In dazzling whiteness, lo! Soracte towers,
As all the mountain were one heap of snow!
Rush from the loaded woods the glittering showers;
The frost-bound waters can no longer flow.
Let plenteous billets, on the glowing hearth,
Dissolve the ice-dart ere it reach thy veins;
Bring mellow wines to prompt convivial mirth,
Nor heed th' arrested streams, or slippery plains.
High Heaven, resistless in his varied sway,
Speaks! - The wild elements contend no more;
Nor then, from raging seas, the foamy spray
Climbs the dark rocks, or curls upon the shore.
And peaceful then yon aged ash shall stand;
In breathless calm the dusky cypress rise;
To-morrow's destiny the Gods command,
To-day is thine; - enjoy it, and be wise!
Youth's radiant tide too swiftly rolls away;
Now, in its flow, let pleasures round thee bloom;
Join the gay dance, awake the melting lay,
Ere hoary tresses blossom for the tomb!
Spears, and the Steed, in busy camps impel;
And, when the early darkness veils the groves,
Amid the leafless boughs let whispers steal,
While frolic Beauty seeks the near alcoves.
Soft as thy tip-toe steps the mazes rove,
A laugh, half-smother'd, thy pleas'd ear shall meet,
And, sportive in the charming wiles of love,
Betray the artifice of coy retreat;
And then the ring, or, from her snowy arm,
The promis'd bracelet may thy force employ;
Her feign'd reluctance, height'ning every charm,
Shall add new value to the ravish'd toy.