Shame be to him who sits at home and thinks,1
While all the busy world is out a-Maying ;2
Better by far, upon the flowery brinks3
Of streams, that babble as they run, be straying.4
It is but one brief hour agone,5
Since, with her cloudy mantle on,6
And deck’d with brighter jewels than e’er shone7
Amid the tresses of an earthly bride,8
The fair Aurora I descried,9
As up the mountain’s steepy side10
She flew, as though her soul were in her feet,11
High on the topmost verge her lingering lord to meet.12
Had you but seen the glow of lovely red,13
As o’er her cheek the bright suffusion spread,14
And marked her look of innocent delight,15
When first his radiant forehead met her sight,16
You would have deem’d your happiness complete,17
And all the pageantry and state18
That on anointed monarchs wait,19
Thenceforth a shallow mockery and a cheat.20
From his imperial car the god descended,21
And with surpassing dignity and grace,22
Like some tall statue stooping from its base,23
Advanced with eager step to her embrace.24
One moment more, and side by side25
They sat—the monarch and his bride.26
The heavenly car moved on, not unattended,27
For smiling Plenty hover’d nigh,28
And Joy and Love were there, and Mirth, with half-closed
I saw no more : for ’mid the blaze,30
The gathering splendour of encircling rays,31
As toward the zenith the bright god of day32
Pursued his glittering way,33
The glorious vision ended.34
And I return’d, to tell in verse35
Of scenes which, fitly to rehearse,36
Might task the loftiest powers of him37
Who sang of heaven’s proud cherubim,38
And first to our astonish’d eyes,39
In strains which for their purpose high40
Men “ will not willingly let die,”41
Unveil’d the charms of Paradise.42