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'Twas likest heaven, ere yet day's purple stream Their own deep fire-soon as the woman came
And fell; and vanished slowly from the sight.
Like meteors on a river's grassy shore,
And more, then rose commingling into one,
A cloud of deepest shadow, which was thrown
Fairer than tongue can speak, or thought may frame,
The radiance of whose limbs rose-like and warm
Majestic, yet most mild-calm, yet compassionate.
FROM ROSALIND AND HELEN,
And with these words they rose, and towards the
Thence to a lonely dwelling, where the shore
Is shadowed with steep rocks, and cypresses
away And with their shadows the clear depths below,
Scatters its sense-dissolving fragrance o'er
The liquid marble of the windless lake;
And where the aged forest's limbs look hoar,
Like one which tyrants spare on our own land
In some such solitude; its casements bright
Shone through their vine-leaves in the morning sun,
And even within 'ıwas scarce like Italy.
And when she saw how all things there were plan-
As in an English hoine, dim memory
Whose mind is where his body cannot be,
Till Helen led her where her child yet slept,
And said, “ Observe, that brow was Lionel's,
Those lips were his, and so he ever kept crystal air.
One arm in sleep, pillowing his head with it.
You cannot see bis eyes, they are two wells
Of liquid love: let us not wake him yet.”
But Rosalind could bear do more, and wept
His face, and so his opening lashes shone
Wilt thou be, when the sea-mew With tears unlike his own, as he did leap
Flies, as once before it flew, In sudden wonder from his innocent sleep.
O'er thine isles depopulate,
And all is in its antient state, So Rosalind and Helen lived together
Save where many a palace gate Thenceforth, changed in all else, yet friends again,
With green sea-flowers overgrown Such as they were, when o'er the mountain heather
Like a rock of ocean's own, They wandered in their youth, through sun and rain.
Topples o'er the abandoned sea And after many years, for human things
As the tides change sullenly.
The fisher on his watery way,
Wandering at the close of day, Of joy 'mid their new calm would intervene:
Will spread his sail and seize his car A lovely child she was, of looks serene,
Till he pass the gloomy shore, And motions which o'er things indifferent shed
Lest thy dead should, from their sleep The grace and gentleness from whence they came.
Bursting o'er the starlight deep, And Helen's boy grew with her, and they fed
Lead a rapid masque of death
O'er the waters of his path.
Those who alone thy towers behold The shadow of the peace denied to them.
Quivering through aerial gold,
As I now behold them here,
Would imagine not they were
Sepulchres, where human forms, The pale survivors followed her remains
Like pollution-nourished worms, Beyond the region of dissolving rains,
To the corpse of greatness cling, Up the cold mountain she was wont to call
Murdered, and now mouldering: Her tomb; and on Chiavenna's precipice
But if Freedom should awake They raised a pyramid of lasting ice,
In her omnipotence, and shake Whose polished sides, ere day had yet begun,
From the Celtic Anarch's hold Caught the first glow of the unrisen sun,
All the keys of dungeons cold, The last, when it had sunk; and through the night
Where a hundred cities lie The charioteers of Arctos wheeled round
Chained like thee, ingloriously, Its glittering point, as seen from Helen's home,
Thou and all thy sister band Whose sad inhabitants each
Might adorn this sunny land, year With willing steps climbing that rugged height,
Twiping memories of old time
With new virtues more sublime; And hang long locks of hair, and garlands bound With amaranth flowers,which, in the clime's despite,
If not, perish thou and they, Filled the frore air with unaccustomed light:
Clouds which stain truth's rising day Such flowers, as in the wintry memory bloom
By her sun consumed away, Of one friend left, adorned that frozen tomb.
Earth can spare ye: while like flowers,
In the waste of years and hours, Helen, whose spirit was of softer mould,
From your dust new nations spring Whose sufferings too were less, death slowlier led With more kindly blossoming. Into the peace of his dominion cold:
Perish ! let there only be She died among her kindred, being old.
Floating o'er thy hearthless sea, And know, that if love die not in the dead
As the garment of thy sky As in the living, none of mortal kind
Clothes the world immortally,
One remembrance, more sublime
Which scarce hides thy visage wan; LINES WRITTEN AMONG THE EUGA
That a tempest-cleaving swan
Of the songs of Albion,
Driven from his ancestral streams Ocean's child, and then his queen;
By the might of evil dreams, Now is come a darker day,
Found a nest in thee; and ocean And thou soon must be his prey,
Welcomed him with such emotion If the power that raised thee here
That its joy grew his, and sprung Hallow so thy watery bier.
From his lips like music flung A less drear ruin then than now,
O'er a mighty thunder-fit, With thy conquest-branded brow
Chastening terror: what though yet Stooping to the slave of slaves
Poesy's unfailing river, From thy throne, among the waves
Which through Albion winds for ever,
Lashing with melodious wave
Over all between the Po Many a sacred poet's grave,
And the eastern Alpine snow, Mourn its latest nursling Aled !
Under the mighty Austrian. What though thou with all thy dead
Sin smiled so as Sin only can, Scarce can for this fame repay
And since that time, aye long before, Aught thine own,-oh, rather say,
Both have ruled from shore to shore, Though thy sins and slaveries foul
That incestuous pair, who follow Overcloud a sunlike soul!
Tyrants as the sun the swallow, As the ghost of Homer clings
As Repentance follows Crime,
And as changes follow Time.
In thine halls the lamp of learning, Like omniscient power, which he
Padua, now no more is burning ; Imaged ’mid mortality;
Like a meteor, whose wild way As the love from Petrarch's urn
Is lost over the grave of day, Yet amid yon hills doth burn,
It gleams betrayed and to betray: A quenchless lamp, by which the heart
Once remotest nations came Sees things unearthly; so thou art,
To adore that sacred flame, Mighty spirit: so shall be
When it lit not many a hearth The city that did refuge thee.
On this cold and gloomy earth:
Now new fires from antique light Lo, the sun floats up the sky
Spring beneath the wide world's might; Like thought-winged liberty,
But their spark lies dead in thee, Till the universal light
Trampled out by tyranny. Seems to level plain and height;
As the Norway woodman quells, From the sea a mist has spread,
In the depth of piny dells, And the beams of morn lie dead
One light flame among the brakes, On the towers of Venice now,
While the boundless forest shakes, Like its glory long ago.
And its mighty trunks are torn By the skirts of that grey cloud
By the fire thus lowly born: Many-domed Padua proud
The spark beneath his feet is dead, Stands, a peopled solitude,
He starts to see the flames it fed, 'Mid the harvest shining plain,
Howling through the darkened sky Where the peasant heaps his grain
With myriad tongues victoriously, In the garner of his foe,
And sinks down in fear: so thou, And the milk-white oxen slow
O tyranny, beholdest now With the purple vintage strain,
Light around thee, and thou hearest Heaped upon the creaking wain,
The loud flames ascend, and fearest: That the brutal Celt may swill
Grovel on the earth: aye, hide
In the dust thy purple pride!
Noon descends around me now:
'Tis the noon of autumu's glow, Overgrows this region's foizon,
When a soft and purple mist Sheaves of whom are ripe to come
Like a vaporous amethyst, To destruction's harvest home:
Or an air-dissolved star Men must reap the things they sow,
Mingling light and fragrance, far Force from force must ever flow,
From the curved horizon's bound Or worse! but 'tis a bitter woe
To the point of heaven's profound, That love or reason cannot change
Fills the overflowing sky; The despot's rage, the slave's revenge.
And the plains that silent lie
Underneath, the leaves unsodden Padua, thou within whose walls
Where the infant frost has trodden Those mute guests at festivals,
With his morning-winged feet, Son and Mother, Death and Sin,
Whose bright print is gleaming yet; Played at dice for Ezzelin,
And the red and golden vines, Till Death cried, “I win, I win!"
Piercing with their trellised lines And Sin cursed to lose the wager,
The rough, dark-skirted wilderness; But Death promised, to assuage her,
The dun and bladed grass no less, That he would petition for
Pointing from this hoary tower Her to be made Vice-Emperor,
In the windless air; the flower When the destined years were o'er,
Glimmering at my feet; the line
Of the olive-sandaled Apennine
And the love which heals all strife
Circling, like the breath of life,
All things in that sweet abode
With its own mild brotherhood:
They, not it would change; and soon
Every sprite beneath the moon
Would repent its envy vain,
And the earth grow young again,
HYMN TO INTELLECTUAL BEAUTY.
The awful shadow of some unseen power
Floats though unseen among us; visiting
This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep from flower to lower;
Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain
It visits with inconstant glance (shower,
Each human heart and countenance;
Like hues and harmonies of evening,
Like clouds in starlight widely spread,
Like memory of music fled,
Like aught that for its grace may be
Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.
With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon
Of human thought or form, where art thou gone?
Ask why the sunlight not forever
Weaves rainbows o'er yon mountain river;
Why fear and dream and death and birth
Such gloom, why man has such a scope
(Which like winged winds had borne To that silent isle, which lies 'Mid remembered agonies, The frail bark of this lone being.) Pass, to other sufferers fleeing, And its antient pilot, Pain, Sits beside the helm again.
No voice from some sublimer world hath ever
To sage or poet these responses given:
Therefore the names of Demon, Ghost, and Hed.
Or music by the night wind sent
Or moonlight on a midnight stream,
Other flowering isles must be
Love, hope, and self-esteem, like clouds, depart
And come, for some uncertain moments lent.
Man were immortal, and omnipotent,
Thou messenger of sympathies
That wax and wane in lover's eyes ;
Like darkness to a dying flame !
Depart not, less the grave should be,
While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped
Poets could but find the same Through many a listening chamber, cave and ruin, With as little toil as they,
And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing Would they ever change their hue Hopes of high talk with the departed dead.
As the light camelions do, I called on poisonous names with which our youth Suiting it to every ray
I was not heard : I saw them not: [is fed : Twenty times a day?
When musing deeply on the lot
Poets are on this cold earth,
As camelions might be News of birds and blossoming,
Hidden from their early birth Sudden, thy shadow fell on me:
In a cave beneath the sea; I shrieked, and clasped my hands in ecstacy!
Where light is camelions change,
Where love is not poets do: I vowed that I would dedicate my powers
Fame is love disguised: if few
With beating heart and streaming eyes, even now That poets range.
Yet dare not stain with wealth or power
A poet's free and heavenly mind : Outwatched with me the envious night:
If bright camelions should devour They know that never joy illumed my brow,
Any food but beams and wind, Unlinked with hope that thou wouldst free They would grow as earthly soon This world from its dark slavery,
As their brother lizards are. That thou, O awful Loveliness,
Children of a sunnier star, Wouldst give whate'er these words cannot express.
Spirits from beyond the moon,
O, refuse the boon!
When noon is past: there is a harmony
ODE TO THE WEST WIND.
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead Descended, to my onward life supply
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, Its calm, to one who worships thee,
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, And every form containing thee,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou, Whom, Spirit fair, thy spells did bind
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill I met a traveller from an antique land,
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) Who said: two vast and trunkless legs of stone With living hues and odours, plain and hill: Stand in the desart. Near them, on the sand, Wild spirit which art moving every where; Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, Destroyer and preserver; hear, O hear! And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive,stamped on these lifeless things, Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's comThe hand that mocked them and the heart that fed: motion, And on the pedestal these words appear:
Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed, “ My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Shook from the tangled boughs of heaven and ocean, Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair !"
Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
On the blue surface of thine airy surge, Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Of some Serce mænad, even from the dim verge
of the horizon to the zenith's height, AN EXHORTATION.
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge Camelions feed on light and air:
Of the dying year, to which this closing night Poets' food is love and fame:
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre, If in this wide world of care
Vaulted with all thy congregated might