Imatges de pÓgina
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The soft sky smiles, -the low wind whis

pers near;

'Tis Adonais calls! oh, hasten thither,

No more let Life divide what Death can join together.

LIV.

That Light whose smile kindles the Uni

verse,

That Beauty in which all things work and

move,

That Benediction which the eclipsing Curse Of birth can quench not, that sustaining Love

Which through the web of being blindly

wove

By man and beast and earth and air and

sea,

Burns bright or dim, as each are mirrors of

The fire for which all thirst; now beams on me,

Consuming the last clouds of cold mortality.

LV.

The breath whose might I have invoked in song

Descends on me; my spirit's bark is driven, Far from the shore, far from the trembling throng

Whose sails were never to the tempest given; The massy earth and spherèd skies are riven !

I am borne darkly, fearfully, afar ;
Whilst burning through the inmost veil of

are.

Heaven,

The soul of Adonais, like a star,

Beacons from the abode where the Eternal

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Cancelled Passages of
Adonais

PASSAGES OF THE PREFACE

. . . the expression of my indignation and sympathy. I will allow myself a first and last word on the subject of calumny as it relates to me. As an author I have dared and invited censure. If I understand myself, I have written neither for profit nor for fame. I have employed my poetical compositions and publications simply as the instruments of that sympathy between myself and others which the ardent and unbounded love I cherished for my kind incited me to acquire. I expected all sorts of stupidity and insolent contempt from those.

These compositions (excepting the tragedy

of the "Cenci," which was written rather to try my powers than to unburthen my full heart) are insufficiently commendation than perhaps they deserve, even from their bitterest enemies; but they have not attained any corresponding popularity. As a man, I shrink from notice and regard; the ebb and flow of the world vexes me; I desire to be left in peace. Persecution, contumely, and calumny have been. heaped upon me in profuse measure; and domestic conspiracy and legal oppression have violated in my person the most sacred rights of nature and humanity. The bigot will say it was the recompense of my errors; the man of the world will call it the result of my imprudence; but never upon one head. . . .

Reviewers, with some rare exceptions, are a most stupid and malignant race. As a bankrupt thief turns thief-taker in despair, so an unsuccessful author turns critic. But a young spirit panting for fame, doubtful of its powers, and certain only of its aspirations, is ill qualified to assign its true value to the sneer of this world. He knows not that such stuff as this is of the abortive and monstrous births which time consumes as fast as it produces.

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He sees the truth and falsehood, the merits and demerits, of his case inextricably entangled. No personal offence should have drawn from me this public comment upon such stuff.

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The offence of this poor victim seems to have consisted solely in his intimacy with Leigh Hunt, Mr. Hazlitt, and some other enemies of despotism and superstition. My friend Hunt has a very hard skull to crack, and will take a deal of killing. I do not know much of Mr. Hazlitt, but .

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·

I knew personally but little of Keats; but on the news of his situation I wrote to him, suggesting the propriety of trying the Italian climate, and inviting him to join me. Unfortunately he did not allow me . . .

PASSAGES OF THE POEM

And ever as he went he swept a lyre
Of unaccustomed shape, and

Now like the

of impetuous fire,

Which shakes the forest with its murmurings,

Now like the rush of the aërial wings

Of the enamoured wind among the treen,

96

strings

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