Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

Worn by the senseless wind, shall live alone
In the frail pauses of this simple strain,
Let not high verse, mourning the memory
Of that which is no more, or painting's woe
Or sculpture, speak in feeble imagery
Their own cold powers. Art and eloquence,
And all the shows o' the world are frail and vain
To weep a loss that turns their lights to shade.
It is a woe too "deep for tears," when all
Is reft at once, when some surpassing Spirit,
Whose light adorned the world around it, leaves
Those who remain behind, not sobs or groans,
The passionate tumult of a clinging hope :
But pale despair and cold tranquillity,
Nature's vast frame, the web of human things,
Birth and the grave, that are not as they were.

1815.

THE TWO SPIRITS.

An Allegory.

FIRST SPIRIT.

O THOU, who plumed with strong desire
Wouldst float above the earth, beware!
A Shadow tracks thy flight of fire—
Night is coming!

Bright are the regions of the air,
And among the winds and beams
It were delight to wander there—
Night is coming!

SECOND SPIRIT.

The deathless stars are bright above;
If I would cross the shade of night,
Within my heart is the lamp of love,
And that is day!

And the moon will smile with gentle light On my golden plumes where'er they move; The meteors will linger round my flight, And make night day.

FIRST SPIRIT.

But if the whirlwinds of darkness waken
Hail, and lightning, and stormy rain;
See, the bounds of the air are shaken-
Night is coming!

The red swift clouds of the hurricane

Yon declining sun have overtaken,

The clash of the hail sweeps over the plain— Night is coming!

SECOND SPIRIT.

I see the light, and I hear the sound;
I'll sail on the flood of the tempest dark,
With the calm within and the light around
Which makes night day :

And thou, when the gloom is deep and stark,
Look from thy dull earth, slumber-bound,
My moon-like flight thou then may'st mark
On high, far away.

Some say there is a precipice

Where one vast pine is frozen to ruin O'er piles of snow and chasms of ice 'Mid Alpine mountains;

And that the languid storm pursuing

That winged shape, for ever flies

Round those hoar branches, aye renewing
Its aëry fountains.

Some say when nights are dry and clear,
And the death-dews sleep on the morass,
Sweet whispers are heard by the traveller,
Which make night day :

33

And a silver shape like his early love doth pass Upborne by her wild and glittering hair, And when he awakes on the fragrant grass, He finds night day.

LINES.

THE cold earth slept below;

Above the cold sky shone;
And all around,

With a chilling sound,

From caves of ice and fields of snow,

The breath of night like death did flow
Beneath the sinking moon.

The wintry hedge was black,

The green grass was not seen,
The birds did rest

On the bare thorn's breast,

Whose roots, beside the pathway track,
Had bound their folds o'er many a crack
Which the frost had made between.

D

1820.

Thine eyes glowed in the glare
Of the moon's dying light;
As a fen-fire's beam,

On a sluggish stream,

Gleams dimly—so the moon shone there,
And it yellowed the strings of thy tangled hair
That shook in the wind of night.

The moon made thy lips pale, beloved;
The wind made thy bosom chill;
The night did shed

On thy dear head

Its frozen dew, and thou didst lie

Where the bitter breath of the naked sky
Might visit thee at will.

1815.

« AnteriorContinua »