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LINES ON A PICTURE BY LEONARDO DA VINCI,

CALLED “THE VIRGIN OF THE ROCKS.”

CHARLES LAMB.

WHILE young John runs to greet
The greater infant's feet,
The mother standing by with trembling passion
Of devout admiration,
Beholds the engaging mystic play and pretty adoration;
Nor knows as yet the full event
Of these so low beginnings,
From whence we date our winnings ;
But wonders at the intent
Of those new rites and what that strange child-worship

meant.

But at her side
An angel doth abide,
With such a perfect joy
As no dim doubts alloy-
An intuition,
A glory, an amenity,
Passing the dark condition
Of blind humanity,
As if he surely knew
All the blest wonders should ensue,
Or he had lately left the upper sphere,
And had read all the sovereign schemes and divine rid-

dles there.

THE ESCURIAL.

Théophile Gautier. TRANSLATION OF CHARLOTTE FISKE BATES.

Set as a challenge at the mountain's side,
Afar the dark Escurial is descried.
Three hundred feet from earth uplifting thus
On its colossal shoulder firmly braced,
Huge elephant, the cupola defaced,
Granite debauch of Spain's Tiberius.
Old Pharaoh built not for his mummy's tomb
On mountain-side a thing of greater gloom ;
The desert's sphinx hath seen no more unrest.
In chimney-tops the stork is sleeping now,
Through all the abandoned courts the grasses grow
Of monks, priests, soldiers, courtiers, dispossessed
All would seem dead, but that from everything,
Niche, cornice, fronton, hand of sculptured king,
The flocks of swallows constant flutter keep,
With their wild merriment and charming cries;
Teasing, with flapping wings to ope his eyes,
This drowsy giant of eternal sleep.

ODE TO A GRECIAN URN.

John Keats.

Thou still unravished bride of quietness!

Thou foster-child of silence and slow time! Sylvan historian, who canst thus express

A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme;

What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities, or mortals, or of both,

In Tempe or the vales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these ? What maidens loth ?
What mad pursuit ? What struggles to escape ?

What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy ?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard

Are sweeter; therefore ye soft pipes, play on Not to the sensual ear, but more endeared,

Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone ! Fair youth beneath the trees, thou canst not leave Thy song, nor even can those trees be bare

; Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss Though winning near the goal, yet do not grieve

She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, Forever wilt thou love and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed

Your leaves, nor ever bid the spring adieu ;
And happy melodist, unwearied,

Forever piping songs forever new ;
More happy love! More happy, happy love!

Forever warm and still to be enjoyed,
Forever panting and forever young ;
All bre:thing human passion far above,

That leaves a heart high sorrowful and cloyed, A burning forehead and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice ?

To what green altar, 0 mysterious priest,

Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,

And all her silken flanks with garlands drest ? What little town by river or sea-shore,

Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, Is emptied of her folk, this pious morn? And, little town, thy streets forevermore

Will silent be; and not a soul to tell Why thou art desolate, will e'er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede

Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed !

Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity! Cold pastoral ! When old age shall this generation waste,

Thou shalt remain in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st, “Beauty is truth, truth, beauty, - that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know !”

GREECE.

LORD BYRON.

HE who hath bent him o'er the dead
Ere the first day of death is fled,
The first dark day of nothingness,
The last of danger and distress,
(Before Decay's effacing fingers
Have swept the lines where beauty lingers),

And marked the mild angelic air,
The rapture of repose that's there,
The fixed yet tender traits that streak
The languor of the placid cheek,
And - but for that sad shrouded eye,
That fires not, wins not, weeps not now,
And but for that chill, changeless brow,
Where cold Obstruction's apathy
Appalls the gazing mourner's heart,
As if to him it could impart
The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon;
Yes, but for these and these alone,
Some moments, ay, one treacherous hour,
He still might doubt the tyrant's power;
So fair, so calm, so softly sealed,
The first, last look by death revealed!
Such is the aspect of this shore;
'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more !
So coldly sweet, so deadly fair,
We start, for soul is wanting there.
Hers is the loveliness in death,
That parts not quite with parting breath.

1

THE ANTIQUE AT PARIS.

FRIEDRICH SCHILLER.

What the Greek wrought, the vaunting Frank may

gain, And waft the pomp of Hellas to the Seine.

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