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CXVI. The mosses of thy fountain still are sprinkled With thine Elysian water - drops; the face Of thy cave-guarded spring, with years unwrinkled, Reflects the meek - eyed genius of the place, Whose green, wild margin now no more erase · Art's works; nor must the delicate waters sleep, Prison'd in marble, bubbling from thic base of the cleft statue, with a gentle leap The rill runs o’er, and round, fern, flowers, and ivy,
• CXVII. Fantastically tangled; the green hills Are clothed with early blossoms, through the grass The quick-eyed lizard rustles, and the bills Of summer - birds sing welcome as ye pass; Flowers fresh in hue, and many in their class, Implore the pausing step, and with their dyes Dance in the soft breeze in a fairy mass;
The sweetness of the violet's deep blue eyes, Kiss’d by the breath of heaven, seems colour’d by
CXVIII. Here didst thou dwell, in this enchanted cover, Egeria! thy all heavenly bosom beating For the far footsteps of thy mortal lover; The purple Midnight veil'd that mystic meeting With her most starry canopy, and seating Thyself by thine adorer, what befel? This cave was surely shaped out for the greeting Of an enamour'd Goddess, and the cell Haunted by holy Love – the earliest oracle!
CXIX. And didst thou not, thy breast to his replying, Blend a celestial with a human heart, And Love, which dies as it was born, in sighing, Share with immortal transports ? could thine art Make them indeed immortal, and impart The purity of heaven to earthly joys, Expel the venom and not blunt the dart The dull satiety which all destroys And root from out the soul the deadly weed which
CXX. Alas! our young affections run to waste, Or water but the desert; whence arise But weeds of dark luxuriance, tares of haste, Rank at the core, though tempting to the eyes, Flowers whose wild odours breathe but agonies, And trees whose gums are poison; such the plants Which spring beneath her steps as Passion flies
O'er the world's wilderness, and yainly pants For some celestial fruit forbidden to our wants.
CXXI. Oh Love! no habitant of earth thou art An unseen seraph, we believe in thee, A faith whose martyrs are the broken heart, But never yet hath seen, nor e’er shall see, The naked eye, thy form, as it should be; The mind hath made thee, as it peopled heaven, Even with its own desiring phantasy, And to a thought such shape and image given, As haunts the unquench'd soul -- parch'd-wearied
wrung- and riven.
CXXII. Of its own beauty is the mind discased, And fevers into false creation: — where, Where are the forms the sculptor's soul hath seized ? In him alone. Can Nature shew so fair? Where are the charms and virtues which we dare Conceive in boyhood and pursue as men, The unreach'd Paradise of our despair, Which o'er- informs the pencil and the pen, And overpowers the page where it would bloom
CXXIII. Who loves, raves --'tis youth's frenzy, but the cure Is bitterer still; as charm by charm unwinds Which robed our idols, and we see too sure Nor worth nor beauty dwells from out the mind's Ideal shape of such; yet still it binds The fatal spell, and still it draws us on, Reaping the whirlwind from the oft-sown - winds;
The stubborn heart, its alchemy begun, Seems ever near the prize, - wealthiest when most
CXXIV. We wither from our youth, we gasp away Sick — sick; unfound the boon – unslaked the
thirst, Though to the last, in verge of our decay, Some phantom lures, such as we sought at first But all too late, — so are we doubly curst. Love, fame, ambition, avarice — 'tis the same, Each idle, and all ill — and none the worst For all are meteors with a different name, And Death the sable smoke where vanishes the flame.
CXXV. Few none -- find what they love or could have
loved, Though accident, blind contact, and the strong Necessity of loving, have removed Antipathies — but to recur, ere long, Envenom'd with irrevocable wrong; And Circumstance, that unspiritual god And miscreator, makes and helps along Our coming evils with a crutch - like rod, Whose touch turns Hope to dust, - the dust we all