Slow, through the twilight gloom, Valerio's knell

Slow, through the twilight gloom, Valerio's knell
Swells in heart-rending peals along the gale:
It summons me to take my last farewell,
And with the mourners blend my feeling wail.

Gone is my only friend, my dearest mate,
With whom, a child, I prattled o'er the plain,
Or 'neath the village shade attentive sat,
And lisping conned, well pleased, the rural strain;

With whom I turned the classic volumes o'er,
And drew from Maro's verse a noble flame;
With whom in Alma's walls the palm I bore,
And keenly struggled for collegiate fame.

Dear were the days in mutual kindness spent,—
How fair they rise to retrospective view!—
When each to each our aid we kindly lent,
Unconscious of the hours that o'er us flew.

How oft we wept at Orpheus' plaintive tale,
How oft, for hapless Dido's slighted love!
How often knew the moral muse prevail,
And felt our kindling spirits mount above!

How often loved the Teian's mellow strain,
And Flaccus' happy elegance admired;
Or drove with Homer o'er the embattled plain,
Our souls ennobled and our bosoms fired!

On Ovid's mournful strain we fondly hung,
When, banished to Euxina's dreary shore,
He swept his careless hand o'er chords ill-strung,
And bade his harp his hopeless fate deplore.

Warm was that heart which soon is wrapped in clay;
For want he always had a boon to give;
He took with freest choice fair Virtue's way,
And listened to the words that bid us live.

Whenever Nature's wonders met his view,
With eye effulgent as the star of even,
His pious glance serene he upward threw,
And traced the chain of causes back to Heaven.

Forgive, dear shade! this lisping of thy praise:
Thou little need'st the plaudits of thy friend;
But deign, when clothed in glory's cloudless blaze,
A guardian angel o'er my form to bend.
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