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XXXIV.

This boat she moor'd upon her fount, and lit
A living spirit within all its frame,
Breathing the soul of swiftness into it.

Couch'd on the fountain like a panther tame, One of the twain at Evan's feet that sit;

Or as on Vesta's sceptre a swift flame, Or on blind Homer's heart a winged thought,In joyous expectation lay the boat.

XXXV.

Then by strange art she kneaded fire and snow
Together, tempering the repugnant mass
With liquid love-all things together grow

Through which the harmony of love can pass;
And a fair Shape out of her hands did flow
A living Image, which did far surpass
In beauty that bright shape of vital stone
Which drew the heart out of Pygmalion.
XXXVI.

A sexless thing it was, and in its growth
It seem'd to have developed no defect
Of either sex, yet all the grace of both,-

In gentleness and strength its limbs were deck'd; The bosom lightly swell'd with its full youth,

The countenance was such as might select Some artist that his skill should never die, Imaging forth such perfect purity.

XXXVII.

From its smooth shoulders hung two rapid wings,
Fit to have borne it to the seventh sphere,
Tipt with the speed of liquid lightnings,
Dyed in the odors of the atmosphere:

She led her creature to the boiling springs

Where the light boat was moor'd,-and said"Sit here!"

And pointed to the prow, and took her seat
Beside the rudder with opposing feet.

XXXVIII.

XLI.

And ever down the prone vale, like a cloud
Upon a stream of wind, the pinnace went:
Now lingering on the pools, in which abode
The calm and darkness of the deep content
In which they paused; now o'er the shallow road
Of white and dancing waters all besprent
With sands and polish'd pebbles :-mortal boat
In such a shallow rapid could not float.

XLII.

And down the earthquaking cataracts which shiver Their snow-like waters into golden air,

Or under chasms unfathomable ever

Sepulchre them, till in their rage they tear A subterranean portal for the river,

It fled-the circling sunbows did upbear Its fall down the hoar precipice of spray, Lighting it far upon its lampless way.

XLIII.

And when the wizard lady would ascend

The labyrinths of some many-winding vale, Which to the inmost mountain upward tend

She call'd" Hermaphroditus!" and the pale And heavy hue which slumber could extend

Over its lips and eyes, as on the gale A rapid shadow from a slope of grass, Into the darkness of the stream did pass.

XLIV.

And it unfurl'd its Heaven-color'd pinions,
With stars of fire spotting the stream below,
And from above into the Sun's dominions

Flinging a glory, like the golden glow

In which spring clothes her emerald-winged minions
All interwoven with fine feathery snow

And moonlight splendor of intensest rime,
With which frost paints the pines in winter-time.

XLV.

And down the streams which clove those mountains And then it winnow'd the Elysian air

vast

Around their inland islets, and amid

The panther-peopled forests, whose shade cast Darkness and odors, and a pleasure hid

In melancholy gloom, the pinnace past;

By many a star-surrounded pyramid

Of icy crag cleaving the purple sky,
And caverns yawning round unfathomably.

XXXIX.

The silver noon into that winding dell,
With slanted gleam athwart the forest tops,
Temper'd like golden evening, feebly fell;

A green and glowing light, like that which drops
From folded lilies in which glow-worms dwell,
When earth over her face night's mantle wraps;
Between the sever'd mountains lay on high
Over the stream, a narrow rift of sky.

XL.

And ever as she went, the Image lay

With folded wings and unawaken'd eyes; And o'er its gentle countenance did play

The busy dreams, as thick as summer flies, Chasing the rapid smiles that would not stay,

And drinking the warm tears, and the sweet sighs Inhaling, which, with busy murmur vain, They had aroused from that full heart and brain.

Which ever hung about that lady bright, With its ethereal vans-and speeding there,

Like a star up the torrent of the night,

Or a swift eagle in the morning glare

Breasting the whirlwind with impetuous flight; The pinnace, oar'd by those enchanted wings, Clove the fierce streams towards their upper springs

XLVI.

The water flash'd like sunlight, by the prow

Of a noon-wandering meteor flung to Heaven; The still air seem'd as if its waves did flow

The lady's radiant hair stream'd to and fro:
In tempest down the mountains,-loosely driven

Indignant and impetuous, roar'd to feel
Beneath, the billows having vainly striven
The swift and steady motion of the keel.

XLVII.

Or, when the weary moon was in the wane,
Or in the noon of interlunar night,
The lady-witch in visions could not chain
Her spirit; but sail'd forth under the light
Of shooting stars, and både extend amain

His storm-outspeeding wings, th' Hermaphrodite,
She to the Austral waters took her way,
Beyond the fabulous Thamondocona.

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LV.

These were tame pleasures.-She would often climb
The steepest ladder of the crudded rack
Up to some beaked cape of cloud sublime,
And like Arion on the dolphin's back
Ride singing through the shoreless air. Oft-time
Following the serpent lightning's winding track
She ran upon the platforms of the wind,
And laugh'd to hear the fire-balls roar behind.

LVI.

And sometimes to those streams of upper air, Which whirl the earth in its diurnal round, She would ascend, and win the spirits there

To let her join their chorus. Mortals found That on those days the sky was calm and fair, And mystic snatches of harmonious sound Wander'd upon the earth where'er she past, And happy thoughts of hope, too sweet to last. LVII..

But her choice sport was, in the hours of sleep, To glide adown old Nilus, when he threads Egypt and Æthiopia, from the steep

Of utmost Axumè, until he spreads,

Like a calm flock of silver-fleeced sheep,
His waters on the plain: and crested heads
Of cities and proud temples gleam amid,
And many a vapor-belted pyramid.

LVIII.

By Mæris and the Mareotid lakes,

Strewn with faint blooms like bridal-chamber floors, Where naked boys bridling tame water-snakes, Or charioteering ghastly alligators,

Had left on the sweet waters mighty wakes

Of those huge forms:- within the brazen doors Of the great Labyrinth slept both boy and beast, Tired with the pomp of their Osirian feast.

LIX.

And where within the surface of the river
The shadows of the massy temples lie,
And never are erased-but tremble ever
Like things which every cloud can doom to die,
Through lotus-paven canals, and wheresoever

The works of man pierced that serenest sky
With tombs, and towers, and fanes, 't was her delight
To wander in the shadow of the night.

*LX.

With motion like the spirit of that wind

Whose soft step deepens slumber, her light feet Past through the peopled haunts of human-kind, Scattering sweet visions from her presence sweet, Through fane and palace-court and labyrinth mined With many a dark and subterranean street Under the Nile; through chambers high and deep She past, observing mortals in their sleep.

LXI.

A pleasure sweet doubtless it was to see
Mortals subdued in all the shapes of sleep.
Here lay two sister-twins in infancy;

There, a lone youth who in his dreams did weep Within, two lovers link'd innocently

In their loose locks which over both did creep Like ivy from one stem;-and there lay calm, Old age with snow-bright hair and folded palm

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But not the less with impotence of will

Was driven;-all those who had grown old in power They wheel, though ghastly shadows interpose

Or misery, all who had their age subdued

By action or by suffering, and whose hour
Was drain'd to its last sand in weal or woe,

Round them and round each other, and fulfil

Their work, and in the dust from whence they rose
Sink, and corruption veils them as they lie,

So that the trunk survived both fruit and flower;-And past in these performs what [

All those whose fame or infamy must grow
Till the great winter lay the form and name
Of this green earth with them for ever low;-

] in those

Struck to the heart by this sad pageantry,
Half to myself I said-And what is this?
Whose shape is that within the car? And why-

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