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Hear ye the march as of the Earth-born Forms
The crash and darkness of a thousand storms
Of crags and thunder-clouds?
See ye the banners blazon'd to the day,
Inwrought with emblems of barbaric pride?
The serene Heaven which wraps our Eden wide
The Anarchs of the North lead forth their legions
On Beauty's corse to sickness satiating
They come! The fields they tread look black and hoary With fire-from their red feet the streams run gory!
Exa, the Island of Circe.
The viper was the armorial device of the Visconti, tyrants of Milan.
EPODE II. 6.
Great Spirit, deepest Love!
All things which live and are, within the Italian shore;
Whose woods, rocks, waves, surround it;
O bid those beams be each a blinding brand
Bid thy bright Heaven above,
To make it ours and thine!
Or, with thine harmonizing ardours fill
Then clouds from sunbeams, antelopes from leopards,
Than Celtic wolves from the Ausonian shepherds.—
I BRING fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
I bear light shades for the leaves when laid
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
When rock'd to rest on their mother's breast,
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
I sift the snow on the mountains below,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
In a cavern under is fetter'd the thunder,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,
And I all the while bask in heaven's blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack, '
When the morning-star shines dead.
As on the jag of a mountain crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings.
And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath, Its ardours of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
From the depth of heaven above,
With wings folded I rest, on mine airy nest,
Higher still and higher,
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
In the golden lightning
Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are brightening,
Thou dost float and run;
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.
The pale purple even
Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of heaven,
In the broad day-light
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight,
Keen as are the arrows
Of that silver sphere,
In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.
All the earth and air
With thy voice is loud, As, when night is bare,
From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflow'd.
What thou art we know not;
What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not
Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.
Like a poet hidden
In the light of thought,
Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:
Like a high-born maiden
In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden
Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:
Like a glow-worm golden
In a dell of dew, Scattering unbeholden
Its aërial hue
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams, Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the
Teach us, sprite or bird,
What sweet thoughts are thine:
I have never heard
Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.
Or triumphal chaunt,
Match'd with thine would be all
But an empty vaunt
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.
What objects are the fountains
Of thy happy strain?
What fields, or waves, or mountains?
What shapes of sky or plain?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain? |
With thy clear keen joyance
Langour cannot be :
Shadow of annoyance
Never came near thee:
Thou lovest; but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.
Waking or asleep,
Thou of death must deem Things more true and deep
Than we mortals dream,
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?
We look before and after,
And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
Yet if we could scorn
Hate, and pride, and fear;
If we were things born
Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.
Better than all measures
Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures
That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!
Teach me half the gladness
The world should listen then, as I am listening now.
AN EXHORTATION. CAMELEONS feed on light and air; Poets' food is love and fame: If in this wide world of care
Poets could but find the same
With as little toil as they,
Would they ever change their hue
Suiting it to every ray
Poets are on this cold earth,
As cameleons might be,
Yet dare not stain with wealth or power
HYMN TO INTELLECTUAL BEAUTY.
THE awful shadow of some unseen Power
It visits with inconstant glance
Like clouds in starlight widely spread,
grace may be Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.
Spirit of BEAUTY! that dost consecrate
With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon
Of human thought or form, where art thou gone?
Why dost thou pass away and leave our state,
Keep with thy glorious train firm state within his heart.
Thou messenger of sympathies
Thou, that to human thought art nourishment,
Depart not, lest the grave should be,
While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped
I call'd on poisonous names with which our youth is fed:
Of life, at that sweet time when winds are wooing
I shriek'd, and clasp'd my hands in ecstacy!
I vow'd that I would dedicate my powers
To thee and thine: have I not kept the vow?
Each from his voiceless grave: they have in vision'd bowers
The day becomes more solemn and serene
Thus let thy power, which like the truth
Whom, SPIRIT fair, thy spells did bind
A PALE dream came to a Lady fair,
I know the secrets of the air,
And things are lost in the glare of day, Which I can make the sleeping see, If they will put their trust in me.
And thou shalt know of things unknown,
Over thine eyes so dark and sheen:
At first all deadly shapes were driven
If the gold sun shone forth on high.
And as towards the east she turn'd,
The sky was blue as the summer sea, The depths were cloudless over-head, The air was calm as it could be,
There was no sight or sound of dread, But that black Anchor floating still Over the piny eastern hill.
The Lady grew sick with a weight of fear,
The sound as of a dim low clanging,
There was a mist in the sunless air,
Which shook as it were with an earthquake's shock,
But the very weeds that blossom'd there
The Anchor was seen no more on high.
But piled around, with summits hid
On two dread mountains, from whose crest,
And columns framed of marble white,
With workmanship, which could not come From touch of mortal instrument,
Shot o'er the vales, or lustre lent
But still the Lady heard that clang
So that the Lady's heart beat fast,
Sudden, from out that city sprung
A light that made the earth grow red;
And hark! a rush as if the deep
Had burst its bonds; she look'd behind,
A raging flood descend, and wind
And now those raging billows came
Where that fair Lady sate, and she Was borne towards the showering flame By the wild waves heap'd tumultuously, And on a little plank, the flow
Of the whirlpool bore her to and fro.
The waves were fiercely vomited
From every tower and every dome, And dreary light did widely shed
O'er that vast flood's suspended foam, Beneath the smoke which hung its night On the stain'd cope of heaven's light.
The plank whereon that Lady sate
Of his own mind did there endure
She look'd, the flames were dim, the flood
Those marble shapes then seem'd to quiver,
And their lips moved; one seem'd to speak,
The dizzy flight of that phantom pale
Of her dark eyes the dream did creep,
LINES WRITTEN IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI.
THE everlasting universe of things
Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
Was driven through the chasms, about and about, Now lending splendour, where from secret springs Between the peaks so desolate
Of the drowning mountain, in and out,
At last her plank an eddy crost,
And bore her to the city's wall,
The eddy whirl'd her round and round
For it was fill'd with sculptures rarest,
Of winged shapes, whose legions range
And as she look'd, still lovelier grew
The source of human thought its tribute brings
In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
Thus thou, Ravine of Arve-dark, deep Ravine-
Robes some unsculptured image; the strange sleep