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With aspects novel to my sight; but still
Most fair, most welcome, when they drank the dew
In a sweet fellowship with kinds beloved,

For old remembrance' sake. And oft, where


Displayed her richest blossoms among files
Of Orange-trees bedecked with glowing fruit
Ripe for the hand, or under a thick shade
Of Ilex, or, if better suited to the hour,
The lightsome Olive's twinkling canopy,-
Oft have I heard the Nightingale and Thrush
Blending as in a common English grove
Their love-songs; but, where'er my feet might roam,
Whate'er assemblages of new and old,
Strange and familiar, might beguile the way,
A gratulation from that vagrant Voice

Was wanting;

and most happily till now.

For see, Laverna! mark the far-famed Pile, High on the brink of that precipitous rock, Implanted like a Fortress, as in truth It is, a Christian Fortress, garrisoned In faith and hope, and dutiful obedience, By a few Monks, a stern society,

Dead to the world and scorning earth-born joys. though the hopes that drew, the fears that drove,


St. Francis, far from Man's resort, to abide
Among these sterile heights of Apennine,

Bound him, nor, since he raised yon House, have ceased

To bind his spiritual progeny with rules
Stringent as flesh can tolerate and live,
His milder Genius (thanks to the good God
That made us) over those severe restraints
Of mind, that dread, heart-freezing discipline,
Doth sometimes here predominate, and works
By unsought means for gracious purposes;
For earth through heaven, for heaven, by change-
ful earth

Illustrated, and mutually endeared.

Rapt though he were above the power of


Familiarly, yet out of the cleansed heart
Of that once sinful Being overflowed
On sun, moon, stars, the nether elements,
And every shape of creature they sustain,
Divine affections; and with beast and bird
(Stilled from afar
such marvel story tells
By casual outbreak of his passionate words,

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And from their own pursuits in field or grove
Drawn to his side by look or act of love
Humane, and virtue of his innocent life)
He wont to hold companionship so free,
So pure, so fraught with knowledge and delight,
As to be likened in his Followers' minds

To that which our first Parents, ere the fall

From their high state darkened the Earth with


Held with all Kinds in Eden's blissful bowers.

Then question not that, 'mid the austere Band

Who breathe the air he breathed, tread where he


Some true partakers of his loving spirit

Do still survive, and, with those gentle hearts
Consorted, others, in the power, the faith,
Of a baptized imagination, prompt

To catch from Nature's humblest monitors
Whate'er they bring of impulses sublime.

Thus sensitive must be the Monk, though pale With fasts, with vigils worn, depressed by years, Whom in a sunny glade I chanced to see, Upon a pine-tree's storm-uprooted trunk, Seated alone, with forehead skyward raised, Hands clasped above the crucifix he wore Appended to his bosom, and lips closed By the joint pressure of his musing mood And habit of his vow. That ancient Man, Nor haply less the Brother whom I marked, As we approached the Convent gate, aloft Looking far forth from his aerial cell,

A young Ascetic, Poet, Hero, Sage,

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He might have been, Lover belike he was,
If they received into a conscious ear
The notes whose first faint greeting startled me,
Whose sedulous iteration thrilled with joy

My heart, may have been moved like me to


Ah! not like me who walk in the world's ways,

On the great Prophet, styled the Voice of One
Crying amid the wilderness, and given,

Now that their snows must melt, their herbs and flowers

Revive, their obstinate winter pass away,
That awful name to thee, thee, simple Cuckoo,
Wandering in solitude, and evermore
Foretelling and proclaiming, ere thou leave
This thy last haunt beneath Italian skies
To carry thy glad tidings over heights
Still loftier, and to climes more near the Pole.

Voice of the desert, fare thee well; sweet Bird! If that substantial title please thee more,


but go thy way; no need hast thou Of a good wish sent after thee; from bower To bower as green, from sky to sky as clear, Thee gentle breezes waft, or airs that meet Thy course and sport around thee softly fan, Till Night, descending upon hill and vale, Grants to thy mission a brief term of silence, And folds thy pinions up in blest repose.



GRIEVE for the Man who hither came bereft
And seeking consolation from above ;

Nor grieve the less that skill to him was left
To paint this picture of his lady-love:
Can she, a blessed saint, the work approve?
And O good Brethren of the cowl! a thing
So fair, to which with peril he must cling,
Destroy in pity, or with care remove.

That bloom, those eyes,



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Thoughts that would stray from Heaven?

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To be; by Faith, not sight, his soul must live; Else will the enamored Monk too surely find How wide a space can part from inward peace The most profound repose his cell can give.




THE world forsaken, all its busy cares

And stirring interests shunned with desperate flight,
All trust abandoned in the healing might
Of virtuous action, all that courage dares,
Labor accomplishes, or patience bears,-

Those helps rejected, they whose minds perceive
How subtly works man's weakness, sighs may


For such a one beset with cloistral snares.

Father of Mercy! rectify his view,

If with his vows this object ill agree;

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