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Rich with the tribute of the vernal rains,
First, on these banks, (ah, dream of short delight!) The charms of Laura struck my dazzled-sight; Charms, that the bliss of Eden might restore, That heaven' might envy, and mankind adore. I saw—and O! what heart could long rebel ? I saw, I lov’d, and bade the world farewell. Where'er she moved, the meads were fresh and gay, And every bower exhaled the sweets of May; Smooth flow'd the streams, and softly blew the gale; The rising flowers impurpled every dale; Calm was the ocean, and the sky serene ; An universal smile o'erspread the shining scene :
But when in death's cold arms entranc'd she lay,
Go, plaintive breeze !. to Laura's flowery bier,
Say, envied earth! that dost those charms infold, "Where are those cheeks, and where those locks of
gold? •Where are those eyes, which oft the Muse has sung? • Where those sweet lips, and that enchanting tongue? "Ye radiant tresses! and thou, nectar'd smile! · Ye looks that might the melting skies beguile! · You robb’d my soul of rest, my eyes of sleep; You taught me how to love, and how to weep.'
No shrub o'erhangs the dew-bespangled vale, No blossom trembles to the dying gale,
Laura was first seen by Petrarch on the sixth of April in the year 1327; and she died on the same day in 1348.
No floweret blushes in the morning rays,
Why fill thy sighs,' she says, 'this lonely bower? Why down thy bosom flows this endless shower? Complain no more: but hope ere long to meet · Thy much-lov'd Laura in a happier seat. • Here, fairer scenes detain my parted shade; • Suns that ne'er set, and flowers that never fade:
Through crystal skies I wing my joyous flight, • And revel in eternal blaze of light;
• See all thy wanderings in that vale of tears, · And smile at all thy hopes, at all thy fears : • Death wak'd my soul, that slept in life before, *And op'd these brighten'd eyes, to sleep no more.'
She ends: the Fates, that will no more reveal,
O, cheer my gloom with one far-beaming ray! • Return : thy charms my sorrow will dispel, * And snatch my spirit from her mortal cell; • Then, mix'd with thine, exulting she shall fly, · And bound enraptur'd through her native sky.' She comes no more : my pangs more fierce return; Tears gush in streams, and sighs my bosom burn. Ye banks, that oft my weary limbs have borne, Ye murmuring brooks, that learnt of me to mourn ; Ye birds, that tune with me your plaintive lay ; Ye groves,
where Love once taught my steps to stray; You, ever sweet and ever fair, renew Your strains melodious, and your blooming hue : But not in my sad heart can bliss remain, My heart, the haunt of never-ceasing pain !
Henceforth,-to sing in smoothly-warbled lays The smiles of youth, and beauty's heavenly rays ;
To see the morn her early charms unfold,
Nymphs ! who in glimmering glades by moonlight
dance, And ye, who through the liquid crystal glance, Who oft have heard my sadly-pleasing moan; Behold me now a lifeless marble grown. Ah! lead me to the tomb where Laura lies; Clouds ! fold me round; and, gather'd darkness ! rise! Bear me, ye gales ! in death's soft slumber lay'd; And, ye bright realms, receive my fleeting shade.