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Careless, and grand-fingers soft and round
Parting luxuriant curls;-and the swift bound
Of Bacchus from his chariot, when his
Made Ariadne's cheek look blushingly. Thus I remember all the pleasant flow Of words at opening a portfolio.
Things such as these are ever harbingers To trains of peaceful images: the stirs Of a swan's neck unseen among the rushes:
A linnet starting all about the bushes: A butterfly, with golden wings broad parted
Nestling a rose, convuls'd as though it smarted
With over pleasure-many, many more,
I partly owe to him: and thus, the chimes
Of friendly voices had just given place To as sweet a silence, when I gan retrace The pleasant day, upon a couch at ease. It was a poet's house who keeps the keys Of pleasure's temple. Round about were hung
The glorious features of the bards who sung
In other ages-cold and sacred busts Smiled at each other. Happy he who
To clear Futurity his darling fame! Then there were fauns and satyrs taking aim
At swelling apples with a frisky leap And reaching fingers, 'mid a luscious heap
Of vine leaves. Then there rose to view a fane
Of liny marble, and thereto a train Of nymphs approaching fairly o'er the sward:
Une, loveliest, holding her white hand toward
The dazzling sun-rise: two sisters sweet Bending their graceful figures till they meet
Over the trippings of a little child:
1 Leigh Hunt's. The following lines are a description of the room in which the poem was written, with its decorations.
And each imagin'd pinnacle and steep Of godlike hardship tells me I must die Like a sick Eagle looking at the sky. Yet 'tis a gentle luxury to weep
That I have not the cloudy winds to keep,
Fresh for the opening of the morning's eye.
Such dim-conceivéd glories of the brain Bring round the heart an undescribable feud;
So do these wonders a most dizzy pain. That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude
Wasting of old Time-with a billowy main
A sun-a shadow of a magnitude.
1817. March 9, 1817.
ON A PICTURE OF LEANDER COME hither all sweet maidens soberly, Down-looking aye, and with a chastened light
Hid in the fringes of your eyelids white. And meekly let your fair hands joined