The Snow Spirit.

A poem by Thomas Moore

No, ne'er did the wave in its element steep
An island of lovelier charms;
It blooms in the giant embrace of the deep,
Like Hebe in Hercules' arms.
The blush of your bowers is light to the eye,
And their melody balm to the ear;
But the fiery planet of day is too nigh,
And the Snow Spirit never comes here.

The down from his wing is as white as the pearl
That shines through thy lips when they part,
And it falls on the green earth as melting, my girl,
As a murmur of thine on the heart.
Oh! fly to the clime, where he pillows the death,
As he cradles the birth of the year;
Bright are your bowers and balmy their breath,
But the Snow Spirit cannot come here.

How sweet to behold him when borne on the gale,
And brightening the bosom of morn,
He flings, like the priest of Diana, a veil
O'er the brow of each virginal thorn.
Yet think not the veil he so chillingly casts
Is the veil of a vestal severe;
No, no, thou wilt see, what a moment it lasts,
Should the Snow Spirit ever come here.

But fly to his region--lay open thy zone,
And he'll weep all his brilliancy dim,
To think that a bosom, as white as his own,
Should not melt in the daybeam like him.
Oh! lovely the print of those delicate feet
O'er his luminous path will appear--
Fly, my beloved! this island is sweet,
But the Snow Spirit cannot come here.

* * * * *

I stole along the flowery bank,
While many a bending seagrape[1] drank
The sprinkle of the feathery oar
That winged me round this fairy shore.

'Twas noon; and every orange bud
Hung languid o'er the crystal flood,
Faint as the lids of maiden's eyes
When love-thoughts in her bosom rise.
Oh, for a naiad's sparry bower,
To shade me in that glowing hour!

A little dove, of milky hue,
Before me from a plantain flew,
And, light along the water's brim,
I steered my gentle bark by him;
For fancy told me, Love had sent
This gentle bird with kind intent
To lead my steps, where I should meet--
I knew not what, but something sweet.

And--bless the little pilot dove!
He had indeed been sent by Love,
To guide me to a scene so dear
As fate allows but seldom here;
One of those rare and brilliant hours.
That, like the aloe's lingering flowers,
May blossom to the eye of man
But once in all his weary span.

Just where the margin's opening shade
A vista from the waters made,
My bird reposed his silver plume
Upon a rich banana's bloom.
Oh vision bright! oh spirit fair!
What spell, what magic raised her there?
'Twas Nea! slumbering calm and mild,
And bloomy as the dimpled child,
Whose spirit in elysium keeps
Its playful sabbath, while he sleeps.

The broad banana's green embrace
Hung shadowy round each tranquil grace;
One little beam alone could win
The leaves to let it wander in.
And, stealing over all her charms,
From lip to cheek, from neck to arms,
New lustre to each beauty lent,--
Itself all trembling as it went!

Dark lay her eyelid's jetty fringe
Upon that cheek whose roseate tinge
Mixt with its shade, like evening's light
Just touching on the verge of night.
Her eyes, though thus in slumber hid,
Seemed glowing through the ivory lid,
And, as I thought, a lustre threw
Upon her lip's reflecting dew,--
Such as a night-lamp, left to shine
Alone on some secluded shrine,
May shed upon the votive wreath,
Which pious hands have hung beneath.

Was ever vision half so sweet!
Think, think how quick my heart-pulse beat,
As o'er the rustling bank I stole;--
Oh! ye, that know the lover's soul,
It is for you alone to guess,
That moment's trembling happiness.

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