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II. • Then, like the forests of some pathless mountain, Two hours, whose mighty circle did embrace Which from remotest glens two warring winds More time than might make grey the infant world, Involve in fire, which not the loosen'd fountain Rolled thus, a weary and tumultuous space : Of broadest floods might quench, shall all the kinds When the third came, like mist on breezes curl'd Of evil, catch from our uniting minds
Frum my dim sleep a shadow was unfurld : The spark which must consume them ;-Cythoa then Methought, upon the threshold of a cave Will have cast off the impotence that binds
I sate with Cythna; drooping briony, pearled Her childhood now, and through the paths of men With dew from the wild streamlet's shatter'd wave, Will pass, as the charm'd bird that haunts ihe serpent's Hung, where we sate to taste the joys which Nature den.
IIL - We part!-0 Laon, I must dare nor tremble
We lived a day as we were wont to live,
And the bright air o'er every shape did weave
Had being clearer than its own could be,
And Cythna's pure and radiant self was shown As one awakes from sleep, and wildly prest
In this strange vision, so divine to me, My bosom, her whole frame impetuously possesi. That if I loved before, now love was agony.
A tumult and a rush of thronging feet
And grasp'd a fourth by the throat, and with loud cry
XI. The scene was changed, and away, away, away!
What follow'd then, I know not-for a stroke Through the air and over the sea we sped,
On my raised arm and naked head, came down, And Cythna in my sheltering bosom lay,
Filling my eyes with blood-when I awoke, And the winds bore me-through the darkness spread
I felt that they had bound me in my swoon, Around, the gaping earth then vomiled
And up a rock which overhangs the town, Legions of foul and ghastly shapes, which hung By the steep path were bearing me: below, Upon my flight; and ever as we fled,
The plain was fill'd with slaughter,--overtbrown They pluck'd at Cythina-soon to me then clung The vineyards and the harvests, and the glow A sense of actual things those monstrous dreams among. Of blazing roofs shone far o'er the white Ocean's flow.
XV. • Look not so, Laon—say farewell in hope,
The noon was calm and bright:-around that column These bloody men are but the slaves who bear The overhanging sky and circling sea Their mistress to her task-it was my scope
Spread forth in silentness profound and solemn The slavery where they drag me now, to share, The darkness of brief frenzy cast on me, And among captives willing chains to wear
So that I knew not my own misery: Awhile, the rest thou knowest-return, dear friend! The islands and the mountains in the day Let our first triumph trample the despair
Like clouds reposed afar; and I could see Which would ensnare us now, for in the end.
The town among the woods below that lay, In victory or in death our hopes and fears must blend. And the dark rocks which bound the bright and glassy
lo that broad glare, yet sound to me none came, But of the living blood that ran within my frame.
Their watch in some dim charnel's loneliness,
XXIIT. The peace of madness fled, and ah, too soon!
The forms which peopled this terrific trance A ship was lying on the sunny main,
I well remember-like a quire of devils, Its sails were tlagging in the breathless noon
Around me they involved a giddy dance; Jis sladow lay beyond—that sight again
Legions seem'd gathering from the misty levels
Of Ocean, to supply those ceaseless revels,
Foul, ceaseless shadows :-- thought could not divide I knew that ship bore Cythna o'er the plain
The actual world from these entangling evils, Of waters, to her blighting slavery sold,
Which so bemock`d themselves, that I descried And watch'd it with such thoughts as must remain untold. All shapes like ininc own self, hideously multiplied.
I would have risen, but ere that I could rise,
Leaning that I might eat, I stretch'd and clung
Into my soul-link'd remembrance lent
A woman's shape, now lank and cold and blue,
Hung there, the white and hollow cheek I drew
To my dry lips-what radiance did inform Or when the stars their visible courses run,
Thosc horny eyes? whose was that wither's form? Or morning, the wide universe was spread
Alas, alas! it seem'd that Cythna's gliost In dreary calmness round me, did I shun
Laugh'd in those looks, and that the tlesh was warm Its presence, nor seek refuge with the dead
Within my tecth!-a whirlwind kcen as frost From one faint hope whose flower a dropping poison shed. Then in its sinking gulfs my sickening spirit tost. XXI.
XXVII. Two days thus past-I neither raved nor died
Then seem'd it that a tameless hurricane Thirst raged within me, like a scorpion's nest
Arose, and bore me in its dark career Built in mine entrails : I had spurn'd aside
Beyond the sun, beyond the stars that wane The water-vessel, while despair possest
On the verge of formless space-it languish'd there, My thoughts, and now no drop remain'd! the uprest And dying, left a silence lone and drear, of the third sun brought hunger, but the crust More horrible than famine :-in the deep Which had been left, was to my craving breast The shape of an old man did then appear, Fucl, not food. I chew'd the bitter dust,
Stately and beautiful, that dreadful sleep And bit my bloodless arm, and lick'd the brazen rust. His heavenly smiles dispersed, and I could wake and weep.
The midnight pines, the grate did then upclose,
On sidelong wing, into a silent cove,
As dew to drooping leaves :-the chain, with sound Like earthquakc, througl. the chasm of that steep stair did bound,
So that I fear'd some Spirit, fell and dark,
grey tower, which stood
Those dreadful thoughits the gentle grandsire bent,
Was tapestried, where me his soft bands placed
III. A soft and healing potion to my lips
The moon was darting through the lattices At intervals he raised —now look'd on high,
Its yellow light, warm as the beams of dayTo mark if yet the starry giant dips
So warm, that to admit the dewy breeze, His zone in the dim sea-now cheeringly,
The old man open'd them; the moonlight lay Though he said little, did he speak to me.
Upon a lake whose waters wore their play « It is a friend beside thee---take good cheer,
Even to the threshold of that lonely home: Poor vicum, thou art pow at liberty!»
Within was seen in the dim wavering ray, I joy'd as those a human tone to hear,
The antique sculptured roof, and many a tome Who in cells deep and lone bave languish'd many a year. Whose lore had made that sage all that he had become.
To hang in hope over a dying child,
Was Cythna then a dream, and all my youth,
The wonders of his sylvan solitude,
Has crept; the hope which wilder'd it has lent,
A glance as keen as is the lightning's stroke
They have been heard, and men aspire to more
XIII. Thus slowly from my brain the darkness roll'd,
«In secret chambers parents read, and weep, My thoughts their duc array did re-assume
My writings to their babes, no longer blind; Through the enchantments of that Hermit old;
And young men gather when their tyrants sleep, Then I bethought me of the glorious doom
And vows of faith each to the other bind; Of those who sternly struggle to relume
And marriagcable maidens, who have pineal The lamp of Hope o'er man's bewilder'd lot,
With love, till life seem'd melting through their look, And, sitting by the waters, in the gloom
A warmer zeal, a nobler hope now find;
bosom thus is rapt and shook, That heart which had grown old, but had corrupted not. Like autumn's myriad leaves in one swolo mountain
XIV. That boary man had spent his livelong age
« The tyrants of the Golden City tremble In converse with the dead, who leave the stamp Al voices which are heard about the streets, Of over-burning thoughts on many a page,
The ministers of fraud can scarce dissemble When they are gone into the senseless damp
The lies of their own heart; but when one meets Of graves;— his spirit thus became a lamp
Another at the shrine, he inly weets, Of splendour, like to those on which it fed
Though he says nothing, that the truth is known; Through peopled haunts, the City and the Camp, Murderers are pale upon the judgment seats,
Deep thirst for knowledge had his footsteps led, And gold grows vile even to the wealthy crone, And all the ways of men among mankind he read.
And laughter fills the Fane, and curses shake the Throne.
XV. But custom maketh blind and obdurate
Kind thoughts, and mighty hopes, and gentle deeds The lofliest hearts :-he bad beheld the woe
Abound, for fearless love, and the pure law In which mankind was bound, but deeni'd that fate Of mild equality and peace, succeeds Which mirde them abject, would preserve then so ; To faiths which long have held the world in awe, And in such faith, some stcdfast joy to know,
Bloody and false, and cold :-as whirlpools draw He sought this cell: but when fame went abroad, All wrecks of Ocean to their chasm, the sway That one in Argolis did undergo
Of thy strong genius, Laon, which foresaw Torture for liberty, and that the crowd
This hope, compels all spirits to obey, lligh truths from gifted lips had heard and understood; Which round thy secret strength now throng in wide
XVI. And that the multitude was gathering wide;
• For I have been thy passive instrument His spirit leap'd within his aged frame,
(As thus the old man spake, his countenance In lonely peace he could no more abide,
Gleamed ou me like a spirit's) — thou hast lent But to the land on which the victor's flame
To me, to all, the
power to advance Had feu, my native land, the Hermit came:
Towards this unforeseen deliverance Each heart was there a shield, and every longue From our ancestral chains-aye, thou didst rear Was as a sword of truth-young Laon's name
That lamp of hope on bighi, which time nor chance, Rallied their secret hopes, though tyrants sung Nor change may not extinguish, and my share Ilymns of triumphant joy our scatter'd tribes among. Of good, was o'er the world its gather'd beams to bear.