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Fiery and lurid, struggling underneath, The agonies of anguish and of death.

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.

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 show

Their mailed radiance, as it were to mock
The torture and the death within, and saw
The solid air with many a ragged jaw.

And from a stone beside, a poisonous eft
Peeps idly into these Gorgonian eyes;
Whilst in the air a ghastly bat, bereft

Of sense, has flitted 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 vapor of the air Become a [ ] and ever-shifting mirror

Of all the beauty and the terror thereA woman's countenance, with serpent locks, Gazing in death on heaven from those wet rocks. Florence, 1819.


RARELY, rarely, comest thou,
Spirit of Delight!
Wherefore hast thou left me now

Many a day and night? Many a weary night and day "Tis since thou art fled away.

How shall ever one like me
Win thee back again?
With the joyous and the free
Thou wilt scoff at pain.
Spirit false! thou hast forgot
All but those who need thee not.

As a lizard with the shade

Of a trembling leaf,
Thou with sorrow art dismay'd;
Even the sighs of grief
Reproach thee, that thou art not near,
And reproach thou wilt not hear.

Let me set my mournful ditty
To a merry measure,
Thou wilt never come for pity,
Thou wilt come for pleasure:

Pity then will cut away

Those cruel wings, and thou wilt stay.

I love all that thou lovest,

Spirit of Delight!

The fresh Earth in new leaves drest,
And the starry night,

Autumn evening, and the morn
When the golden mists are born.

I love snow, and all the forms
Of the radiant frost;

I love waves, and winds, and storms,
Every thing almost

Which is Nature's, and may be
Untainted by man's misery.

I love tranquil solitude,
And such society

As is quiet, wise and good.
Between thee and me

What difference? but thou dost possess
The things I seek, not love them less.

I love Love-though he has wings, And like light can flee,

But above all other things,

Spirit, I love thee

Thou art love and life! O come, Make once more my heart thy home.


THUS to be lost, and thus to sink and die,
Perchance were death indeed!-Constantia, turn'
In thy dark eyes a power like light doth lie,
Even though the sounds which were thy voice,
which burn

Between thy lips, are laid to sleep;

Within thy breath, and on thy hair, like odor it is


And from thy touch like fire doth leap.

Even while I write, my burning cheeks are wetAlas, that the torn heart can bleed, but not forget'

A breathless awe, like the swift change
Unseen, but felt in youthful slumbers,
Wild, sweet, but uncommunicably strange,

Thou breathest now in fast ascending numbers.
The cope of heaven seems rent and cloven
By the enchantment of thy strain,
And on my shoulders wings are woven,
To follow its sublime career,

Beyond the mighty moons that wane

Upon the verge of nature's utmost sphere,
Till the world's shadowy walls are past and dis


Her voice is hovering o'er my soul-it lingers, O'ershadowing it with soft and lulling wings, The blood and life within those snowy fingers

Teach witchcraft to the instrumental strings My brain is wild, my breath comes quickThe blood is listening in my frame, And thronging shadows, fast and thick, Fall on my overflowing eyes; My heart is quivering like a flame;

As morning dew, that in the sunbeam dies, I am dissolved in these consuming ecstasies.

I have no life, Constantia, now, but thee,
Whilst, like the world-surrounding air, thy song
Flows on, and fills all things with melody.-

Now is thy voice a tempest swift and strong,
On which, like one in trance upborne,

Secure o'er rocks and waves I sweep, Rejoicing like a cloud of morn.

Now 'tis the breath of summer night, Which, when the starry waters sleep,

Round western isles, with incense-blossoms bright, Lingering, suspends my soul in its voluptuous flight.



THE waters are flashing, The white hail is dashing, The lightnings are glancing, The hoar-spray is dancingAway!

The whirlwind is rolling,
The thunder is tolling,

The forest is swinging,
The minster-bells ringing-
Come away!

The Earth is like Ocean, Wreck-strewn and in motion: Bird, beast, man and worm Have crept out of the stormCome away!


"Our boat has one sail,
And the helmsman is pale ;-
A bold pilot I trow,
Who should follow us now,"—
Shouted He-

And she cried: "Ply the oar!
Put off gaily from shore !"-
As she spoke, bolts of death
Mix'd with hail speck'd their path
O'er the sea.

And from isle, tower and rock, The blue beacon cloud broke, And though dumb in the blast, The red cannon flash'd fast From the lee.


"And fear'st thou, and fear'st thou? And see'st thou, and hear'st thou ?

And drive we not free
O'er the terrible sea,
I and thou?"

One boat-cloak did cover
The loved and the lover-
Their blood beats one measure
They murmur proud pleasure
Soft and low;-

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