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Of sleep and quiet dews. And hark! the bird of night
Florence, June, 1844.
A THOUGHT AT VENICE.
HEN Venice, save in name, shall be no more,
And the lagoon shall o'er her marbles flow, If to her former place from the low shore
Some English Bard in pilgrim's weeds shall row;
Before his mental eye, as in a glass,
Long files of Doges wedded to the sea, Or pomp of tournaments, or will there pass
The virgin Brides, afloat with minstrelsy?
Rather for him will hover o'er the deep
Her scenery of Palace, Bridge, and Tower, Peopled with forms in tragic robes that
sweep; Jaffier—the Jew—the Merchant-and the Moor.
Venice, July, 1844.
T Venice hourly by the marble quays
The steam-ship thrusts aside the gondolas:
E cannot choose but sing,
This consecrated floor who treads,
Unnumbered files of loftiest stems
Sublimed with leafy diadems
In Indian forests deep :
Celestial groups, in many a burning row,
From the painted glass descend,
In rich variety to blend Their hues with tones the breathing organ flings About the whole, in sound's harmonious colourings. And now the winding marble stair
High as the Temple's outward roof
Stands from the brink aloof.
All of the carver's teeming brain,
In marble without streak or stain,
From Alpine quarries brought.
Adds solemn forms, read of in scripture stories,
Saints, angels, human and divine,
Consummating this vast design, On snow-white pinnacles rise high and higher, To where, in gold, the Virgin tops the far-seen spire !
Beneath, the guardianed city lies:
Beyond, with vine-grown plains between,
In horizontal sheen