Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

SLEEP AND DEATH.

They. WE strew these opiate flowers
On thy restless pillow,-

She.

They were stript from Orient bowers,
By the Indian billow.
Be thy sleep

Calm and deep,

Like their's who fell-not ours who weep!

Away, unlovely dreams!

Away, false shapes of sleep!

Be his, as Heaven seems,

Clear, and bright, and deep!

Soft as love, and calm as death,

Sweet as a summer night without a breath.

They. Sleep, sleep! our song is laden
With the soul of slumber;

She.

It was sung by a Samian maiden,
Whose lover was of the number
Who now keep

That calm sleep

Whence none may wake, where none shall weep.

I touch thy temples pale!

I breathe my soul on thee!
And could my prayers avail,

All my joy should be

Dead, and I would live to weep,

So thou might'st win one hour of quiet sleep.

Hellas.

"Songs Consecrate to Liberty.”

TO WORDSWORTH.

POET of Nature, thou has wept to know
That things depart which never may return:

Childhood and youth, friendship and love's first glow,
Have fled like sweet dreams, leaving thee to mourn.
These common woes I feel.

One loss is mine

Which thou too feel'st, yet I alone deplore.
Thou wert as a lone star, whose light did shine
On some frail bark in winter's midnight roar :
Thou hast like to a rock-built refuge stood
Above the blind and battling multitude:
In honoured poverty thy voice did weave
Songs consecrate to truth and liberty,—
Deserting these, thou leavest me to grieve,

Thus having been, that thou shouldst cease to be.

THE SNAKE AND EAGLE.

WHEN the last hope of trampled France had failed
Like a brief dream of unremaining glory,
From visions of despair I rose, and scaled
The peak of an aërial promontory,

Whose caverned base with the vext surge was hoary;
And saw the golden dawn break forth, and waken
Each cloud, and every wave :—but transitory
The calm for sudden, the firm earth was shaken,
As if by the last wreck its frame were overtaken.

So as I stood, one blast of muttering thunder
Burst in far peals along the waveless deep,
When, gathering fast, around, above and under,
Long trains of tremulous mist began to creep,
Until their complicating lines did steep
The orient sun in shadow :-not a sound
Was heard; one horrible repose did keep

The forests and the floods, and all around Darkness more dread than night was poured upon the ground.

Hark! 'tis the rushing of a wind that sweeps Earth and the ocean. See! the lightnings yawn Deluging Heaven with fire, and the lashed deeps Glitter and boil beneath: it rages on,

One mighty stream, whirlwind and waves upthrown, Lightning, and hail, and darkness eddying by. There is a pause-the sea-birds, that were gone Into their caves to shriek, come forth, to spy What calm has fall'n on earth, what light is in the sky.

For, where the irresistible storm had cloven
That fearful darkness, the blue sky was seen
Fretted with many a fair cloud interwoven
Most delicately, and the ocean green,
Beneath that opening spot of blue serene,
Quivered like burning emerald: calm was spread
On all below; but far on high, between

Earth and the upper air, the vast clouds fled, Countless and swift as leaves on autumn's tempest shed.

For ever, as the war became more fierce
Between the whirlwinds and the rack on high,
That spot grew more serene; blue light did pierce
The woof of those white clouds, which seemed to lie
Far, deep, and motionless; while thro' the sky
The pallid semicircle of the moon

Past on, in slow and moving majesty ;

Its upper horn arrayed in mists, which soon But slowly fled, like dew beneath the beams of

noon.

I could not choose but gaze; a fascination
Dwelt in that moon, and sky, and clouds, which drew
My fancy thither, and in expectation

Of what I knew not, I remained :--the hue
Of the white moon, amid that heaven so blue,
Suddenly stained with shadow did appear;
A speck, a cloud, a shape, approaching grew,
Like a great ship in the sun's sinking sphere
Beheld afar at sea, and swift it came anear.

Even like a bark, which from a chasm of mountains, Dark, vast, and overhanging, on a river

Which there collects the strength of all its fountains, Comes forth, whilst with the speed its frame doth quiver,

Sails, oars, and stream, tending to one endeavour; So, from that chasm of light a winged Form On all the winds of heaven approaching ever Floated, dilating as it came: the storm Pursued it with fierce blasts, and lightnings swift and

warm.

A course precipitous, of dizzy speed,

Suspending thought and breath; a monstrous sight!
For in the air do I behold indeed

An Eagle and a Serpent wreathed in fight :—
And now relaxing its impetuous flight,
Before the aërial rock on which I stood,

The Eagle, hovering, wheeled to left and right,
And hung with lingering wings over the flood,
And startled with its yells the wide air's solitude.

A shaft of light upon its wings descended,
And every golden feather gleamed therein-
Feather and scale inextricably blended.

The Serpent's mailed and many-coloured skin
Shone thro' the plumes its coils were twined within
By many a swollen and knotted fold, and high
And far, the neck receding lithe and thin,
Sustained a crested head, which warily

Shifted and glanced before the Eagle's stedfast eye.

« AnteriorContinua »