Serenade and Reply

Miss Porden


Silence now the air pervading
 Scarce a breath disturbs her reign;
Hark my lute her power invading,
 Bids the echoes wake again.

Where yon vines so thickly cluster,
 O’er yon arbour’s light alcove,
Shining in the moon’s soft lustre,
 Lies the object of my love.

Do you sleep ungrateful maiden,
 Careless of your lover’s pain;
O’er whose eyes, by sorrow laden
 Sleep forgets her balmy reign.

Or to his remembrance waking,
 Do you equal passion feel,
Oh then now, your couch forsaking
 To your trellised window steal.

Let not fear your mind encumber,
 That our foes should watchful prove,
Every eye is sealed in slumber
 Save the eyes that wake to love.

O’er yon tide, so softly flowing,
 See the moon’s mild radiance falls,
Gilds yon vale, where olives growing,
 Shroud yon convent’s sainted walls.

O’er yon grove of orange playing,
 Zephyrs load with sweets the air,
Rise, my love, the scene surveying,
 Nature’s loveliest prospects share.

Hark! her latticed door unfolding
 Fair Elvira seeks the bower,
These fond eyes her charms beholding
 Soon shall bless the happy hour.

Hark! her soft guitar resounding
 Breathes upon the midnight air,
Its soft notes to mine responding,
 Here ye gentle Zephyrs bear.

Hark! her mellow voice uniting
 Steals upon my ravished ear
Every finer sense delighting,
 Hush — my heart be still and hear.


From yon shaded terrace stealing,
 What sweet joys those strains impart,
That Alfonso’s love revealing,
 Sink into Elvira’s heart.

Why her tender feeling wounding,
 Can you doubt her constant love,
Love, which all the scene surrounding,
 Must to your fond memory prove.

Ah! should our harsh foes preventing,
 Still our faithful hearts divide,
And ingenious in tormenting,
 Fix me as another’s bride.

From their furious rage excluded,
 I will seek that convent’s cell,
From the world and thee secluded,
 There a cloistered virgin dwell.

Though from thee dear youth to sever,
 Then may cost me many a tear,
Yet we do not part for ever,
 And a happier world is near.

But the harbinger of morning
 Hark that convent matins bell
Hence, or days bright radiance dawning
 Will they lingering steps reveal.

May the holy Virgin guard thee
 Safe from every prying eye,
Let no tender thoughts retard thee,
 Hence, adieu, Alfonso — fly.