Page images



If thou shouldst ever come by choice or chance
To Modena, where still religiously
Among her ancient trophies is preserved
Bologna's bucket, (in its chain it hangs
Within that reverend tower, the Guirlandine,)
Stop at a palace near the Reggio-gate,
Dwelt in of old by one of the Orsini.
Its noble gardens, terrace above terrace,
And rich in fountains, statues, cypresses,
Will long detain thee; through their arched

Dim, at noonday, discovering many a glimpse

Of knights and dames, such as in old romance,
And lovers, such as in heroic song,

Perhaps the two, for groves were their delight,
That in the spring-time, as alone they sat,
Venturing together on a tale of love,

Read only part that day.

A summer sun

Sets ere one half is seen; but, ere thou go,
Enter the house-prithee, forget it not-
And look awhile upon a picture there.
'Tis of a lady in her earliest youth,
The very last of that illustrious race,
Done by Zampieri-but by whom I care not.
He who observes it, ere he passes on,
Gazes his fill, and comes and comes again,
That he may call it up when far away.
She sits, inclining forward as to speak,
Her lips half open, and her finger up,

As though she said, "Beware!" Her vest of gold Broider'd with flowers, and clasp'd from head to foot,

An emerald-stone in every golden clasp;
And on her brow, fairer than alabaster,
A coronet of pearls. But then her face,
So lovely, yet so arch, so full of mirth,
The overflowings of an innocent heart-
It haunts me still, though many a year has fled,
Like some wild melody.

Alone it hangs

Over a mouldering heir-loom, its companion,
An oaken chest, half eaten by the worm,
But richly carv'd by Antony of Trent
With Scripture-stories from the life of Christ;
A chest that came from Venice, and had held
The ducal robes of some old ancestor.
That by the way-it may be true or false-

But don't forget the picture; and thou wilt not,
When thou hast heard the tale they told me there.
She was an only child; from infancy

The joy, the pride of an indulgent sire.
Her mother dying of the gift she gave,
That precious gift, what else remain'd to him?
The young Ginevra was his all in life,
Still as she grew, for ever in his sight;
And in her fifteenth year became a bride,
Marrying an only son, Francesco Doria,

Her playmate from her birth, and her first love.
Just as she looks there in her bridal-dress,

She was all gentleness, all gaiety,

Her pranks, the favourite theme of tongue.
But now the day was come, the day, the hour;

Now frowning, smiling, for the hundredth time,
The nurse, that ancient lady, preached decorum ;
And in the lustre of her youth, she gave
Her hand with her heart in it, to Francesco.
Great was the joy; but at the bridal feast,
When all sat down, the bride was wanting there.
Nor was she to be found! Her father cried,
""Tis but to make a trial of our love!"

And fill'd his glass to all; but his hand shook,
And soon from guest to guest the panic spread.
'Twas but that instant she had left Francesco,
Laughing and looking back, and flying still,
Her ivory-tooth imprinted on his finger.
But now, alas! she was not to be found;
Nor from that hour could any thing be guess'd
But that she was not! Weary of his life,
Francesco flew to Venice, and forthwith
Flung it away in battle with the Turk.

Orsini lived, and long mightst thou have seen
An old man wandering as in quest of something,
Something he could not find-he knew not what.
When he was gone, the house remain'd awhile
Silent and tenantless-then went to strangers.

Full fifty years were pass'd, and all forgot, When on an idle day, a day of search

'Mid the old lumber in the gallery,

That mouldering chest was noticed; and 'twas said

By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra,
"Why not remove it from its lurking-place ?"
'Twas done as soon as said; but on the way
It burst, it fell; and lo, a skeleton,

With here and there a pearl, an emerald-stone,

A golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold!
All else had perish'd-save a nuptial ring,
And a small seal, her mother's legacy,
Engraven with a name, the name of both,
"Ginevra!" There then had she found a grave!
Within that chest had she conceal'd herself,
Fluttering with joy, the happiest of the happy,
When a spring-lock that lay in ambush there,
Fastened her down for ever.


New Year's Day in Paris'.

SINCE first the sun upon us shone,
A year succeeds the year that's gone,
This day by universal law

So great, we'll try to draw,
Without a single flaw,

That all who see the sketch may say,
This surely must be New Year's Day.

No sooner day begins to break,
Than all Parisians are awake,
The bells of every story ring:
Here some one calls to bring
Some very pretty thing,

1 In Paris the practice of making visits—not without a present-on New Year's Day—every body to every body—on any or no pretext, is universal and compulsory. The Parisians are beginning to get quite restive under this heavy tax on their purses, patience, and good manners.

[ocr errors]

Some only visits come to pay—
This surely must be New Year's Day.

As early as the sun's first light,
Solette, who has not slept all night,

Gets up for all her gifts!-ah, ha!— Here comes a thimble from mamma, And here six francs from dear papa, From grandma, books to make her prayThis surely must be New Year's Day.

The banker early in the morn,
Brings gems, his Chloris to adorn ;

His clerk, though not so rich, takes care
To bring some present rare

Unto his lady fair;

And so he puts his watch away

This surely must be New Year's Day.

To some we haste, when we've no doubt,
That when we call they will be out,

At once to the concierge we go:
"What not at home then!". -"No,"
"Alas! you vex me so!"

We leave our names and walk away-
This surely must be New Year's Day.

Now friends grown cool are cool no more,
But seem as hearty as before,-

The method is not dear-a pound

Of sugar plums is found,

For many a social wound,

The best of remedies they say,

And such they give on New Year's Day.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »