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The guitar was tinkling, But the notes were not sweet till you sung them
As the moon's soft splendour
O'er the faint cold starlight of heaven
voice most tender
To the strings without soul had then given
The stars will awaken,
Though the moon sleep a full hour later,
No leaf will be shaken
Whilst the dews of your melody scatter
Though the sound overpowers,
Sing again, with your dear voice revealing
Of some world far from ours,
Where music and moonlight and feeling
LINES WRITTEN IN THE BAY OF LERICI.
SHE left me at the silent time
When the moon had ceased to climb
The azure path of Heaven's steep,
And like an albatross asleep,
Balanced on her wings of light,
Hovered in the purple night,
Ere she sought her ocean nest
In the chambers of the West.
She left me, and I staid alone
Thinking over every tone
Which, though silent to the ear,
The inchanted heart could hear,
Like notes which die when born, but still
Haunt the echoes of the hill ;
And feeling ever — O too much!
The soft vibration of her touch,
As if her gentle hand, even now,
Lightly trembled on my brow;
And thus, although she absent were,
Memory gave me all of her
That even Fancy dares to claim :-
Her presence had made weak and tame
All passions, and I lived alone
In the time which is our own;
The past and future were forgot,
As they had been, and would be, not.
But soon, the guardian angel gone,
The dæmon reassumed his throne
In my faint heart. I dare not speak
My thoughts, but thus disturbed and weak
I sat and saw the vessels glide
Over the ocean bright and wide,
Like spirit-winged chariots sent
O'er some serenest element
For ministrations strange and far;
As if to some Elysian star
Sailed for drink to medicine
Such sweet and bitter pain as mine.
And the wind that winged their flight
From the land came fresh and light,
And the scent of winged flowers,
And the coolness of the hours
Of dew, and sweet warmth left by day,
Were scattered o'er the twinkling bay.
And the fisher with his lamp
And spear about the low rocks dam;
Crept, and struck the fish which came
To worship the delusive flame.
Too happy they, whose pleasure sought
Extinguishes all sense and thought
Of the regret that pleasure leaves,
Destroying life alone, not peace !
We meet not as we parted,
We feel more than all may see,
My bosom is heavy-hearted,
And thine full of doubt for me.
One moment has bound the free.
That moment is gone
ever, Like lightning that flashed and died, Like a snowflake upon
the river, Like a sunbeam upon the tide, Which the dark shadows hide.
That moment from time was singled
As the first of a life of pain, The cup of its joy was mingled
- Delusion too sweet though vain ! Too sweet to be mine again.
Sweet lips, could my heart have hidden
That its life was crushed by you,
Ye would not have then forbidden
The death which a heart so true
Sought in your briny dew.
Methinks too little cost
For a moment so found, so lost !