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Rejoiced that clamorous spell and magic verse
Her wan disasters could disperse.

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The GIFT to King Amphion
That walled a city with its melody
Was for belief no dream :- thy skill, Arion !
Could humanize the creatures of the sea,
Where men were monsters. A last grace he craves,
Leave for one chant; the dulcet sound
Steals from the deck o'er willing waves,
And listening dolphins gather round.
Self-cast, as with a desperate course,
'Mid that strange audience, he bestrides
A proud One docile as a managed horse;
And singing, while the accordant hand
Sweeps his harp, the Master rides ;
So shall he touch at length a friendly strand,
And he, with his preserver, shine star-bright
In memory, through silent night.

The pipe of Pan, to shepherds
Couched in the shadow of Mænalian pines,
Was passing sweet; the eyeballs of the leopards,
That in high triumph drew the Lord of vines,
How did they sparkle to the cymbal's clang !
While Fauns and Satyrs beat the ground
In cadence, and Silenus swang
This way and that, with wild-flowers crowned.

To life, to life give back thine ear:
Ye who are longing to be rid
Of fable, though to truth subservient, hear
The little sprinkling of cold earth that fell
Echoed from the coffin-lid ;
The convict's summons in the steeple's knell;
“ The vain distress-gun,” from a leeward shore,
Repeated, — heard, and heard no more !

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For terror, joy, or pity, Vast is the compass and the swell of notes : From the babe's first cry to voice of regal city, Rolling a solemn, sea-like bass, that floats Far as the woodlands, — with the trill to blend Of that shy songstress, whose love-tale Might tempt an angel to descend, While hovering o'er the moonlight vale. Ye wandering Utterances, has Earth no scheme, No scale of moral music, to unite Powers that survive but in the faintest dream Of memory ? - O that ye might stoop to bear Chains, such precious chains of sight As labored minstrelsies through ages wear! O for a balance fit the truth to tell Of the Unsubstantial, pondered well!

XII.

By one pervading spirit
Of tones and numbers all things are controlled,

As sages taught, where faith was found to merit
Initiation in that mystery old.
The heavens, whose aspect makes our minds as still
As they themselves appear to be,
Innumerable voices fill
With everlasting harmony;
The towering headlands, crowned with mist,
Their feet among the billows, know
That Ocean is a mighty harmonist;
Thy pinions, universal Air,
Ever waving to and fro,
Are delegates of harmony, and bear
Strains that support the Seasons in their round;
Stern Winter loves a dirge-like sound.

XIII. Break forth into thanksgiving, Ye banded instruments of wind and chords ! Unite, to magnify the Ever-living, Your inarticulate notes with the voice of words ! Nor hushed be service from the lowing mead, Nor mute the forest hum of noon; Thou too be heard, lone eagle! freed From snowy peak and cloud, attune Thy hungry barkings to the hymn Of joy, that from her utmost walls The six-days' Work by flaming Seraphim Transmits to Heaven! As Deep to Deep Shouting through one valley calls, All worlds, all natures, mood and measure keep

For praise and ceaseless gratulation, poured
Into the ear of God, their Lord !

XIV. A Voice to Light gave Being ; To Time, and Man his earth-born chronicler ; A Voice shall finish doubt and dim foreseeing, And sweep away life's visionary stir ; The trumpet, (we, intoxicate with pride, Arm at its blast for deadly wars,) To archangelic lips applied, The grave shall open, quench the stars. O Silence ! are Man’s noisy years No more than moments of thy life? Is Harmony, blest queen of smiles and tears, With her smooth tones and discords just, Tempered into rapturous strife, Thy destined bond-slave ? No! though earth be

dust And vanish, though the heavens dissolve, her stay Is in the WORD, that shall not pass away.

1828.

PETER BELL.

A TALE.

What's in a name!

Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cæsar!

TO ROBERT SOUTHEY, ESQ., P. L., ETC., ETC.

MY DEAR FRIEND: — The Tale of Peter Bell, which I now introduce to your notice, and to that of the Public, has, in its manuscript state, nearly survived its minority; — for it first saw the light in the summer of 1798. During this long interval, pains have been taken at different times to make the production less unworthy of a favorable reception; or, rather, to fit it for filling permanently a station, however humble, in the literature of our country. This has, indeed, been the aim of all my endeavors in Poetry, which, you know, have been sufficiently laborious to prove that I deem the Art not lightly to be approached; and that the attainment of excellence in it may laudably be made the principal object of intellectual pursuit by any man, who, with reasonable consideration of circumstances, has faith in his own impulses.

The Poem of Peter Bell, as the Prologue will show, was composed under a belief that the Imagination not only does not require for its exercise the intervention of supernatural agency, but that, though such agency be excluded, the faculty may be called forth as imperiously, and for kindred results of pleasure, by incidents, within the compass of poetic probability, in the humblest departments of daily life. Since that Prologue was written, you have exhibited most splendid effects of judicious daring, in the opposite and usual course. Let this acknowledgment make my peace with the lovers of the super

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