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And quaint Priapus with his company,

All came, much wondering how the enwombed rocks Could have brought forth so beautiful a birth; — Her love subdued their wonder and their mirth.


The herdsmen and the mountain maidens came,

And the rude kings of pastoral Garamant — Their spirits shook within them, as a flame

Stirred by the air under a cavern gaunt: Pigmies, and Polyphemes, by many a name,

Centaurs and Satyrs, and such shapes as haunt Wet clefts, — and lumps neither alive nor dead, Dog-headed, bosom-eyed, and bird-footed.


For she was beautiful her beauty made

The bright world dim, and every thing beside Seemed like the fleeting image of a shade :

No thought of living spirit could abide, Which to her looks had ever been betrayed,

On any object in the world so wide, On any hope within the circling skies, But on her form, and in her inmost eyes.

Which when the lady knew, she took her spindle

And twined three threads of fleecy mist, and three Long lines of light, such as the dawn may kindle

The clouds and waves and mountains with ; and she As many star-beams, ere their lamps could dwindle

In the belated moon, wound skilfully;
And with these threads a subtle veil she wove-
A shadow for the splendour of her love.


The deep recesses of her odorous dwelling

Were stored with magic treasures — sounds of air, Which had the power all spirits of compelling,

Folded in cells of crystal silence there;
Such as we hear in youth, and think the feeling

Will never die — yet ere we are aware,
The feeling and the sound are fled and gone,
And the regret they leave remains alone.


And there lay Visions swift, and sweet, and quaint,

Each in its thin sheath, like a chrysalis,
Some eager to burst forth, some weak and faint
With the soft burthen of intensest bliss ;

It was its work to bear to many a saint

Whose heart adores the shrine which holiest is, Even Love's : — and others white, green, grey and black, And of all shapes — and each was at her beck.


And odours in a kind of aviary

Of ever-blooming Eden-trees she kept, Clipt in a floating net, a love-sick Fairy

Had woven from dew-beams while the moon yet slept ; As bats at the wired window of a dairy,

They beat their vans; and each was an adept, When loosed and missioned, making wings of winds, To stir sweet thoughts or sad, in destined minds.


And liquors clear and sweet, whose healthful might

Could medicine the sick soul to happy sleep, And change eternal death into a night

Of glorious dreams — or if eyes needs must weep, Could make their tears all wonder and delight,

She in her crystal vials did closely keep :
If men could drink of those clear vials, 'tis said
The living were not envied of the dead.


Her cave was stored with scrolls of strange device,

The works of some Saturnian Archimage, Which taught the expiations at whose price

Men from the Gods might win that happy age Too lightly lost, redeeming native vice;

And which might quench the Earth-consuming rage Of gold and blood — till men should live and move Harmonious as the sacred stars above ;


And how all things that seem untameable,

Not to be checked and not to be confined, Obey the spells of wisdom's wizard skill ;

Time, earth and fire — the ocean and the wind, And all their shapes — and man's imperial will ;

And other scrolls whose writings did unbind The inmost lore of Love — let the profane Tremble to ask what secrets they contain.


And wondrous works of substances unknown,

To which the enchantment of her father's power Had changed those ragged blocks of savage stone, Were heaped in the recesses of her bower;

Carved lamps and chalices, and vials which shone

In their own golden beams - each like a flower, Out of whose depth a fire-fly shakes his light Under a cypress in a starless night.


At first she lived alone in this wild home,

And her own thoughts were each a minister, Clothing themselves, or with the ocean foam,

Or with the wind, or with the speed of fire, To work whatever purposes might come

Into her mind ; such power her mighty Sire Had girt them with, whether to fly or run, Through all the regions which he shines upon.


The Ocean-nymphs and Hamadryades,

Oreads and Naiads, with long weedy locks, Offered to do her bidding through the seas,

Under the earth, and in the hollow rocks,
And far beneath the matted roots of trees,

And in the knarlèd heart of stubborn oaks,
So they might live for ever in the light
Of her sweet presence

each a satellite.

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