The rosary I here have numbered o’er;
And bright-haired Hope will lend a gladdened ear,
And Love will free him from the grasp of Fear,
And Gorgon critics, while the tale they hear,
Shall dew their stony glances with a tear,
If I but catch one echo from your spell;—
And so farewell,—a grateful, sad farewell!
Chicago had become interesting to me now, that I knew it as the portal to so fair a scene. I had become interested in the land, in the people, and looked sorrowfully on the lake on which I must soon embark, to leave behind what I had just begun to enjoy.
Now was the time to see the lake. The July moon was near its full, and night after night it rose in a cloudless sky above this majestic sea. The heat was excessive, so that there was no enjoyment of life, except in the night, but then the air was of that delicious temperature, worthy of orange groves. However, they were not wanted;—nothing was, as that full light fell on the faintly rippling waters which then seemed boundless.
A poem received shortly after, from a friend in Massachusetts, seemed to say that the July moon shone there not less splendid, and may claim insertion here.
So pure her forehead’s
So swift and clear her radiant eyes,
Within the treasure of whose light
Lay undeveloped destinies,—
Of thoughts repressed such hidden store
Was hinted by each flitting smile,
I could but wonder and adore,
Far off, in awe, I gazed the while.
I gazed at her, as at the moon,
Hanging in lustrous twilight skies,
Whose virgin crescent, sinking soon,
Peeps through the leaves before it flies.
Untouched Diana, flitting dim,
While sings the wood its evening hymn.
Again we met. O joyful meeting!
Her radiance now was all for me,
Like kindly airs her kindly greeting,
So full, so musical, so free.
Within romantic forest aisles,
Within romantic paths we walked,
I bathed me in her sister smiles,
I breathed her beauty as we talked.
So full-orbed Cynthia walks the
Filling the earth with melodies,
Even so she condescends to kiss
Drowsy Endymions, coarse and dull,
Or fills our waking souls with bliss,
Making long nights too beautiful.
O fair, but fickle lady-moon,
Why must thy full form ever wane?
O love! O friendship! why so soon
Must your sweet light recede again?
I wake me in the dead of night,
And start,—for through the misty gloom
Red Hecate stares—a boding sight!—
Looks in, but never fills my room.