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I and one other with me loiter'd yet
By a lone staircase window, that o'erlook'd
The deep blue billows of the midnight sea,
And the swift moonlight on those waters swift;
And overhead the everlasting stars.
But chief three planets look'd into our souls
With their large spirit-eyes. Long while we gazed
In silent rapture on that world of night,
And ponder'd silently, and to the winds
And roar of distant waters listen'd long.
It seem'd a picture of the dread “ to be.”
There were the waters in their ceaseless changes
And wild eternal heavings, white with spray,
Wave chasing wave; but over them the moon
Rode in her silver sphere serene, and chid
Their wildness, and the glancing stars aloft
Fell on them with their sudden tears of light.
A strange and dream-like scene. Yes, soon we spake;
The same thought rush'd upon us. - let the world
Change like those changing waters evermore,
And spend itself in moans or reckless smiles, –
Let us be cast upon its fretful waves ;

Still stretches o'er us the blue sky, and thence
Lightens the piercing glory of the stars,
The silver beauty of true heart affection.

And like clear village bells at eventide
Each
young

heart echo'd to the other back, And ere we parted were there many thoughts That only could find utterance in prayer.

1845.

ON AN AIR OF NOVELLO'S, — AVE VERUM.

Comes it to thee with a sound of joy,

Glad-hearted sister mine?
Like the reckless bound of the mountain boy,
Or his mirthsome eye

divine ?

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Oh, list again — it has sorrowful deeps

Thou hast not fathom'd yet ;
'Tis a loving passionate heart that weeps

Tears, none who shed forget.

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It speaketh of life, - of beautiful life,

A tissue strange and fair,
Yet enwoven with threads of tenderest grief,

And dark shades here and there.

190

ON AN AIR OF NOVELLO's,

AVE VERUM.

It leads the soul to the twilight sky,

And the stars peep forth in turn,
But a weeping train of clouds is by

To dim them as they burn.

Speaks it of hope? yes, hope in tears,

From some far distant shore;
Music that steals from the nightly spheres,

Yet sounding, sounds no more.

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'Twas the twilight dawn at break of day,
And the mists swept over the mountains gray.
Away, away, on thin blue wings,
They fitted across like living things,

Reckless wanderers they. Is there a path on those towers of air ?. 'Mid ice and cloud a pathway there? Wild are the rocks and interwoven, But betwixt them a path is dimly cloven. Ha! see'st thou aught ? — ’tis a waving plume, And a spear that glances like light through gloom. 'Tis a dashing steed of taintless white: 'Tis a rider's cry — an armed knight. Now high on the crag; now deep in the mist,

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