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And the long glassy heave of the rocking sea,
And, like passions made still by the presence of Love,
Tremulous with soft influence; extending its tide
From the Andes to Atlas, round mountain and isle,
Round sea-birds and wrecks, paved with heaven's azure smile.
The wide world of waters is vibrating. Where
Is the ship? On the verge of the wave where it lay
One tiger is mingled in ghastly affray
With a sea-snake. The foam and the smoke of the battle
Stain the clear air with sunbows; the jar, and the rattle
Of solid bones crushed by the infinite stress
Of the snake's adamantine voluminousness;
And the hum of the hot blood that spouts and rains
Swollen with rage, strength, and effort; the whirl and the splash
The thin winds and soft waves into thunder; the screams
A blue shark is hanging within the blue ocean,
Which trembles and burns with the fervour of dread
Of the present and the past,
Of acts and ages yet to come!
Glorious shapes have life in thee,
Living globes which ever throng
Even thy name is as a god,
Thou remainest such alway.
Thou art but the mind's first chamber,
Lighted up by stalactites;
But the portal of the grave,
Where a world of new delights
Will make thy best glories seem
From the shadow of a dream!
Peace! the abyss is wreathed with scorn
Who its brief expanse inherit?
What are suns and spheres which flee
With the instinct of that spirit
Of which ye are but a part?
Drops which Nature's mighty heart
Drives through thinnest veins. Depart!
What is heaven? a globe of dew,
Filling in the morning new
Some eyed flower whose young leaves waken
On an unimagined world:
Constellated suns unshaken,
In that frail and fading sphere.
ODE TO THE WEST WIND.*
O, WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion,
Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine airy surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head
Of some fierce Mænad, even from the dim verge
Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst; O hear!
Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lulled by the coil of his crystalline streams,
Beside a pumice isle in Baia's bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
* This poem was conceived and chiefly written in a wood that skirts the Arno, near Florence, and on a day when that tempestuous wind, whose temperature is at once mild and animating, was collecting the vapours which pour down the autumnal rains. They began, as I foresaw, at sunset with a violent tempest of hail and rain, attended by that magnificent thunder and lightning peculiar to the Cisalpine regions.
The phenomenon alluded to at the conclusion of the third stanza is well known to naturalists. The vegetation at the bottom of the sea, of rivers, and of lakes, sympathizes with that of the land in the change of seasons, and is consequently influenced by the winds which announce it.
All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
Thy voice, and suddenly grow grey with fear,
If I were a dead leaf thou mightest hear;
The impulse of thy strength, only less free
The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven,
Scarce seemed a vision; I would ne'er have striven
As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed !
A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O, wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
[WRITTEN, OCTOBER, 1819, BEFORE THE SPANIARDS HAD RECOVERED THEIR LIBERTY].
ARISE, arise, arise!
There is blood on the earth that denies ye bread;
Be your wounds like eyes
To weep for the dead, the dead, the dead.
What other grief were it just to pay?
Your sons, your wives, your brethren, were they;
Awaken, awaken, awaken!
The slave and the tyrant are twin-born foes;
To the dust where your kindred repose, repose:
Wave, wave high the banner!
When freedom is riding to conquest by:
Be famine and toil, giving sigh for sigh.
Glory, glory, glory,
To those who have greatly suffered and done!
Was greater than that which ye shall have won,
Whose revenge, pride, and power they have overthrown: Ride ye, more victorious, over your own.
Bind, bind every brow
With crownals of violet, ivy, and pine:
Hide the blood-stains now
With hues which sweet nature has made divine:
Green strength, azure hope, and eternity.
But let not the pansy among them be;
Ye were injured, and that means memory.
ODE TO LIBERTY.
"Yet, Freedom, yet thy banner torn but flying,
A GLORIOUS people vibrated again
The lightning of the nations: Liberty
From heart to heart, from tower to tower, o'er Spain,
Gleamed. My soul spurned the chains of its dismay,
Clothed itself, sublime and strong;
As a young eagle soars the morning clouds among,