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I LOVED - alas ! our life is love ;
But when we cease to breathe and move
I do suppose love ceases too.
I thought, but not as now I do,
Keen thoughts and bright of linked lore,
Of all that men had thought before,
And all that nature shows, and more.
And still I love and still I think,
But strangely, for my heart can drink
The dregs of such despair, and live,
And love ;
And if I think, my thoughts come fast,
I mix the present with the past,
And each seems uglier than the last.
Sometimes I see before me flee
A silver spirit's form, like thee,
O Leonora, and I sit
Still watching it,
Till by the grated casement's ledge
It fades, with such a sigh, as sedge
Breathes o'er the breezy streamlet's edge.
PALACE-ROOF of cloudless nights !
Paradise of golden lights!
Deep, immeasurable, vast,
Which art now, and which wert then !
Of the present and the past,
Of the eternal where and when,
Presence-chamber, temple, home,
Of acts and ages yet to come!
Glorious shapes have life in thee,
Earth, and all earth's company;
Living globes which ever throng
Thy deep chasms and wildernesses;
And green worlds that glide along;
And swift stars with flashing tresses;
And icy moons most cold and bright,
And mighty suns beyond the night,
Atoms of intensest light.
Even thy name is as a god,
Heaven ! for thou art the abode
Of that power which is the glass
Wherein man his nature sees.
Generations as they pass
Worship thee with bended knees.
Their unremaining gods and they
Like a river roll away :
Thou remainest such alway.
Thou art but the mind's first chamber, Round which its young fancies clamber,
Like weak insects in a cave, Lighted up by stalactites;
But the portal of the grave,
Where a world of new delights
Will make thy best glories seem
But a dim and noonday gleam
From the shadow of a dream !
Peace ! the abyss is wreathed with scorn At your presumption, atom-born!
What is heaven? and what are ye Who its brief expanse inherit ?
Yec, Park, and pale, and hectic red,
Pescience store tedes: 0, 60,
Wzo charistest to their dart intry bed
The winged seeds, where they be cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill :
Wild Spirit, which art moving every where;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, O, hear!
Thou on whose stream, ʼmid the steep sky's commotion, Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed, Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,
Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine airy surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head
Of some fierce Mænad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith's height
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge
Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might
Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst: O, hear !
Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lulled by the coil of his crystalline streams,
Beside a pumice isle in Baiæ's bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave's intenser day,
All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic's level powers