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That time is dead forever, child,
Drowned, frozen, dead forever!
We look on the past
And stare aghast
At the spectres wailing, pale and ghast,
Of hopes which thou and I beguiled
To death on life's dark river.
The stream we gazed on then, rolled by;
Its waves are unreturning;
But we'yet stand
In a lone land,
Like tombs to mark the memory
Of hopes and fears, which fade and flee
In the light of life's dim morning.
November 5th, 1817.
Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory-
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead, "
A re heaped for the beloved's bed ;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.
Wild, pale, and wonder-stricken, even as one
Who staggers forth into the air and sun
From the dark chamber of a mortal fever,
Bewildered, and incapable, and ever .
Fancying strange comments in her dizzy brain
Of usual shapes, till the famı iar train
of objects and of persons passed like things
Strange as a dreamer's mad imaginings,
Ginevra from the nuptial altar went;
The vows to which her lips had sworn assent
Rung in her brain still with a jarring din,
Deafening the lost intelligence within.
And so she moved under the bridal veil,
Which made the paleness of her cheek more pale,
And deepened the faint crimson of her mouth,
And darkened her dark locks, as moonlight doth,
And of the gold and jewels glittering there
She scarce felt conscious,—but the weary glare
Lay like a chaos of unwelcome light, .
• This fragment is part of a poein which Mr. Shelley intended to write, founded on a story to be found in the first volume of a book entitled “ L'Osservatore Florentino."
Vexing the sense with gorgeous undelight.
A moonbeam in the shadow of a cloud
Was less heavenly fair-her face was bowed,
And as she passed, the diamonds in her hair
Were mirrored in the polished marble stair
Which led from the cathedral to the street;
And ever as she went her light fair feet
Erased these images.
The bride-inaidens who round her thronging came, Some with a sense of self-rebuke and shame, Envying the unenviable; and others Making the joy which should have been anothers's Their own by gentle sympathy; and some Sighing to think of an unhappy home : Some few admiring what can ever lure Maidens to leave the heaven serene and pure of parents’ smiles for life’s great cheat; a thing Better to taste sweet in imagining
But they are all dispersed-and, lo! she stands
Looking in idle grief on her white hands,
Alone within the garden now her own;
And through the sunny air, with jangling tone,
The music of the merry marriage bells,
Killing the azure silence, sinks and swells ;-
Absorbed like one within a dream who dreams
That he is dreaming, until sluniber seems
A mockery of itself -- when suddenly
Antonio stood before her, pale as she.
With agony, with sorrow, and with pride,
He lifted his wan eyes upon the bride, And said _“ Is this thy faith ?" and then as one Whose sleeping face is stricken by the sun With light like a harsh voice, which bids him rise And look upon his day of life with eyes Which weep in vain that they can dream no more, Ginevra saw her lover, and forbore To shriek or faint, and checked the stilling blood .. Rushing upon her heart, and unsubdued Said “ Friend, if earthly violence or ill, Suspicion, donbt, or the tyrannic will Of parents, chance, or custom, time or change, Or circuinstance, or terror, or revenge, Or wildered looks, or words, or evil speech, With all their stings [ ) can impeach Our love, we love not:-if the grave which hides The victim from the tyrant, and divides The cheek that whitens from the eyes that dart Imperious inquisition to the heart That is another's, could dissever ours, We love not.”'_“ What do not the silent hours Beckon thee to Gherardi's bridal bed ? Is not that ring”- a pledge, he would have said, Of broken vows, but she with patient look The golden circle from her finger took, And said—Accept this token of my faith, The pledge of vows to be absolved by death ; And I am dead or shall be soon--my knell Will mix it's music with that merry bell, Does it not sound as if they sweetly said • We toll a corpse out of a marriage bed ?'
The flowers upon my bridal chamber strewn , :
Will serve unfaded for my bier-s0 soon
That even the dying violet will not die
Before Ginevra.” The strong fantasy
Had made her accents weaker and more weak,
And quenched the crimson life upon her cheek,
And glazed her eyes, and spread an atmosphere
Round her, which chilled the burning noon with fear,
Making her but an image of the thought,
Which, like a prophet or a shadow, brought
News of the terrors of the coming time. .."
Like an accuser branded with the crime
He would have cast on a beloved friend,
Whose dying eyes reproach not to the end
The pale betrayer -- he then with vain repentance
Would share, he cannot now avert, the sentence-
Antonio stood and would have spoken, when
The compound voice of women and of men!
Was heard approaching ; he retired, while she
Was led amid the admiring company
Back to the palace,—and her maidens soon
Changed her attire for the afternoon,
And left her at her own request to keep
An hour of quiet and rest :-like one asleep
With open eyes and folded hands she lay,
Pale in the light of the declining day.
Meanwhile the day sinks fast, the sun is set,
And in the lighted hall the guests are met ;
The beautiful looked lovelier in the light
Of love, and admiration, and delight