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The chrysoberyl, and the sapphire blue
As the clear azure of a sunny day,
Or the mild eyes where amorous glances play: ·
The snow-white jasper, and the opal's flame,
The blushing ruby, and the agate gray,
And there the gem which bears his luckless name,
Whose death by Phæbus mourned insured him deathless fame.
There the green emerald, there cornelians glow,
And rich carbuncles pour eternal light, .
With all that India and Peru can show,
Or Labrador can give so flaming brigit
To the charmed mariner's half dazzled sight;
The coral paved baths with diamonds blaze:
And all that can the female beart delight
Of fair attire, the last recess displays,
And all that Luxury can ask, her eye surveys.
Now through the hall melodious music stole,
And self-prepared the splendid banquet stands;
Self-poured the nectar sparkles in the bowl;
The lute and viol, touched by unseen hands,
Aid the soft voices of the choral bands;
O'er the full board a brighter lustre beams
Than Persia's monarch at his feast commands:
For sweet refreshment all inviting seems
To taste celestial food, and pure ambrosial streams.
But when meek Eve hung out her dewy star,
And gently veiled with gradual hand the sky,
Lo! the bright folding doors retiring far,
Displ y to Psyche's captivating eye
All that voluptuous ease could e'er supply
To sooth the spirits in serene repose:
Beneath the velvet's purple canopy
Divinely formed a downy couch arose,
While alabaster lamps a milky light disclose.
The appearance of Love, as he was discovered asleep by Psyche, is of the same poetical character:
Oh, daring Muse! wilt thou indeed essay
To paint the wonders which that lamp could shew!
And canst thou hope in living words to say
The dazzling glories of that heavenly view?
Ah! well I ween, that if with pencil true
That splendid vision could be well exprest,
The fearful awe imprudent Psyche knew ,
Would seize with rapture every wondering breast,
When Love's all potent charms divinely stood confest:
All imperceptible to human touch,
His wings display celestial essence light,
The clear effulgence of the blaze is such,
The brilliant plumage shines so heavenly bright,
That mortal eyes turn dazzled from the sight;
A youth he seems in manhood's freshest years;
Round his fair neck, as clinging with delight,
Each golden curl resplendently appears,
Or sbades his darker brow, which grace majestic wears.
Or o'er his guileless front the ringlets bright
Their rays of sunny lustre seem to throw,
That front than polished ivory more white!
His blooming cheeks with deeper blushes glow
Than roses scattered o'er a bed of snow:
While on his lips, distilled in balmy dews,
(Those lips divine that even in silence know
The heart to toucb,) persuasion to infuse,
Still hangs a rosy charm that never vainly sues.
The friendly curtain of indulgent sleep
Disclosed not yet his eyes' resistless sway,
But from their silky veil there seemed to peep
Some brilliant glances with a softened ray,
Which o'er his features exquisitely play,
And all his polished limbs suffuse with light.
Thus through some narrow space the azure day
Sudden its cheerful rays diffusing bright,
Wide darts its lucid beams, to gild the brow of night.
His fatal arrows and celestial bow
Beside the couch were negligently thrown,
Nor needs the god his dazzling arms, to show
His glorious birth, such beauty round him shone
As sure could spring from Beauty's self alone;
The gloom which glowed o'er all of soft desire,
Could well proclaim him Beauty's cherished son;
And Beauty's self will oft these charms admire, And steal his witching smile, his glance's living fire. VOL. VII.
These are charmingly contrasted with passages of a gentler and more touching excellence; from among which we select the introduction to the sixth canto, descriptive of the power of love to soften adversity, and the advice to guard it from the attacks of ill temper:
When pleasure sparkles in the cup of youth,
And the gay hours on downy wing advance,
Oh! then 'tis sweet to hear the lip of truth
Breathe the soft vows of love, sweet to entrance
The raptured soul by intermingling glance
Of mutual bliss; sweet amid roseate bowers,
Led by the hand of Love, to weave the dance,
Or unmolested crop life's fairy flowers,
Or bask in joy's bright sun through calm unclouded hours:
Yet they who light of heart, in May-day pride,
Meet love with smiles and gayly amorous song,
(Though he their softest pleasures may provide,
Even then when pleasures in full concert throng,)
They cannot know with what enchantment strong
He steals upon the tender suffering soul,
What gently soothing charms to him belong,
How melting sorrow owns his soft control,
Subsiding passions hushed in milder waves to roll.
When rexed by cares and harassed by distress,
The storms of fortune chill thy soul with dread,
Let Love, consoling Love! still sweetly bless,
And his assuasive balm benignly shed:
His downy plumage o’er thy pillow spread
Shall lull thy weeping sorrows to repose;
To Love the tender heart hath ever fled,
As on its mother's breast the infant throws
Its sobbing face, and there in sleep forgets its woes.
O fondly cherish then the lovely plant,
Which lenient Heaven hath given thy pains to ease;
Its lustre shall thy summer hours enchant,
And load with fragrance every prosperous breeze,
And when rude winter shall thy roses seize,
When nought through all thy bowers but thorns remain,
Indifference, dreaded power! what art shall save
The good so cherished from thy grasping hand?
How shall young Love escape the untimely grave
Thy treacherous arts prepare? or how withstand
The insidious foe, who with her leaden band
Enchains the thoughtless slumbering deity?
Ah, never more to wake! or e'er expand
His golden pinions to the breezy sky,
· Or open to the sun his dim and languid eye.
ORIGINAL POETRY-FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
ADDRESSED TO MARY.
Our favourite month appears again;
Welcome, thou loveliest child of spring!
For health and joy compose thy train,
With all the tribes of tender wing.
E'en now the heart-delighting lay,
From verdant hedge and blooming tree,
They wake to hail thee, gentle May;
And charming is the song to thee.
O! I must roam!—the splendid car
Of Phæbus mounts the flecker'd skies,
And sends his golden beams afar,
To bid the morning incense rise.
Or shelter'd in my green retreat,
Where vice and folly ne'er appear,
I'll teach my pipe, so soft and sweet,
A song to sooth my Mary's ear.
Yet wherefore rouse the dulcet strain?
No Mary lingers in the grove:
Alas! the fond resolve how vain!
I will not wake the song of love.