Imatges de pÓgina
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For neither didst thou watch the wizard flocks
Of the Scald's dreams, nor haunt the Druid's sleep.
What if the tears rained through thy shattered locks
Were quickly dried? for thou didst groan, not
weep,

When from its sea of death to kill and burn,
The Galilean serpent forth did creep,

And made thy world an undistinguishable heap.

A thousand years the Earth cried, Where art thou?
And then the shadow of thy coming fell
On Saxon Alfred's olive-cinctured brow:

And many a warrior-peopled citadel,
Like rocks which fire lifts out of the flat deep,
Arose in sacred Italy,

Frowning o'er the tempestuous sea

Of kings, and priests, and slaves, in tower-crowned majesty ;

That multitudinous anarchy did sweep,

And burst around their walls, like idle foam, Whilst from the human spirit's deepest deep

Strange melody with love and awe struck dumb Dissonant arms; and Art, which cannot die,

With divine wand traced on our earthly home Fit imagery to pave heaven's everlasting dome. Thou huntress swifter than the Moon! thou terror Of the world's wolves! thou bearer of the quiver, Whose sunlike shafts pierce tempest-wingèd Error, As light may pierce the clouds when they dissever In the calm regions of the orient day!

Luther caught thy wakening glance,

Like lightning, from his leaden lance Reflected, it dissolved the visions of the trance

In which, as in a tomb, the nations lay;
And England's prophets hailed thee as their
queen,

In songs whose music cannot pass away,

Though it must flow for ever: not unseen Before the spirit-sighted countenance

Of Milton didst thou pass, from the sad scene Beyond whose night he saw, with a dejected mien. The eager hours and unreluctant years

As on a dawn-illumined mountain stood, Trampling to silence their loud hopes and fears, Darkening each other with their multitude, And cried aloud, Liberty! Indignation Answered Pity from her cave;

Death grew pale within the grave,

And Desolation howled to the destroyer, Save!
When like heaven's sun girt by the exhalation
Of its own glorious light, thou didst arise,
Chasing thy foes from nation unto nation

Like shadows: as if day had cloven the skies
At dreaming midnight o'er the western wave,
Men started, staggering with a glad surprise,
Under the lightnings of thine unfamiliar eyes.

Thou heaven of earth! what spells could pall thee then,
In ominous eclipse? a thousand years
Bred from the slime of deep oppression's den,
Dyed all thy liquid light with blood and tears,
Till thy sweet stars could wipe the stain away;
How like Bacchanals of blood

Round France, the ghastly vintage, stood Destruction's sceptred slaves, and Folly's mitred brood!

When one, like them, but mightier far than they, The Anarch of thine own bewildered powers Rose: armies mingled in obscure array,

Like clouds with clouds, darkening the sacred
bowers

Of serene heaven. He, by the past pursued,
Rests with those dead, but unforgotten hours,
Whose ghosts scare victor kings in their ancestral

towers.

England yet sleeps: was she not called of old? Spain calls her now, as with its thrilling thunder Vesuvius wakens Ætna, and the cold

Snow-crags by its reply are cloven in sunder: O'er the lit waves every Æolian isle

From Pithecusa to Pelorus

Howls, and leaps, and glares in chorus: They cry, Be dim; ye lamps of heaven suspended o'er us.

Her chains are threads of gold, she need but smile And they dissolve; but Spain's were links of steel, Till bit to dust by virtue's keenest file.

Twins of a single destiny! appeal

To the eternal years enthroned before us,

In the dim West; impress us from a seal,

All ye have thought and done! Time cannot dare conceal.

Tomb of Arminius! render up thy dead,

Till, like a standard from a watch-tower's staff,
His soul may stream over the tyrant's head;
Thy victory shall be his epitaph,

Wild Bacchanal of truth's mysterious wine,

King-deluded Germany,

His dead spirit lives in thee.

Why do we fear or hope? thou art already free!
And thou, lost Paradise of this divine

And glorious world! thou flowery wilderness! Thou island of eternity! thou shrine

Where desolation clothed with loveliness,

Worships the thing thou wert! O Italy,

Gather thy blood into thy heart; repress
The beasts who make their dens thy sacred palaces.

O, that the free would stamp the impious name
Of King into the dust! or write it there,
So that this blot upon the page of fame

Were as a serpent's path, which the light air
Erases, and the flat sands close behind!
Ye the oracle have heard :

Lift the victory-flashing sword,

And cut the snaky knots of this foul gordian word,
Which weak itself as stubble, yet can bind
Into a mass, irrefragably firm,

The axes and the rods which awe mankind;
The sound has poison in it, 'tis the sperm
Of what makes life foul, cankerous, and abhorred;
Disdain not thou, at thine appointed term,

To set thine armèd heel on this reluctant worm.

O, that the wise from their bright minds would kindle Such lamps within the dome of this dim world, That the pale name of Priest might shrink and dwindle

Into the hell from which it first was hurled,

A scoff of impious pride from fiends impure;

Till human thoughts might kneel alone
Each before the judgment-throne

Of its own aweless soul, or of the power unknown!
O, that the words which make the thoughts obscure
From which they spring, as clouds of glimmer-

ing dew

From a white lake blot heaven's blue portraiture,

Were stript of their thin masks and various hue And frowns and smiles and splendours not their own, Till in the nakedness of false and true

They stand before their Lord, each to receive its due.

He who taught men to vanquish whatsoever
Can be between the cradle and the grave
Crowned him the King of Life. O vain endeavour !
If on his own high will a willing slave,

He has enthroned the oppression and the oppressor.
What if earth can clothe and feed

Amplest millions at their need,

And power in thought be as the tree within the seed? O, what if Art, an ardent intercessor,

Driving on fiery wings to Nature's throne, Checks the great mother stooping to caress her, And cries: Give me, thy child, dominion

Over all height and depth? if Life can breed

New wants, and wealth from those who toil and

groan

Rend of thy gifts and hers a thousand fold for one.

Come Thou, but lead out of the inmost cave

Of man's deep spirit, as the morning-star Beckons the Sun from the Eoan wave,

Wisdom. I hear the pennons of her car

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