Imatges de pÓgina
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Which clanged alone the mountain's marble brow,
Warped into adamantine fretwork, hung
And filled with frozen light the chasm below.

FRAGMENT IV.

Thou art the wine whose drunkenness is all
We can desire, O Love! and happy souls,
Ere from thy vine the leaves of autumn fall,

Catch thee, and feed from their o'erflowing bowls
Thousands who thirst for thy ambrosial dew;--
Thou art the radiance which where ocean rolls.

Invests it; and when heavens are blue
Thou fillest them; and when the earth is fair
The shadow of thy moving wings imbue

Its deserts and its mountains, till they wear
Beauty like some bright robe;-thou ever soarest
Among the towers of men, and as soft air

In spring, which moves the unawakened forest,
Clothing with leaves its branches bare and bleak,
Thou floatest among men: and aye implorest

That which from thee they should implore:-the weak
Alone kneel to thee, offering up the hearts

The strong have broken-yet where shall any seek

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What thou art we know not;

What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not
Drops so bright to see,

As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,
Till the world is wrought

To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

Like a high-born maiden

In a palace tower, Soothing her love-laden

Soul in secret hour

With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

Like a glow-worm golden
In a deli of dew,
Scattering unbeholden

Its aerial hue

Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view:

Like a rose embowered

In its own green leaves, By warm winds deflowered, Till the scent it gives

Makes faint with two much sweet these heavy-winged thieves:

Sound of vernal showers

On the twinkling grass, Rain-awakened flowers,

All that ever was

Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass:

Teach us, sprite or bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine:

I have never heard.

Praise of love or wine

That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus Hymenæal,

Or triumphal chaunt,

Matched with thine would be all

But an empty vaunt,

A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

What objects are the fountains
Of thy happy strain?
What fields, or waves, or mountains?
What shapes of sky or plain?
What love of thine own kind? what
ignorance of pain?

With thy clear keen joyance
Languor cannot be:
Shadow of annoyance

Never came near thee:

Thou lovest; but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

Waking or asleep,

Thou of death must deem
Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream, Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

We look before and after,
And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught;

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Yet if we could scorn

Hate, and pride, and fear;
If we were things born

Not to shed a tear,

I know not how thy joy we ever should

come near.

Better than all measures

Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures

That in books are found, Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

Teach me half the gladness

That my brain must know, Such harmonious madness From my lips would flow, The world should listen then, as I amı listening now.

473

LETTER TO MARIA GISBORNE.

Leghorn, July 1, 1820.

THE spider spreads her webs, whether she be
In poet's tower, cellar, or barn, or tree;
The silkworm in the dark green mulberry leaves
His winding sheet and cradle ever weaves;

So I, a thing whom moralists call worm,
Sit spinning still round this decaying form,
From the fine threads of rare and subtle thought-
No net of words in garish colours wrought
To catch the idle buzzers of the day-

But a soft cell, where when that fades away,
Memory may clothe in wings my living name
And feed it with the asphodels of fame,

Which in those hearts which most remember me
Grow, making love an immortality.

Whoever should behold me now, I wist,
Would think I were a mighty mechanist,
Bent with sublime Archimedean art
To breathe a soul into the iron heart

Of some machine portentous, or strange gin,
Which by the force of figured spells might win

Its way over the sea, and sport therein;

For round the walls are hung dread engines, such
As Vulcan never wrought for Jove to clutch

Ixion or the Titan:-or the quick

Wit of that man of God, St. Dominic,

To convince Atheist, Turk, or Heretic;

Or those in philosophic councils met,

Who thought to pay some interest for the debt
They owed

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By giving a faint foretaste of damnation

To Shakspeare, Sidney, Spenser and the rest
Who made our land an island of the blest,

When lamp-like Spain, who now relumes her fire

On Freedom's hearth, grew dim with Empire:

With thumbscrews, wheels, with tooth and spike and jag,
Which fishes found under the utmost crag

Of Cornwall and the storm-encompassed isles,
Where to the sky the rude sea seldom smiles
Unless in treacherous wrath, as on the morn
When the exulting elements in scorn

Satiated with destroyed destruction, lay
Sleeping in beauty on their mangled prey,

As panthers sleep:-and other strange and dread
Magical forins the brick floor overspread-
Proteus transformed to metal did not make
More figures, or more strange; nor did he take
Such shapes of unintelligible brass,

Or heap himself in such a horrid mass
Of tin and iron not to be understood,
And forms of unimaginable wood,
To puzzle Tubal Cain and all his brood:

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