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Translations from Camden’s, and Other Poets (Felicia Hemans)

Published onApr 12, 2024
Translations from Camden’s, and Other Poets (Felicia Hemans)

Translations from Camden's, and Other Poets

By Felicia Hemans

Translations from Camden's, and Other Poets



“Siamo nati veramente in un secolo in cui gl’ingegni e gli studj degli uomini sono rivolti all’ utilità. L’Agricoltura, le Arti, il Commercio acquistano tutto dì novi lumi dalle ricerche de’ Saggi; e il voler farsi un nome tentando di dilettare, quand’ altri v’aspira con più giustizia giovando, sembra impresa dura e difficile.”—Savioli.


“Na metade do ceo subido ardia.”

High in the glowing heavens, with cloudless beam,

The sun had reach’d the zenith of his reign,

And for the living fount, the gelid stream,

Each flock forsook the herbage of the plain:

Midst the dark foliage of the forest shade,

The birds had shelter’d from the scorching ray;

Hush’d were their melodies—and grove and glade

Resounded but the shrill cicada’s lay:

When, through the grassy vale, a love-lorn swain,

To seek the maid who but despised his pain,

Breathing vain sighs of fruitless passion, roved:

“Why pine for her,” the slighted wanderer cried,

“By whom thou art not loved?” and thus replied

An echo’s murmuring voice—“Thou art not loved!



“Na ribeira de Euprates assentado.”

Wrapt in sad musings, by Euphrates’ stream

I sat, retracing days for ever flown,

While rose thine image on the exile’s dream,

O much-loved Salem! and thy glories gone:

When they who caused the ceaseless tears I shed,

Thus to their captive spoke—“Why sleep thy lays?

Sing of thy treasures lost, thy splendour fled,

And all thy triumphs in departed days!

Know’st thou not Harmony’s resistless charm

Can soothe each passion, and each grief disarm?

Sing then, and tears will vanish from thine eye.”

With sighs I answer’d,—“When the cup of woe

Is fill’d, till misery’s bitter draught o’erflow,

The mourner’s cure is not to sing—but die.”


“Se lá no assento da maior alteza.”

If in thy glorious home above

Thou still recallest earthly love,

If yet retain’d a thought may be

Of him whose heart hath bled for thee;

Remember still how deeply shrined

Thine image in his joyless mind:

Each well-known scene, each former care,

Forgotten—thou alone art there!

Remember that thine eye-beam’s light

Hath fled for ever from his sight,

And, with that vanish’d sunshine, lost

Is every hope he cherish’d most.

Think that his life, from thee apart,

Is all but weariness of heart;

Each stream, whose music once was dear,

Now murmurs discord to his ear.

Through thee, the morn, whose cloudless rays

Woke him to joy in other days,

Now, in the light of beauty drest,

Brings but new sorrows to his breast.

Through thee, the heavens are dark to him,

The sun’s meridian blaze is dim;

And harsh were e’en the bird of eve,

But that her song still loves to grieve.

All it hath been, his heart forgets,

So alter’d by its long regrets;

Each wish is changed, each hope is o’er,

And joy’s light spirit wakes no more.


“A formosura desta fresca serra.”

This mountain-scene with sylvan grandeur crown’d,

These chestnut-woods, in summer verdure bright;

These founts and rivulets, whose mingling sound

Lulls every bosom to serene delight;

Soft on these hills the sun’s declining ray;

This clime, where all is new; these murmuring seas;

Flocks, to the fold that bend their lingering way;

Light clouds, contending with the genial breeze;

And all that Nature’s lavish hands dispense,

In gay luxuriance, charming every sense,

Ne’er in thy absence can delight my breast:

Nought, without thee, my weary soul beguiles:

And joy may beam; yet, midst her brightest smiles,

A secret grief is mine, that will not rest.


“Os olhos onde o casto Amor ardia.”

Those eyes, whence Love diffused his purest light,

Proud in such beaming orbs his reign to show;

That face, with tints of mingling lustre bright,

Where the rose mantled o’er the living snow;

The rich redundance of that golden hair,

Brighter than sunbeams of meridian day;

That form so graceful, and that hand so fair,

Where now those treasures?—mouldering into clay!

Thus, like some blossom prematurely torn,

Hath young Perfection wither’d in its morn,

Touch’d by the hand that gathers but to blight?

Oh, how could Love survive his bitter tears!

Shed, not for her, who mounts to happier spheres,

But for his own sad fate, thus wrapt in starless night!


“Brandas aguas do Tejo que passando.”

Fair Tajo! thou whose calmly-flowing tide

Bathes the fresh verdure of these lovely plains,

Enlivening all where’er thy waves may glide,

Flowers, herbage, flocks, and sylvan nymphs and swains.

Sweet stream! I know not when my steps again

Shall tread thy shores; and while to part I mourn,

I have no hope to meliorate my pain,

No dream that whispers—I may yet return!

My frowning destiny, whose watchful care

Forbids me blessings and ordains despair,

Commands me thus to leave thee, and repine

And I must vainly mourn the scenes I fly,

And breathe on other gales my plaintive sigh,

And blend my tears with other waves than thine!



“Chara minha inimiga, em cuja mao.”

Thou to whose power my hopes, my joys I gave,

O fondly loved! my bosom’s dearest care!

Earth, which denied to lend thy form a grave,

Yields not one spell to soothe my deep despair!

Yes! the wild seas entomb those charms divine,

Dark o’er thy head th’ eternal billows roll;

But while one ray of life or thought is mine,

Still shalt thou live, the inmate of my soul.

And if the tones of my uncultured song

Have power the sad remembrance to prolong,

Of love so ardent, and of faith so pure;

Still shall my verse thine epitaph remain,

Still shall thy charms be deathless in my strain,

While Time, and Love, and Memory shall endure.


“Alma minha gentil, que te partiste.”

Spirit beloved! whose wing so soon hath flown

The joyless precincts of this earthly sphere,

How is yon Heaven eternally thine own,

Whilst I deplore thy loss, a captive here!

Oh! if allow’d in thy divine abode

Of aught on earth an image to retain,

Remember still the fervent love which glow’d

In my fond bosom, pure from every stain.

And if thou deem’d that all my faithful grief,

Caused by thy loss, and hopeless of relief,

Can merit thee, sweet native of the skies!

Oh! ask of Heaven, which call’d thee soon away,

That I may join thee in those realms of day,

Swiftly as thou hast vanish’d from mine eyes.

“Que estranho caso de amor!”

How strange a fate in love is mine!

How dearly prized the pains I feel!

Pangs, that to rend my soul combine,

With avarice I conceal:

For did the world the tale divine,

My lot would then be deeper woe—

And mine is grief that none must know.

To mortal ears I may not dare

Unfold the cause, the pain I prove;

’Twould plunge in ruin and despair

Or me, or her I love.

My soul delights alone to bear

Her silent, unsuspected woe,

And none shall pity, none shall know.

Thus buried in my bosom’s urn,

Thus in my inmost heart conceal’d,

Let me alone the secret mourn,

In pangs unsoothed and unreveal’d.

For whether happiness or woe,

Or life or death its power bestow,

It is what none on earth must know.


“Se as penas com que Amor tao mal me trata.”

Should Love, the tyrant of my suffering heart

Yet long enough protract his votary’s days

To see the lustre from those eyes depart,

The lode-stars[56] now that fascinate my gaze;

To see rude Time the living roses blight

That o’er thy cheek their loveliness unfold,

And, all unpitying, change thy tresses bright

To silvery whiteness, from their native gold;

Oh! then thy heart an equal change will prove,

And mourn the coldness that repell’d my love,

When tears and penitence will all be vain;

And I shall see thee weep for days gone by,

And in thy deep regret and fruitless sigh,

Find amplest vengeance for my former pain.


“Já cantei, já chorei a dura guerra.”

Oft have I sung and mourn’d the bitter woes

Which love for years hath mingled with my fate,

While he the tale forbade me to disclose,

That taught his votaries their deluded state.

Nymphs! who dispense Castalia’s living stream,

Ye, who from Death oblivion’s mantle steal,

Grant me a strain in powerful tone supreme,

Each grief by love inflicted to reveal:

That those whose ardent hearts adore his sway,

May hear experience breathe a warning lay—

How false his smiles, his promises how vain!

Then, if ye deign this effort to inspire,

When the sad task is o’er, my plaintive lyre,

For ever hush’d, shall slumber in your fane.


“Como quando do mar tempestuoso.”

Saved from the perils of the stormy wave,

And faint with toil, the wanderer of the main,

But just escaped from shipwreck’s billowy grave,

Trembles to hear its horrors named again.

How warm his vow, that Ocean’s fairest mien

No more shall lure him from the smiles of home!

Yet soon, forgetting each terrific scene,

Once more he turns, o’er boundless deeps to roam.

Lady! thus I, who vainly oft in flight

Seek refuge from the dangers of thy sight,

Make the firm vow to shim thee and be free:

But my fond heart, devoted to its chain,

Still draws me back where countless perils reign,

And grief and ruin spread their snares for me.



“Em Babylonia sobre os rios, quando.”

Beside the streams of Babylon, in tears

Of vain desire, we sat; remembering thee,

O hallow’d Sion! and the vanish’d years,

When Israel’s chosen sons were blest and free:

Our harps, neglected and untuned, we hung

Mute on the willows of the stranger’s land;

When songs, like those that in thy fanes we sung,

Our foes demanded from their captive band.

“How shall our voices, on a foreign shore,”

(We answer’d those whose chains the exile wore,)

“The songs of God, our sacred songs, renew?

If I forget, midst grief and wasting toil,

Thee, O Jerusalem! my native soil!

May my right hand forget its cunning too!


“Huma admiravel herva se conhece.”

There blooms a plant, whose gaze from hour to hour

Still to the sun with fond devotion turns,

Wakes when Creation hails his dawning power,

And most expands when most her idol burns:

But when he seeks the bosom of the deep,

His faithful plant’s reflected charms decay;

Then fade her flowers, her leaves discolour’d weep,

Still fondly pining for the vanish’d ray.

Thou whom I love, the day-star of my sight!

When thy dear presence wakes me to delight,

Joy in my soul unfolds her fairest flower:

But in thy heaven of smiles alone it blooms,

And, of their light deprived, in grief consumes,

Born but to live within thine eye-beam’s power.

“Polomeu apartamento.”

Amidst the bitter tears that fell

In anguish at my last farewell,

Oh! who would dream that joy could dwell,

To make that moment bright?

Yet be my judge, each heart! and say,

Which then could most my bosom sway,

Affliction or delight?

It was when Hope, oppress’d with woes,

Seem’d her dim eyes in death to close,

That rapture’s brightest beam arose

In sorrow’s darkest night.

Thus, if my soul survive that hour,

’Tis that my fate o’ercame the power

Of anguish with delight.

For oh! her love, so long unknown,

She then confess’d was all my own,

And in that parting hour alone

Reveal’d it to my sight.

And now what pangs will rend my soul,

Should fortune still, with stern control,

Forbid me this delight!

I know not if my bliss were vain,

For all the force of parting pain

Forbade suspicious doubts to reign,

When exiled from her sight:

Yet now what double woe for me,

Just at the close of eve, to see

The dayspring of delight!


“Quem diz que Amor he falso, o enganoso.”

He who proclaims that Love is light and vain,

Capricious, cruel, false in all his ways,

Ah! sure too well hath merited his pain,

Too justly finds him all he thus portrays:

For Love is pitying, Love is soft and kind.

Believe not him who dares the tale oppose;

Oh! deem him one whom stormy passions blind,

One to whom earth and heaven may well be foes.

If Love bring evils, view them all in me!

Here let the world his utmost rigour see,

His utmost power exerted to annoy:

But all his ire is still the ire of love;

And such delight in all his woes I prove,

I would not change their pangs for aught of other joy.


“Doces e claras aguas do Mondego.”

Waves of Mondego! brilliant and serene,

Haunts of my thought, where memory fondly strays,

Where hope allured me with perfidious mien,

Witching my soul, in long-departed days;

Yes, I forsake your banks! but still my heart

Shall bid remembrance all your charms restore,

And, suffering not one image to depart,

Find lengthening distance but endear you more.

Let Fortune’s will, through many a future day,

To distant realms this mortal frame convey,

Sport of each wind, and tost on every wave;

Yet my fond soul, to pensive memory true,

On thought’s light pinion still shall fly to you,

And still, bright waters! in your current lave.


“Onde acharei lugar taō apartado.”

Where shall I find some desert-scene so rude,

Where loneliness so undisturb’d may reign,

That not a step shall ever there intrude

Of roving man, or nature’s savage train—

Some tangled thicket, desolate and drear,

Or deep wild forest, silent as the tomb,

Boasting no verdure bright, no fountain clear,

But darkly suited to my spirit’s gloom?

That there, midst frowning rocks, alone with grief

Entomb’d in life, and hopeless of relief,

In lonely freedom I may breathe my woes.

For oh! since nought my sorrows can allay,

There shall my sadness cloud no festal day,

And days of gloom shall soothe me to repose.


“Eu vivia de lagrimas isento.”

Exempt from every grief,’twas mine to live

In dreams so sweet, enchantments so divine,

A thousand joys propitious Love can give

Were scarcely worth one rapturous pain of mine

Bound by soft spells, in dear illusions blest,

I breathed no sigh for fortune or for power;

No care intruding to disturb my breast,

I dwelt entranced in Love’s Elysian bower:

But Fate, such transports eager to destroy,

Soon rudely woke me from the dream of joy,

And bade the phantoms of delight begone:

Bade hope and happiness at once depart,

And left but memory to distract my heart,

Retracing every hour of bliss for ever flown.

“Mi nueve y dulce querella.”

No searching eye can pierce the veil

That o’er my secret love is thrown;

No outward signs reveal its tale,

But to my bosom known.

Thus, like the spark whose vivid light

In the dark flint is hid from sight,

It dwells within, alone.


“Dunque si sfoga in pianto.”

In tears, the heart oppress’d with grief

Gives language to its woes;

In tears, its fulness finds relief,

When rapture’s tide o’erflows!

Who, then, unclouded bliss would seek

On this terrestrial sphere;

When e’en Delight can only speak,

Like Sorrow—in a tear?

“Al furor d’avversa Sorte.”

He shall not dread Misfortune’s angry mien,

Nor feebly sink beneath her tempest rude,

Whose soul hath learn’d, through many a trying scene,

To smile at fate, and suffer unsubdued.

In the rough school of billows, clouds, and storms,

Nursed and matured, the pilot learns his art:

Thus Fate’s dread ire, by many a conflict, forms

The lofty spirit and enduring heart!

“Quella onda che ruina.”

The torrent wave, that breaks with force

Impetuous down the Alpine height,

Complains and struggles in its course,

But sparkles, as the diamond bright.

The stream in shadowy valley deep

May slumber in its narrow bed;

But silent, in unbroken sleep,

Its lustre and its life are fled.

“Leggiadra rosa, le cui pure foglie.”

Sweet rose! whose tender foliage to expand

Her fostering dews the Morning lightly shed,

Whilst gales of balmy breath thy blossoms fann’d,

And o’er thy leaves the soft suffusion spread:

That hand, whose care withdrew thee from the ground,

To brighter worlds thy favour’d charms hath borne;

Thy fairest buds, with grace perennial crown’d,

There breathe and bloom, released from every thorn.

Thus, far removed, and now transplanted flower!

Exposed no more to blast or tempest rude,

Shelter’d with tenderest care from frost or shower,

And each rough season’s chill vicissitude,

Now may thy form in bowers of peace assume

Immortal fragrance, and unwithering bloom.

“Che speri, instabil Dea, di sassi e spine.”

Fortune! why thus, where’er my footsteps tread,

Obstruct each path with rocks and thorns like these?

Think’st thou that I thy threatening mien shall dread,

Or toil and pant thy waving locks to seize?

Reserve the frown severe, the menace rude,

For vassal-spirits that confess thy sway!

My constant soul should triumph unsubdued,

Were the wide universe destruction’s prey.

Am I to conflicts new, in toils untried?

No! I have long thine utmost power defied,

And drawn fresh energies from every fight.

Thus from rude strokes of hammers and the wheel,

With each successive shock the temper’d steel

More keenly piercing proves, more dazzling bright.

“Parlagli d’un periglio.”

Wouldst thou to Love of danger speak?—

Veil’d are his eyes, to perils blind!

Wouldst thou from Love a reason seek?—

He is a child of wayward mind!

But with a doubt, a jealous fear,

Inspire him once—the task is o’er;

His mind is keen, his sight is clear,

No more an infant, blind no more.

“Sprezza il furor del vento.”

Unbending midst the wintry skies,

Rears the firm oak his vigorous form,

And stem in rugged strength, defies

The rushing of the storm.

Then sever’d from his native shore,

O’er ocean-worlds the sail to bear,

Still with those winds he braved before,

He proudly struggles there.

“Sol può dir che sia contento.”

Oh! those alone whose sever’d hearts

Have mourn’d through lingering years in vain,

Can tell what bliss fond Love imparts,

When Fate unites them once again.

Sweet is the sigh, and blest the tear,

Whose language hails that moment bright,

When past afflictions but endear

The presence of delight!

“Ah! frenate le piante imbelle!”

Ah! cease—those fruitless tears restrain!

I go misfortune to defy,

To smile at fate with proud disdain,

To triumph—not to die!

I with fresh laurels go to crown

My closing days at last,

Securing all the bright renown

Acquired in dangers past.


“Italia! Italia! O tu cui diè la sorte.”

Italia! O Italia! thou, so graced

With ill-starr’d beauty, which to thee hath been

A dower whose fatal splendour may be traced

In the deep-graven sorrows of thy mien;

Oh that more strength, or fewer charms were thine!

That those might fear thee more, or love thee less,

Who seem to worship at thy radiant shrine,

Then pierce thee with the death-pang’s bitterness!

Not then would foreign hosts have drain’d the tide

Of that Eridanus thy blood hath dyed:

Nor from the Alps would legions, still renew’d,

Pour down; nor wouldst thou wield an alien brand,

And fight thy battles with the stranger’s hand,

Still, still a slave, victorious or subdued!


“Genova mia! se con asciutto ciglio.”

If thus thy fallen grandeur I behold,

My native Genoa! with a tearless eye,

Think not thy son’s ungrateful heart is cold;

But know—I deem rebellious every sigh!

Thy glorious ruins proudly I survey,

Trophies of firm resolve, of patriot might!

And in each trace of devastation’s way,

Thy worth, thy courage, meet my wandering sight.

Triumphs far less than suffering virtue shine!

And on the spoilers high revenge is thine,

While thy strong spirit unsubdued remains.

And lo! fair Liberty rejoicing flies

To kiss each noble relic, while she cries,

Hail! though in ruins, thou wert ne’er in chains!


“Estese el cortesano.”

Let the vain courtier waste his days,

Lured by the charms that wealth displays,

The couch of down, the board of costly fare;

Be his to kiss th’ ungrateful hand

That waves the sceptre of command,

And rear full many a palace in the air;

Whilst I enjoy, all unconfined,

The glowing sun, the genial wind,

And tranquil hours, to rustic toil assign’d;

And prize far more, in peace and health,

Contented indigence than joyless wealth.

Not mine in Fortune’s fane to bend,

At Grandeur’s altar to attend,

Reflect his smile, and tremble at his frown;

Nor mine a fond aspiring thought,

A wish, a sigh, a vision, fraught

With Fame’s bright phantom, Glory’s deathless crown!

Nectareous draughts and viands pure

Luxuriant nature will insure;

These the clear fount and fertile field

Still to the wearied shepherd yield;

And when repose and visions reign,

Then we are equals all, the monarch and the swain.



“No baxes temeroso, o peregrino!”

Pause not with lingering foot, O pilgrim! here,

Pierce the deep shadows of the mountain-side;

Firm be thy step, thy heart unknown to fear—

To brighter worlds this thorny path will guide.

Soon shall thy feet approach the calm abode,

So near the mansions of supreme delight;

Pause not, but tread this consecrated road—

’Tis the dark basis of the heavenly height.

Behold, to cheer thee on the toilsome way,

How many a fountain glitters down the hill!

Pure gales, inviting, softly round thee play,

Bright sunshine guides—and wilt thou linger still?

Oh! enter there, where, freed from human strife,

Hope is reality, and time is life.



“Quest! palazzi, e queste logge or colte.”

These marble domes, by wealth and genius graced,

With sculptured forms, bright hues, and Parian stone,

Were once rude cabins midst a lonely waste,

Wild shores of solitude, and isles unknown.

Pure from each vice, ’twas here a venturous train

Fearless in fragile barks explored the sea;

Not theirs a wish to conquer or to reign,

They sought these island precincts—to be free.

Ne’er in their souls ambition’s flame arose,

No dream of avarice broke their calm repose;

Fraud, more than death, abhorr’d each artless breast:

Oh! now, since fortune gilds their brightening day,

Let not those virtues languish and decay,

O’erwhelm’d by luxury, and by wealth opprest!


“L’anima bella, che dal vero Eliso.”

The sainted spirit which, from bliss on high,

Descends like dayspring to my favour’d sight,

Shines in such noontide radiance of the sky,

Scarce do I know that form, intensely bright!

But with the sweetness of her well-known smile,

That smile of peace! she bids my doubts depart,

And takes my hand, and softly speaks the while,

And heaven’s full glory pictures to my heart.

Beams of that heaven in her my eyes behold,

And now, e’en now, in thought my wings unfold,

To soar with her, and mingle with the blest!

But ah! so swift her buoyant pinion flies,

That I, in vain aspiring to the skies,

Fall to my native sphere, by earthly bonds deprest.



“Buscas en Roma á Roma, o peregrino!”

Amidst these scenes, O pilgrim! seek’st thou Rome?

Vain is thy search—the pomp of Rome is fled;

Her silent Aventine is glory’s tomb;

Her walls, her shrines, but relics of the dead.

That hill, where Cæsars dwelt in other days,

Forsaken mourns, where once it tower’d sublime;

Each mouldering medal now far less displays

The triumphs won by Latium than by Time.

Tiber alone survives—the passing wave

That bathed her towers now murmurs by her grave,

Wailing with plaintive sound her fallen fanes.

Rome! of thine ancient grandeur all is past,

That seem’d for years eternal framed to last:

Nought but the wave—a fugitive, remains.


“Tu, que la dulce vida en tiernas anos.”

Thou, who hast fled from life’s enchanted bowers,

In youth’s gay spring, in beauty’s glowing morn,

Leaving thy bright array, thy path of flowers,

For the rude convent-garb and couch of thorn;

Thou that, escaping from a world of cares,

Hast found thy haven in devotion’s fane,

As to the port the fearful bark repairs

To shim the midnight perils of the main—

Now the glad hymn, the strain of rapture pour,

While on thy soul the beams of glory rise!

For if the pilot hail the welcome shore

With shouts of triumph swelling to the skies,

Oh! how shouldst thou the exulting pæan raise,

Now heaven’s bright harbour opens on thy gaze!


“Negli anni acerbi tuoi, purpurea rosa.”

Thou in thy morn wert like a glowing rose

To the mild sunshine only half display’d,

That shunn’d its bashful graces to disclose,

And in its veil of verdure sought a shade:

Or like Aurora did thy charms appear,

(Since mortal form ne’er vied with aught so bright,)

Aurora, smiling from her tranquil sphere,

O’er vale and mountain shedding dew and light.

Now riper years have doom’d no grace to fade;

Nor youthful charms, in all their pride array’d,

Excel, or equal, thy neglected form.

Thus, full expanded, lovelier is the flower,

And the bright day-star, in its noontide hour,

More brilliant shines, in genial radiance warm.


“Quest’ ombra che giammai non vide il sole.”

This green recess, where through the bowery gloom

Ne’er, e’en at noontide hours, the sunbeam play’d,

Where violet-beds in soft luxuriance bloom

Midst the cool freshness of the myrtle shade;

Where through the grass a sparkling fountain steals,

Whose murmuring wave, transparent as it flows,

No more its bed of yellow sand conceals

Than the pure crystal hides the glowing rose;

This bower of peace, thou soother of our care,

God of soft slumbers and of visions fair!

A lowly shepherd consecrates to thee!

Then breathe around some spell of deep repose,

And charm his eyes in balmy dew to close,

Those eyes, fatigued with grief, from tear-drops never free.


“Chi vuol veder quantunque può natura.”

Thou that wouldst mark, in form of human birth,

All heaven and nature’s perfect skill combined,

Come gaze on her, the day-star of the earth,

Dazzling, not me alone, but all mankind:

And haste! for Death, who spares the guilty long,

First calls the brightest and the best away;

And to her home, amidst the cherub throng,

The angelic mortal flies, and will not stay!

Haste! and each outward charm, each mental grace,

In one consummate form thine eye shall trace,

Model of loveliness, for earth too fair!

Then thou shalt own how faint my votive lays,

My spirit dazzled by perfection’s blaze:

But if thou still delay, for long regret prepare.

“Se lamentar augelli, o verdi fronde.”

If to the sighing breeze of summer hours

Bend the green leaves; if mourns a plaintive bird;

Or from some fount’s cool margin, fringed with flowers,

The soothing murmur of the wave is heard;

Her whom the heavens reveal, the earth denies,

I see and hear: though dwelling far above,

Her spirit, still responsive to my sighs,

Visits the lone retreat of pensive love.

“Why thus in grief consume each fruitless day,”

(Her gentle accents thus benignly say,)

“While from thine eyes the tear unceasing flows?

Weep not for me, who, hastening on my flight,

Died, to be deathless; and on heavenly light

Whose eyes but open’d, when they seem’d to close!”


“O Muerte! que sueles ser.”

Thou, the stem monarch of dismay,

Whom nature trembles to survey,

O Death! to me, the child of grief,

Thy welcome power would bring relief,

Changing to peaceful slumber many a care.

And though thy stroke may thrill with pain

Each throbbing pulse, each quivering vein;

The pangs that bid existence close,

Ah! sure are far less keen than those

Which cloud its lingering moments with despair.


“O Zefiretto, che movendo vai.”

Sylph of the breeze! whose dewy pinions light

Wave gently round the tree I planted here,

Sacred to her whose soul hath wing’d its flight

To the pure ether of her lofty sphere;

Be it thy care, soft spirit of the gale!

To fan its leaves in summer’s noontide hour;

Be it thy care that wintry tempests fail

To rend its honours from the sylvan bower.

Then shall it spread, and rear th’ aspiring form.

Pride of the wood, secure from every storm,

Graced with her name, a consecrated tree!

So may thy Lord, thy monarch of the wind,

Ne’er with rude chains thy tender pinions bind,

But grant thee still to rove, a wanderer wild and free!



“Willkommen, fruhe morgensonn.”

Hail! morning sun, thus early bright;

Welcome, sweet dawn! thou younger day!

Through the dark woods that fringe the height,

Beams forth, e’en now, thy ray.

Bright on the dew it sparkles clear,

Bright on the water’s glittering fall,

And life, and joy, and health appear,

Sweet Morning! at thy call.

Now thy fresh breezes lightly spring

From beds of fragrance, where they lay,

And roving wild on dewy wing,

Drive slumber far away.

Fantastic dreams, in swift retreat,

Now from each mind withdraw their spell;

While the young loves delighted meet,

On Rosa’s cheek to dwell.

Speed, zephyr! kiss each opening flower,

Its fragrant spirit make thine own;

Then wing thy way to Rosa’s bower,

Ere her light sleep is flown.

There, o’er her downy pillow fly,

Wake the sweet maid to life and day;

Breathe on her balmy lip a sigh,

And o’er her bosom play;

And whisper, when her eyes unveil,

That I, since morning’s earliest call,

Have sigh’d her name to ev’ry gale

By the lone waterfall.


“Mädchen, lernet Amor kennen.”

Listen, fair maid! my song shall tell

How Love may still be known full well—

His looks the traitor prove.

Dost thou not see that absent smile,

That fiery glance replete with guile?

Oh! doubt not then—’tis Love.

When varying still the sly disguise,

Child of caprice, he laughs and cries,

Or with complaint would move;

To-day is bold, to-morrow shy,

Changing each hour, he knows not why.

Oh! doubt not then—’tis Love.

There’s magic in his every wile,

His lips, well practised to beguile,

Breathe roses when they move;

See! now with sudden rage he burns,

Disdains, implores, commands, by turns.

Oh! doubt not then—’tis Love.

He comes, without the bow and dart,

That spare not e’en the purest heart;

His looks the traitor prove;

That glance is fire, that mien is guile,

Deceit is lurking in that smile—

Oh! trust him not—’tis Love!


“Grotte, d’où sort ce clair ruisseau.”

Thou grot, whence flows this limpid spring,

Its margin fringed with moss and flowers,

Still bid its voice of murmurs bring

Peace to my musing hours.

Sweet Fontenay! where first for me

The dayspring of existence rose,

Soon shall my dust return to thee,

And midst my sires repose.

Muses! that watch’d my childhood’s morn,

Midst these wild haunts, with guardian eye—

Fair trees! that here beheld me born,

Soon shall ye see me die.


“Coyed de vuestra alegre primavera.”

Enjoy the sweets of life’s luxuriant May

Ere envious Age is hastening on his way

With snowy wreaths to crown the beauteous brow;

The rose will fade when storms assail the year,

And Time, who changeth not his swift career,

Constant in this, will change all else below!



“Non di verdi giardin ornati e colti.”

We come not, fair one! to thy hand of snow

From the soft scenes by Culture’s hand array’d;

Not rear’d in bowers where gales of fragrance blow,

But in dark glens, and depths of forest shade!

There once, as Venus wander’d, lost in woe,

To seek Adonis through th’ entangled wood,

Piercing her foot, a thorn that lurk’d below

With print relentless drew celestial blood!

Then our light stems, with snowy blossoms fraught,

Bending to earth, each precious drop we caught,

Imbibing thence our bright purpureal dyes;

We were not foster’d in our shadowy vales

By guided rivulets or summer gales—

Our dew and air have been Love’s balmy tears and sighs!



“Dove per te, celeste ancilla, or vassi?”

Whither, celestial maid, so fast away?

What lures thee from the banquet of the skies?

How canst thou leave thy native realms of day

For this low sphere, this vale of clouds and sighs?

O thou, Canova! soaring high above

Italian art—with Grecian magic vying!

We knew thy marble glow’d with life and love,

But who had seen thee image footsteps flying?

Here to each eye the wind seems gently playing

With the light vest, its wavy folds arraying

In many a line of undulating grace;

While Nature, ne’er her mighty laws suspending,

Stands, before marble thus with motion blending,

One moment lost in thought, its hidden cause to trace.

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