the lasses' lips, But now came the spring, when free-born love
If I, who am Love's self, to love apply me; Calls up nature in forest and grove,
So that in many an instance, she must needs And makes each thing leap forth, and be
Ask after me in vain. The lips are sealed.
But to keep closer still, and to prevent her
Yet not the more for that walk I unarmed;
Will ease thee of this little suffering.
And most delicious mouth, and with sweet humming
Murmured some verses that I knew not of.
Oh admirable effect! a little while,
And all the pain was gone; either by virtue
Of those enchanted words, or as I thought, Into the hard heart of the cruellest nymph,
By virtue of those lips of dew, That ever followed on Diana's choir.
That heal whate'er they turn them to. No shallower shall it go in Sylvia's bosom,
I, who till then had never had a wish (Such is the name of this fair heart of rock)
Beyond the sunny sweetness of her eyes, Than once it went, years back, out of this hand, Or her dear dulcet words, more dulcet far Into the gentle bosom of Amyntas,
Than the soft murmur of a humming stream When every where he followed her about
Crooking its way among the pebble-stones, To chace and sport, young lover his young lass. Or summer airs that babble in the leaves, And that my point may go the deeper, I
Felt a new wish move in me to apply
This mouth of mine to hers; and so becoming
I did bethink me of a gentle stratagem
As if the bee had bitten my under lip;
And fell to lamentations of such sort,
With word of mouth, I asked for with my looks.
Compassioning my pain,
Offered to give her help
To that pretended wound;
And oh! the real and the mortal wound,
Which pierced into my being,
When her lips came on mine.
Never did bee from flower
Suck sugar so divine,
As was the honey that I gathered then
I could have bathed in them my burning kisses,
But fear and shame withheld
That too audacious fire,
But while into my bosom's core, the sweetness,
From that time forth, desire
That not being able to contain it more,
While in a circle a whole set of us,
Shepherds and nymphs, sat playing at the game,
Their secret each, “ Sylvia,” said I in her's,
“ I burn for thee; and if thou help me not,
I feel I cannot live.” As I said this,
AMYNTAS DECLARES HOW HIS LOVE FOR SYLVIA