Imatges de pàgina
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XVIII.

VENICE.

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Ay, many flowering islands lie
In the waters of wide Agony :
To such a one this morn was led
My bark, by soft winds piloted.
'Mid the mountains Euganean,
I stood listening to the paean
With which the legioned rooks did hail
The sun's uprise majestical ;
Gathering round with wings all hoar,
Through the dewy mist they soar
Like grey shades, till the eastern heaven
Bursts, and then, as clouds of even,
Flecked with fire and azure, lie
In the unfathomable sky,
So their plumes of purple grain,
Starred with drops of golden rain,
Gleam above the sunlight woods,
As in silent multitudes
On the morning's fitful gale
Through the broken mist they sail ;
And the vapours cloven and gleaming
Follow down the dark steep streaming,
Till all is bright, and clear, and still,
Round the solitary hill.
Beneath is spread like a green sea
The wayeless plain of Lombardy,

Bound by the vaporous air,
Islanded by cities fair;
Underneath day's azure eyes,
Ocean's nursling, Venice lies -
A peopled labyrinth of walls,
Amphitrite's destined halls,
Which her hoary sire now paves
With his blue and beaming waves.
Lo! the sun upsprings behind,
Broad, red, radiant, half-reclined
On the level quivering line
Of the waters crystalline;
And before that chasm of light,
As within a furnace bright,
Column, tower, and dome, and spire,
Shine like obelisks of fire,
Pointing with inconstant motion
From the altar of dark ocean
To the sapphire-tinted skies;
As the flames of sacrifice
From the marble shrines did rise
As to pierce the dome of gold
Where Apollo spoke of old.

Sun-girt City! thou hast been
Ocean's child, and then his queen ;3
Now is come a darker day,4
And thou soon must be his prey,
If the power that raised thee here
Hallow so thy watery bier.
A less drear ruin then than now,
With thy conquest-branded brow
Stooping to the slave of slaves
From thy throne among the waves,

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Wilt thou be, when the sea-mew
Flies, as once before it flew,
O'er thine isles depopulate,
And all is in its ancient state,
Save where many a palace-gate
With green sea-flowers overgrown,
Like a rock of ocean's own,
Topples o'er the abandon'd sea
As the tides change sullenly.
The fisher on his watery way,
Wandering at the close of day,
Will spread his sail and seize his oar,
Till he pass the gloomy shore,
Lest thy dead should, from their sleep
Bursting o'er the starlight deep,
Lead a rapid masque of death
O’er the waters of his path.

Those who alone thy towers behold
Quivering through aërial gold,
As I now behold them here,
Would imagine not they were
Sepuichres, where human forms,
Like pollution-nourish'd worms,
To the corpse of greatness cling,
Murdered and now mouldering:
But if Freedom should awake,
In her omnipotence, and shake
From the Celtic Anarch's hold
All the keys of dungeons cold,
Where a hundred cities lie
Chained like thee ingloriously,
Thou and all thy sister band
Might adorn this sunny land,

Twining memories of old time
With new virtues more sublime ;
If not, perish thou and they ;
Clouds which stain truth's rising day
By her sun consumed away,
Earth can spare ye; while like flowers,
In the waste of years and hours,
From your dust new nations spring
With more kindly blossoming.

P. B. Shelley,

XIX.

“ OF GARDENS.”

GOD ALMIGHTY first planted a garden. And, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures. It is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man, without which building and palaces are but.gross handyworks: and a man shall ever see, that when ages grow to civility and elegancy, men come to build stately, sooner than to garden finely; as if gardening were the greater perfection. I do hold it, in the royal ordering of gardens, there ought to be gardens for all the months in the year, in which, severally, things of beauty may be then in season. For December and January, and the latter part of November, you must take such things as are green all winter; holly, ivy, bays, juniper, cypress-trees, yew, pines, fir-trees, rosemary, lavender ; periwinkle, the white, the purple, and the blue; germander, flag, orange-trees, lemon-trees, and myrtles, if they be stoved ; and sweet marjoram, warm set. There followeth, for the latter part of January and February, the mezerion-tree, which then blossoms; crocus vernus, both the yellow and the grey; primroses, anemones, the early tulip, hyacinthus orientalis, chamaïris, frettellaria. For March, there come violets, especially the single blue, which are the earliest; the early daffodil, the daisy, the almond-tree in blossom, the peach-tree in blossom, the corneliantree in blossom, sweetbriar. In April, follow the double white violet, the wall-flower, the stock-gilliflower, the cowslip, flower-de-luces, and lilies of all natures, rosemary a flowers, the tulip, the double peony, the pale daffodil, the French honeysuckle, the cherry-tree in blossom, the damascene,3 and plum-trees in blossom, the white thorn in leaf, the lilac-tree. In May and Fune come pinks of all sorts, especially the blush pink; roses of all kinds, except the musk, which comes later; honeysuckles, strawberries, bugloss, columbine, the French marigold, flos Africanus, cherry-tree in fruit, ribes, figs in fruit, rasps, vine flowers, lavender in flowers, the sweet satyrian, with the white flower, herba muscaria, lilium convallium, the apple-tree in blossom. In July come gilliflowers of all varieties, musk roses, the lime-tree in blossom, early pears, and plums in fruit, ginnitings,- quadlins. In August come plums of all sorts in fruit, pears, apricocks, barberries, filberds, musk melons, monks-hoods of all colours. In September come grapes, apples, poppies of all colours, peaches, melocotones, nectarines, cornelians,

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