The Interludes of Tasso's Aminta


Yes, I am he, who, on the sounding shore
Of that lone island, to the wondrous man
Who o'er the sea his fated exile ran,
So many varying forms and features wore;
By me was found the art to change the scene
Of the life-mocking theatre, when night
Holds such a kindling mirror to the sight,
That things seem gay and bright, which else were mean:
And then how many images are seen,
All pure and sweet and beautiful, light shades
Of raptured youths, and coy, retiring maids!
And when the night is silent and serene,
And throws her star-lit canopy around,
I show the scenic pomp, the elastic bound
Of merry revellers, while no rude throng
Disturbs the harmony of heart and song


Ye sacred laws of love, by Nature given, —
Ye holy chains, where purest constancy
And warm desire are blent, like hues of heaven
Dissolving in Aurora's brilliancy,
Whose links, of kindred thoughts and feelings woven,
No other hand but death's can rend away,
By all the tender cares of marriage proven,
Grow easier and dearer day by day, —
Sweet yoke, delightful burden! O how sweet
And how delightful on the unequal way,
Where thorns and roses meet, thy gentle sway,
O Love! by whom two hearts together beat,
Two souls are kindled in one mutual flame,
And every thought, wish, feeling, is the same,
And till the last and bitter parting come
Time flows on in one bright, unruffled stream.
Thou art the kindling and consoling beam
Of life for ever hastening to the tomb,
Tired nature's sweet, restoring anodyne; —
What other power, like thee, can make our souls divine?


Yes, we are gods, and in the blue serene
Of ever-during heaven, among the gems
That deck the night, the crystal diadems
Of sainted souls, on a celestial scene,
We sport in mingled dances, where the green
Of Spring for ever flourishes, her flowers
Are always bright and balmy, and her showers
Of dropping nectar light their pearly sheen.
Such high adventure, such immortal grace,
We in this mimic school of life display,
And here the world's best imagery we trace,
And sport in playful dance the hours away, —
And here, at night, along the lighted hall,
Where burning cressets emulate the day,
And harmony's soft flutes and citterns play,
Shepherds and nymphs, in youth and beauty gay,
In blended choirs lead round the flying ball.


Farewell! 't is now the hour of soft repose,
Ye pensive lovers and ye ladies fair!
Now to your silent couch of sleep repair;
Now night with showering hand her poppies strows,
And rains her violets; — now the dew-steeped rose
Hangs faintly drooping, for the day is done,
And mountain peaks with the departing sun
Are gayly glowing. Now your eyelids close;
But if your thoughts will wake, and fancy paint
Her airy hues of ecstasy, may love,
Wakeful or dreaming, all your cares remove,
Nor night nor morning hear your sad complaint.
Our pastoral is ended, now adieu!
And may the young God still be kind to you.
Author of original: 
Torquato Tasso
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.