Upon the stern stood the Celestial Pilot!
Beatitude seemed written in his face!
And more than a hundred spirits sat within


In exitu Israel out of Egypt!"

Thus sang they all together in one voice,
With whatso in that Psalm is after written

Then made he sign of holy rood upon them,
Whereat all cast themselves upon the shore,
And he departed swiftly as he came.



LONGING already to search in and round
The heavenly forest, dense and living-green,
Which to the eyes tempered the new-born day,

Withouten more delay I left the bank,
Crossing the level country slowly, slowly,
Over the soil, that everywhere breathed fragrance

A gently-breathing air, that no mutation
Had in itself, smote me upon the forehead,
No heavier blow, than of a pleasant breeze,

Whereat the tremulous branches readily

Did all of them bow downward towards that side Where its first shadow casts the Holy Mountain;

Yet not from their upright direction bent
So that the little birds upon their tops
Should cease the practice of their tuneful art;

But, with full-throated joy, the hours of prime
Singing received they in the midst of foliage.
That made monotonous burden to their rhymes,

Even as from branch to branch it gathering swells, Through the pine forests on the shore of Chiassi, When Eolus unlooses the Sirocco.

Already my slow steps had led me on
Into the ancient wood so far, that I

Could see no more the place where I had entered.

And lo! my farther course cut off a river,
Which, towards the left hand, with its little waves,
Bent down the grass, that on its margin sprang.

All waters that on earth most limpid are,

Would seem to have within themselves some mixture, Compared with that, which nothing doth conceal,

Although it moves on with a brown, brown current, Under the shade perpetual, that never

Ray of the sun lets in, nor of the moon.

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EVEN as the Blessed, in the new covenant,
Shall rise up quickened, each one from his grave,
Wearing again the garments of the flesh,

So, upon that celestial chariot.

A hundred rose ad vocem tanti senis,
Ministers and messengers of life eternal.


They all were saying; Benedictus qui venis," And scattering flowers above and round about, "Manibus o date lilia plenis."

I once beheld, at the approach of day,
The orient sky all stained with roseate hues,
And the other heaven with light serene adorned,

And the sun's face uprising, overshadowed, So that, by temperate influence of vapours, eye sustained his aspect for long while;


Thus in the bosom of a cloud of flowers,
Which from those hands angelic were thrown up,
And down descended inside and without,

With crown of olive o'er a snow-white veil,
Appeared a lady, under a green mantle,
Vested in colours of the living flame.

Even as the snow, among the living rafters
Upon the back of Italy, congeals,

Blown on and beaten by Sclavonian winds,

And then, dissolving, filters through itself,
Whene'er the land, that loses shadow, breathes,
Like as a taper melts before a fire,

Even such I was, without a sigh or tear,
Before the song of those who chime for ever
After the chiming of the eternal spheres ;

But, when I heard in those sweet melodies Compassion for me, more than had they said, "O wherefore, lady, dost thou thus consume him?"

The ice, that was about my heart congealed,
To air and water changed, and, in my anguish,
Through lips and eyes came gushing from my breast

Confusion and dismay, together mingled,

Forced such a feeble "Yes!" out of my mouth,
To understand it one had need of sight.

Even as a cross-bow breaks, when 't is discharged, Too tensely drawn the bow-string and the bow, And with less force the arrow hits the mark;

So I gave way under this heavy burden,
Gushing forth into bitter tears and sighs,

And the voice, fainting, flagged upon its passage



GENTLE Spring!—in sunshine clad,
Well dost thou thy power display!

For Winter maketh the light heart sad,
And thou-thou makest the sad heart gay.
He sees thee, and calls to his gloomy train,
The sleet, and the snow, and the wind, and the rain;
And they shrink away, and they flee in fear,
When thy merry step draws near.

Winter giveth the fields and the trees, so old,
Their beards of icicles and snow;

And the rain, it raineth so fast and cold,
We must cower over the embers low;

And, snugly housed from the wind and weather
Mope like birds that are changing feather
But the storm retires, and the sky grows clear,
When thy merry step draws near.

Winter maketh the sun in the gloomy sky
Wrap him round with a mantle of cloud;
But, Heaven be praised, thy step is nigh;
Thou tearest away the mournful shroud,
And the earth looks bright, and Winter surly,
Who has toiled for nought both late and early,
Is banished afar by the new-born year,

When thy merry step draws near

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