The Venetian Serenade

When along the light ripple the far serenade
Has accosted the ear of each passionate maid,
She may open the window that looks on the stream,--
She may smile on her pillow and blend it in dream;
Half in words, half in music, it pierces the gloom,
``I am coming--Stalì--but you know not for whom!
Stalì--not for whom!''

Now the tones become clearer,--you hear more and more
How the water divided returns on the oar,--
Does the prow of the gondola strike on the stair?
Do the voices and instruments pause and prepare?
Oh! they faint on the ear as the lamp on the view,
``I am passing--Premì--but I stay not for you!
Premì--not for you!''

Then return to your couch, you who stifle a tear,
Then awake not, fair sleeper--believe he is here;
For the young and the loving no sorrow endures,
If to--day be another's, to--morrow is yours;--
May, the next time you listen, your fancy be true,
``I am coming--Sciàr--and for you and to you!
Sciàr--and to you!''

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