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Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white, alas !
My heart beats loud and fast ;
Oh ! press it to thine own again,
Where it will break at last.

TO SOPHIA.

I.

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.

II.

Thy deep eyes, a double planet,

Gaze the wisest into madness
With soft clear fire. The winds that fan it

Are those thoughts of gentle gladness
Which, like zephyrs on the billow,
Make thy gentle soul their pillow.

II.

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.

IV.

As dew beneath the wind of morning,

As the sea which whirlwinds waken,
As the birds at thunder's warning,

As aught mute but deeply shaken,
As one who feels an unseen spirit,
Is my heart when thine is near it.

ON THE MEDUSA OF LEONARDO DA VINCI,

IN THE FLORENTINE GALLERY.

I.
It lieth, gazing on the midnight sky,

Upon the cloudy mountain peak supine ;
Below, far lands are seen tremblingly;

Its horror and its beauty are divine.
Upon its lips and eyelids seems to lie

Loveliness like a shadow, from which shine,
Fiery and lurid, struggling underneath,
The agonies of anguish and of death.

II.
Yet it is less the horror than the grace

Which turns the gazer's spirit into stone ;
Whereon the lineaments of that dead face

Are graven, till the characters be grown
Into itself, and thought no more can trace ;

'Tis the melodious hue of beauty thrown
Athwart the darkness and the glare of pain,
Which humanize and harmonize the strain.

III.
And from its head as from one body grow,
As grass out of a watery rock,

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.

IV.
And from a stone beside, a poisonous eft

Peeps idly into those Gorgonian eyes;
Whilst in the air a ghastly bat, bereft

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.

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'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 !
Non è più come era prima !)

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.

II.

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

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