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Of summer-moons, the distant woods among, Or by some flood all silver'd with the gleam, The soft-embodied fays1 through airy portal stream.
THE INTERIOR OF THE CASTLE.
The doors that knew no shrill alarming bell, Ne cursed knocker plied by villain's hand, Self-open'd into halls, where, who can tell What elegance and grandeur wide expand; The pride of Turkey and of Persia land? Soft quilts on quilts, on carpets carpets spread, And couches stretch'd around in seemly band; And endless pillows rise to prop the head; So that each spacious room was one full-swelling bed.
And everywhere huge cover'd tables stood,
With wines high-flavored and rich viands crown'd; Whatever sprightly juice or tasteful food On the green bosom of this earth are found, And all old ocean 'genders in his round, Some hand unseen these silently display'd, Even undemanded by a sign or sound; You need but wish, and, instantly obey'd, Fair ranged the dishes rose, and thick the glasses play'd.
Here freedom reign'd, without the least alloy;
To wit, that each should work his own desire,
The rooms with costly tapestry were hung
Reclining lovers in the lonely dale,
And taught charm'd echo to resound their smart ; While flocks, woods, streams around, repose and peace
Those pleased the most, where, by a cunning hand,
What time Dan1 Abraham left the Chaldee land,
And o'er vast plains their herds and flocks to feed: Bless'd sons of nature they! true golden age indeed!
Sometimes the pencil, in cool airy halls,
Bade the gay bloom of vernal landscapes rise,
1 Dan. A title of honor, often used by the old poets, as Dan Cupid, Dan Chaucer, etc. From Spanish don.
And now rude mountains frown amid the skies; Whate'er Lorraine 1 light-touch'd with softening hue, Or savage Rosa 2 dash'd, or learned Poussin 3 drew.
Each sound too here to languishment inclined
A certain music, never known before, Here lull'd the pensive, melancholy mind; Full easily obtained. Behooves no more, But sidelong, to the gently waving wind, To lay the well-tuned instrument reclined; From which, with airy flying fingers light, Beyond each mortal touch the most refined, The god of winds drew sound of deep delight: Whence, with just cause, the harp of Æolus it hight.
Ah me! what hand can touch the string so fine
1 Claude Lorraine, landscape painter, 1600-1682.
2 Salvator Rosa, painter, poet, musician, 1615-1673.
3 Nicolas Poussin, one of the most remarkable artists of his age, 1593– 1665.
The Æolian harp. So called from Æolus, the god of the winds. Being placed where a current of air strikes the strings, it produces irregular musical sounds.
From Greek dia, through, and
5 A chord which includes all tones. pas, all.
Such sweet, such sad, such solemn airs divine, Then let them down again into the soul! Now rising love they fann'd; now pleasing dole 1 They breathed, in tender musings through the heart; And now a graver sacred strain they stole, As when seraphic hands a hymn impart : Wild warbling nature all, above the reach of art.
Amid the greenwood shade this boy was bred,
Or the brown fruit with which the woodlands teem; The same to him glad summer, or the winter breme.1
So pass'd his youthly morning, void of care,
He of the forest seem'd to be the son,
And, certes, had been utterly undone;
With all the gods that love the rural wonne,5
Of fertile genius him they nurtured well,
By which mankind the thoughtless brutes excel,
That brace the nerves, or makes the limbs alert,
Was never knight on ground mote be with him com
Sometimes, with early morn, he mounted gay
Or darting on the goal, outstripp'd the gale,
Or strenuous wrestled hard with many a tough compeer.
At other times he pried through nature's store,
Its seas, its floods, its mountains, and its plains; But more he search'd the mind, and roused from sleep Those moral seeds whence we heroic actions reap.
Nor would he scorn to stoop from high pursuits Of heavenly truth, and practice what she taught: 2 kingdoms.