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AN ODE OF PETRARCH,
To the Fountain of Valchiusa.
(SIR W. JONES.]
Ye clear and sparkling streams!
(Warm’d by the sunny beams,) Through whose transparent crystal Laura play'd;
Ye boughs, that deck the grove,
Where Spring her chaplets wove, While Laura lay beneath the quivering shade;
Sweet herbs! and blushing flowers !
That crown yon vernal bowers, For ever fatal, yet for ever dear;
And ye, that heard my sighs
When first she charm'd my eyes,
my doom, That Love must quite consume My bursting heart, and close my eyes in death ;
Ah! grant this slight request,
That, here, my urn may rest, When to its mansion flies my vital breath.
This pleasing hope will smooth
My anxious mind, and sooth The pangs of that inevitable hour:
My spirit will not grieve
Her mortal veil to leave In these calm shades, and this enchanting bow'r.
Haply the guilty maid
Through yon accustom'd glade
Where first her beauty's light
O'erpower'd my dazzled sight,
There, sorrowing, shall she see,
Beneath an aged tree,
Too late, her tender sighs
Shall melt the pitying skies,
O! well-remember'd day,
When on yon bank she lay,
The young and blooming flowers,
Falling in fragrant showers,
Some on her mantle hung,
Like orient gems in rings of flaming gold;
Some, in a spicy cloud
Descending, call'd aloud, · Here Love and Youth the reins of empire hold.'
I view'd the heavenly maid:
And, rapt in wonder, said, • The groves of Eden gave this angel birth;'
Her look, her voice, her smile,
That might all heaven beguile, Wafted my soul above the realms of earth :
The star-bespangled skies
Were open'd to my eyes; Sighing I said, 'Whence rose this glittering scene?'
Since that auspicious hour,
This bank, and odorous bower, My morning couch, and evening haunt, have been.
Well mayst thou blush, my song,
To leave the rural throng,
But, were thy poet's fire
Ardent as his desire, Thou wert a song that heaven might stoop to hear.
ELEGY FROM PETRARCH.
In this fair season, when the whispering gales
Ah, death! thy hand has crop'd the fairest flower,
Hard fate of man, on whom the heavens bestow A drop of pleasure for a sea of wo! Ah, life of care, in fears or hopes consum’d, Vain hopes, that wither ere they well have bloom'd! How oft, emerging from the shades of night, Laughs the gay morn, and spreads a purple light: But soon the gathering clouds o'ershade the skies, Red lightnings play, and thundering storms arise ! How oft a day, that fair and mild appears, Grows dark with fate, and mars the toil of years !
Not far remov’d, yet hid from distant eyes, Low in her secret grot, a Naiad lies. Steep arching rocks, with verdant moss o’ergrown, Form her rude diadem, and native throne: There, in a gloomy cave her waters sleep, Clear as a brook, but as an ocean deep. Yet, when the waking flowers of April blow, And warmer sunbeams melt the gather'd snow;