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A SEA-SIDF. REVERIE.
How light and lovely is that parting hour,
When, swath'd in lambent gold, the autumnal suri Centres upon the west his pomp and power,
And tells in glory that his work is done? How deep the joy, at such an hour to shun
All that the expanding spirit might control; To seek, in solitude, the Eternal One,
Where the wide waves their glorious vespers roll,-And muse the voiceless thought, and gaze the impassion'd soul! The shoreward deep like molten emerald glows;
The distant burns with quivering rubies gay ;As, o'er its bower of green, the crimson'd rose
Shoots into air, and trembling drinks the day: Each keel that lordly ploughs the crashing spray
Furrows its course in foam and light behind; Around the bark careering sea-fowl play,
With sidelong wings to woo the breeze inclined; While the hoarse ship-boy's song floats mellowing on the wind. Pregnant with light some sprinkled cloudlets swell,
In burning islets, o'er the illumined west Long to retain the lingering sun's farewell,
Like the last smile of Love on Grief impress'd. Day sinks, but triumphs as it sinks, to rest,
Like Virtue lightening through the grave to Heaven :Yet, even on earth, what more than earthly zest
To the rapt spirit's sun-ward glance is given, While thus it springs to drink the glassy gold of even! A world of light and music!—Many a breeze
Pants on the wave, and trembles to the shore,
And fleeting, soon as its light vows are o'er.
In dreamful blessedness to climes above,
In starry spheres of cloudless light and love,
Dyed with the last hues of the year and day,
Which heaves, all foamless, round its sheltering bay!--
Roam where poetic deserts sadly smile!
A scene more rich than yonder gorgeous pile ?-
Through scenes and hours like these, nor prize them highHail the green land that girds his childhood's home,
And cease for brighter suns and realms to sigh?
* Mount Edgcumbe.
* Vain-very vain”-to search a distant sky
For charms profusely sparkling o'er our own :
All that can teach what Genius e'er has known,
Steals a transparent shade, of deepening gloom;
As if its tones might fill the sun-light's room:
Weaves o'er the visible dark her mystic charms
All that the weak or guilty soul alarms,
Some more majestic and unearthly tone;
At wbose lone voice the waters hush'd their own?
Of Syren, wailing in her sparry cell,
And wild and sad that mermaid-voice did swell,
I hear the waves, and sea-bird's desolate cry:
While their far verge is blended with the sky:
And, traced in glittering fragments on the main,
Type of that bright and more than mortal chain,
ADIEU, beloved and lovely home, adieu !
Thou pleasant mansion, and ye waters bright,
Ye lawns, ye aged elms, ye shrubberies light, .
A long farewell to all! Fre fair to sight
In summer-shine ye bloom with beauty dight,
O shades, endeared by Memory's magic power,
But Home lives not in lawn, or tree, or flower,
Where smiling friends adorn the social hour,
JOURNAL OF A TOURIST,--NO. III. I have now been in Paris several days—have traversed it in various directions, and inspected all its most celebrated structures: the result is a conviction that we saw the best of it in our first excursion; that a great deal is sacrificed for effect; and that the feel. ings of admiration excited by the first coup-d'æil, will not by any means be increased by a more minute acquaintance with its interior system and economy. Its luxury and magnificence are principally external; while in London these qualities exhibit themselves chiefly in the interior of buildings. Paris attains its most distinguishing feature (the lofty range and extensive plan of her houses) by a great sacrifice of domestic comfort ; and we shall be less surprised at the handsome designs of the architects, if we reflect that each structure is tenanted by a little colony of its own. Such is the case in a great proportion of the most elegant erections, and the annoyances to which it subjects the inmates are neither few nor trifling. The stairs, being "open to all parties," are very often “influenced by none," so far as regards their conservation in a proper state of cleanliness, especially if the lodgers, as is very apt to be the case in Paris, keep a dog or two upon each floor.
The pavements here, though generally excellent in the centre of the street, and kept in good order by ihe limited traffic, the total absence of any ponderous carriages, and the imperturbability of the stones when once laid down, universally wants that indispensable article of comfort to pedestrians-a foot-pavement. Walking is not only fatiguing and distressing to the unaccustomed soles of Englishmen, but it compels them to move in perpetual discomfort, from the necessity of being everlastingly on the qui vive, and looking before and behind, and on one side, if they wish to avoid an unprofitable encounter with a fiacre or cabriolet. It is very illustrative of the different notions of coinfort in the two countries, that while here, with an immediate supply of materials under their feet, they neglect to use them, in England they procure this accommodation from a great distance and at a vast expense, and with undistinguishing luxury extend it to the narrowest street and the shabbiest alleys. In Paris, probably, the disregard of a trottoir originated in that aristocratical feeling, which considered the common people as nothing; so at least Rousseau seemed to think, when he judged from our English foot-paths, that they were something, and thanked God for it. If to all these points of indisputable inferiority it be added, that the French metropolis is entirely without those extensive and handsomely planted squares that form such an embellishment to London; and that its streets, with a few exceptions, are not so long, or so wide, or so regular as ours, it may be doubted whether, upon the whole, it deserves the name of a finer city, if by that phrase we mean to indicate a greater combination of external and internal recommendations -though it must always be conceded that the immediate purlieus of the Court present an assemblage of magnificence and beauty unrivalled in London, or perhaps in any other city. The whole country, indeed, to judge by what we have seen, exhibits traces of a long-eontinued, but tasteful despotism, which has sacrificed France to Paris, and Paris to the Court.
it has not been fribbled away upon thatched cottages, Chinese pagodas, and sprawling green dragons, of which the present age would be still more ashamed, but for the consoling reflection that in a few years such fantastical gewgaws will have tumbled to pieces, and be no more remembered than the tin and tinsel palaces in the last scene of one of Astley's pantomimes. Speaking individually, I would rather contribute half my substance to the embellishinent of a Versailles, than a tithe of the sum to unnecessary wars (and unnecessary most wars are); yet what a trifle is the cost of this stupendous piece of extravagance, when compared with that of a few campaigns! Unfortunately Louis XIV. united both modes of expenditure. Going over a palace is generally a great drudgery; they have all a strong family-likeness :- from the ceilings, where sprawl the saints of Verrio and La Guerre," down to the tesselated marble under foot, where “half the platform just reflects the other," they are alike apt to be very fine and very tiresome. Servants in rich old-fashioned liveries led us from room to room, exclaiming, “Salon de Mars !"~" Salon d'Apollon!"_" Salon de Mercure !" and “Salon de Diane !" till we began to speculate with some pleasure on the exbaustion of the Heathen Deities ; but alas! they were succeeded by the divinities of legitimacy, and the officers of their almost interminable household. The want of furniture, all of which disappeared in the Revolution, adds to the monotony of the chambers, which seem to be astonished at their own forlorn finery, as they glitter in the gorgeousness of the new gilding with which they have been lately decorated. Here and there an obnoxious pannel torn out, attested the political change which had so unexpectedly restored its old masters, which was also evidenced by the sedulous restoration of the fleur de lis, perhaps destined at no distant period to be again supplanted. With the exception of the Chapel, which, in spite of Voltaire's lampoon, is very elegant, though somewhat too gaudy-and the great gallery, 222 feet in length, with its mirrors reflecting the gardens and waters ---we encountered nothing very striking, till, on passing through some gloomy and shabby passages, we groped our way into the once magnificent Amphitheatre, or Salle des Spectacles, now dismantled, silent, and abandoned to dust, darkness, and desolation. Every thing that was royal, joyous, and festive, conspired to give splendour and eclat to this masterpiece of luxury, which was completed in 1770, on the marriage of the unfortunate Louis XVI. The Amours of the Gods, painted by Du Rameau, on the ceiling, could hardly suggest to the imagination scenes of more voluptuous enchantment than were once realized on the floor below, when, on the removal of a portion of the gilded columns, which were made hollow for that purpose, the whole
arena was converted into a sumptuous ball-roum; and the most splendid Court in Europe, in the height of its lustre, headed by Marie Antoinette in the zenith of her fascinations, mingling in the graceful dance, dazzled the spectator with the sight of beautiful and laughing faces, and sparkling diamonds, and nodding plunes, and gay colours, all reflected and multiplied a thousand times by the innumerable mirrors with which every box and every wall was completely pannelled. We sat in the very box which had been so often graced by Royalty ;-we stood on the boards where they had danced ;-here