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Other sounds soon awakened her attention: it was the solemn harmony of horns, that swelled from a distance; and, observing the gondolas arrange themselves along the margin of the terraces, she threw on her veil, and, stepping into the balcony, discerned, in the distant perspective of the canal, something like a procession, floating on the light surface of the water: as it approached, the horns and other instruments mingled sweetly, and soon after the fabled deities of the city seemed to have arisen from the ocean; for Neptune, with Venice personified as his queen, came on the undulating waves, surrounded by tritons and sea-nymphs. The fantastic splendour of this spectacle, together with the grandeur of the surrounding palaces, appeared like the vision of a poet suddenly embodied, and the fanciful images, which it awakened in Emily's mind, lingered there long after the procession had passed away. She indulged herself in imagining what might be the manners and delights of a sea- nymph, till she almost wished to throw off the habit of mortality, and plunge into the green wave to participate them.
'How delightful,' said she, 'to live amidst the coral bowers and crystal caverns of the ocean, with my sister nymphs, and listen to the sounding waters above, and to the soft shells of the tritons! and then, after sun-set, to skim on the surface of the waves round wild rocks and along sequestered shores, where, perhaps, some pensive wanderer comes to weep! Then would I soothe his sorrows with my sweet music, and offer him from a shell some of the delicious fruit that hangs round Neptune's palace.'
She was recalled from her reverie to a mere mortal supper, and could not forbear smiling at the fancies she had been indulging, and at her conviction of the serious displeasure, which Madame Montoni would have expressed, could she have been made acquainted with them.
After supper, her aunt sat late, but Montoni did not return, and she at length retired to rest. If Emily had admired the magnificence of the saloon, she was not less surprised, on observing the half- furnished and forlorn appearance of the apartments she passed in the way to her chamber, whither she went through long suites of noble rooms, that seemed, from their desolate aspect, to have been unoccupied for many years. On the walls of some were the faded remains of tapestry; from others, painted in fresco, the damps had almost withdrawn both colours and design. At length she reached her own chamber, spacious, desolate, and lofty, like the rest, with high lattices that opened towards the Adriatic. It brought gloomy images to her mind, but the view of the Adriatic soon gave her others more airy, among which was that of the sea-nymph, whose delights she had before amused herself with picturing; and, anxious to escape from serious reflections, she now endeavoured to throw her fanciful ideas into a train, and concluded the hour with composing the following lines:
Down, down a thousand fathom deep,
There, within their secret cares,
And bid the freshen'd waters glide,
For this the nymphs, at fall of eave,
In coral bow'rs I love to lie,
And oft at midnight's stillest hour,
And when deep sleep the crew has bound,
O'er the dim waves his searching eye
Sometimes, a single note I swell,
The trembling youth, charm'd by my strain,
Within the mountain's woody bay,
And with my sister-nymphs I sport,
In cool arcades and glassy halls
The while we chant our ditties sweet
There, the pale pearl and sapphire blue,
When the dark storm scowls o'er the deep,
Till on the ridgy wave afar
Then, plunge I 'mid the ocean's roar,
And if too late I reach its side
Their mournful spirits soon I cheer,
My music leads to lofty groves,
Then, from the air spirits obey
And thus the lonely hours I cheat,
Neptune for this oft binds me fast
Whoe'er ye are that love my lay,
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The Mysteries of Udolpho -by- Ann RadcliffeBottom Content goes here. Wikipedia content requires these links..... Wikipedia content is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.