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Which with the shattered present chokes the past;
Then from the caverns of my dreary youth
In many mortal forms I rashly sought The shadow of that idol of my thought.
And some were fair—but beauty dies away:
What storms then shook the ocean of my sleep.
At length, into the obscure Forest came
And from her presence life was radiated
Twin Spheres of light who rule this passive Earth, This world of love, this me; and into birth Awaken all its fruits and flowers, and dart Magnetic might into its central heart; And lift its billows and its mists, and guide By everlasting laws, each wind and tide To its fit cloud, and its appointed cave; And lull its storms, each in the craggy grave Which was its cradle, luring to saint bowers The armies of the rainbow-winged showers; And, as those married lights, which from the towers Of Heaven look forth and fold the wandering globe In liquid sleep and splendour, as a robe; And all their many-mingled influence blend, If equal, yet unlike, to one sweet end; So ye, bright regents, with alternate sway Govern my sphere of being, night and day! Thou, not disdaining even a borrowed might; Thou, not eclipsing a remoter light; And, through the shadow of the seasons three, From Spring to Autumn's sere maturity, Light it into the Winter of the tomb, Where it may ripen to a brighter bloom. Thou too, O Comet, beautiful and fierce, Who drew the heart of this frail Universe Towards thine own; till, wrecked in that convulsion, Alternating attraction and repulsion, Thine went astray and that was rent in twain; Oh, float into our azure heaven again ! Be there love's folding-star at thy return; The living Sun will feed thee from its urn Of golden fire; the Moon will veil her horn In thy last smiles; adoring Even and Morn Will worship thee with incense of calm breath And lights and shadows; as the star of Death And Birth is worshipped by those sisters wild
Called Hope and Fear-upon the heart are piled
Lady mine, Scorn not these flowers of thought, the fading birth Which from its heart of hearts that plant put forth Whose fruit made perfect by thy sunny eyes, Will be as of the trees of Paradise.
The day is come, and thou wilt fly with me. To whatsoe'er of dull mortality Is mine, remain a vestal sister still; To the intense, the deep, the imperishable, Not mine but me, henceforth be thou united Even as a bride, delighting and delighted. Thine hour is come:-the destined Star has risen Which shall descend upon a vacant prison. The walls are high, the gates are strong, thick set The sentinels—but true love never yet Was thus constrained: it overleaps all fence: Like lightning, with invisible violence Piercing its continents; like Heaven's free breath, Which he who grasps can hold not; liker Death, Who rides upon a thought, and makes his way Through temple, tower, and palace, and the array Of arms: more strength has Love than he or they; For it can burst his charnel, and make free The limbs in chains, the heart in agony, The soul in dust and chaos.
Emily, A ship is floating in the harbour now, A wind is hovering o'er the mountain's brow; There is a path on the sea's azure floor, No keel has ever ploughed that path before; The halcyons brood around the foamless isles; The treacherous Ocean has forsworn its wiles; The merry mariners are bold and free: Say, my heart's sister, wilt thou sail with me? Our bark is as an albatross, whose nest Is a far Eden of the purple East; And we between her wings will sit, while Night And Day, and Storm, and Calm, pursue their flight, Our ministers, along the boundless Sea, Treading each other's heels, unheededly. It is an isle under Ionian skies, Beautiful as a wreck of Paradise, And, for the harbours are not safe and good, This land would have remained a solitude But for some pastoral people native there, Who from the Elysian, clear, and golden air Draw the last spirit of the age of gold, Simple and spirited; innocent and bold The blue Ægean girds this chosen home, With ever-changing sound and light and foam, Kissing the sifted sands, and caverns hoar ; And all the winds wandering along the shore
Undulate with the undulating tide: There are thick woods where sylvan forms abide; And many a fountain, rivulet, and pond, As clear as elemental diamond, Or serene morning air; and far beyond, The mossy tracks made by the goats and deer (Which the rough shepherd treads but once a year), Pierce into glades, caverns, and bowers, and halls Built round with ivy, which the waterfalls Illumining, with sound that never fails Accompany the noonday nightingales; And all the place is peopled with sweet airs; The light clear element which the isle wears Is heavy with the scent of lemon-flowers, Which floats like mist laden with unseen showers, And falls upon the eyelids like faint sleep; And from the moss violets and jonquils peep. And dart their arrowy odour through the brain Till you might fairt with that delicious pain. And every motion, odour, beam and tone, With that deep music is in unison; Which is a soul within the soul—they seem Like echoes of an antenatal dream. It is an isle 'twixt Heaven, Air, Earth, and Sea, Cradled, and hung in clear tranquillity; Bright as that wandering Eden Lucifer, Washed by the soft blue Oceans of young air. It is a favoured place. Famine or Blight, Pestilence, War, and Earthquake, never light Upon its mountain peaks; blind vultures, they Sail onward far upon their fatal way: The winged storms, chanting their thunder-psalm To other lands, leave azure chasms of calm Over this isle, or weep themselves in dew, From which its fields and woods ever renew Their green and golden immortality. And from the sea there rise, and from the sky There fall, clear exhalations, soft and bright, Veil after veil, each hiding some delight, Which Sun or Moon or zephyr draw aside, Till the isle's beauty, like a naked bride Glowing at once with love and loveliness, Blushes and trembles at its own excess: Yet, like a buried lamp, a Soul no less Burns in the heart of this delicious isle, An atom of the Eternal, whose own smile Unfolds itself, and may be felt not seen O'er the grey rocks, blue waves, and forests green, Filling their bare and void interstices. But the chief marvel of the wilderness Is a lone dwelling, built by whom or how None of the rustic island-people know: 'Tis not a tower of strength, though with its height It overtops the woods; but, for delight, Some wise and tender Ocean-King, ere crime Had been invented, in the world's young prime, Reared it, a wonder of that simple time, An envy of the isles, a pleasure-house