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Let thy love in kisses rain
Thou art fair, and few are fairer,
Of the nymphs of earth or ocean. They are robes that fit the wearer
Those soft limbs of thine, whose motion Ever falls and shifts and glances, As the life within them dances.
Thy deep eyes, a double planet,
Gaze the wisest into madness
Are those thoughts of gentle gladness
If whatever face thou paintest
In those eyes grows pale with pleasure, If the fainting soul is faintest
When it hears thy harp's wild measure, Wonder not that, when thou speakest, Of the weak my heart is weakest.
As dew beneath the wind of morning,
As the sea which whirlwinds waken,
As aught mute but deeply shaken,
ON THE MEDUSA OF LEONARDO DA VINCI,
IN THE FLORENTINE GALLERY.
Upon the cloudy mountain peak supine ;
Its horror and its beauty are divine.
Loveliness like a shadow, from which shine,
Which turns the gazer's spirit into stone ;
Are graven, till the characters be grown
'Tis the melodious hue of beauty thrown
Hairs which are vipers, and they curl and flow
And their long tangles in each other lock, And with unending involutions shew
Their mailed radiance, as it were to mock The torture and the death within, and saw The solid air with many a ragged jaw.
Peeps idly into those Gorgonian eyes;
Of sense, has fitted with a mad surprise Out of the cave this hideous light had cleft,
And he comes hastening like a moth that hies After a taper; and the midnight sky Flares, a light more dread than obscurity.
'Tis the tempestuous loveliness of terror ;
For from the serpents gleams a brazen glare Kindled by that inextricable error,
Which makes a thrilling vapour of the air Become a and ever-shifting mirror
Of all the beauty and the terror there A woman's countenance, with serpent locks, Gazing in death on heaven from those wet rocks.
TO WILLIAM SHELLEY.
(With what truth I may say
Roma! Roma! Roma !
1. My lost William, thou in whom
Some bright spirit lived, and did That decaying robe consume
Which its lustre faintly hid, Here its ashes find a tomb,
But beneath this pyramid Thou art not — if a thing divine Like thee can die, thy funeral shrine Is thy mother's grief and mine.
Where art thou, my gentle child?
Let me think thy spirit feeds, With its life intense and mild,
The love of living leaves and weeds, Among these tombs and ruins wild ;
Let me think that through low seeds Of the sweet flowers and sunny grass, Into their hues and scents may pass A portion