Imatges de pÓgina
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She looked on that gate of marble clear,
With wonder that extinguished fear.

XIX.

For it was filled with sculptures rarest,
Of forms most beautiful and strange,
Like nothing human, but the fairest

Of winged shapes, whose legions range
Throughout the sleep of those that are,
Like this same Lady, good and fair.

XX.

And as she looked, still lovelier grew
Those marble forms; the sculptor sure
Was a strong spirit, and the hue

Of his own mind did there endure

After the touch, whose power had braided
Such grace, was in some sad change faded.

XXI.

She looked, the flames were dim, the flood
Grew tranquil as a woodland river

Winding through hills in solitude;

Those marble shapes then seemed to quiver,

And their fair limbs to float in motion,
Like weeds unfolding in the ocean.

XXII.

And their lips moved; one seemed to speak,
When suddenly the mountains crackt,
And through the chasm the flood did break
With an earth-uplifting cataract :

The statues gave a joyous scream,
And on its wings the pale thin dream
Lifted the Lady from the stream.

XXIII.

The dizzy flight of that phantom pale
Waked the fair Lady from her sleep,
And she arose, while from the veil

Of her dark eyes the dream did creep,
And she walked about as one who knew
That sleep has sights as clear and true
As any waking eyes can view.

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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

odour it is yet,

And from thy touch like fire doth leap.

Even while I write, my burning cheeks are

wet,

Alas, that the torn heart can bleed, but not forget!

II.

A breathless awe, like the swift change
Unseen, but felt in youthful slumbers,
Wild, sweet, but uncommunicably strange,
Thou breathest now in fast ascending num-
bers.

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 disappear.

III.

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 quick — The 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.

IV.

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.

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