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Which clanged alone the mountain's marble brow,
Thou art the wine whose drunkenness is all
Catch thee, and feed from their o'erflowing bowls
Invests it; and when heavens are blue
Its deserts and its mountains, till they wear
In spring, which moves the unawakened forest,
That which from thee they should implore:-the weak
The strong have broken-yet where shall any seek
What thou art we know not;
What is most like thee?
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.
Like a poet hidden
In the light of thought,
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
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.
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
With thy clear keen joyance
Never came near thee:
Thou lovest; but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.
Waking or asleep,
Thou of death must deem
Than we mortals dream, Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?
We look before and after,
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;
Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever should
Better than all measures
Of delightful sound,
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.
LETTER TO MARIA GISBORNE.
Leghorn, July 1, 1820.
THE spider spreads her webs, whether she be
So I, a thing whom moralists call worm,
But a soft cell, where when that fades away,
Which in those hearts which most remember me
Whoever should behold me now, I wist,
Of some machine portentous, or strange gin,
Its way over the sea, and sport therein;
For round the walls are hung dread engines, such
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
By giving a faint foretaste of damnation
To Shakspeare, Sidney, Spenser and the rest
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,
Of Cornwall and the storm-encompassed isles,
Satiated with destroyed destruction, lay
As panthers sleep:-and other strange and dread
Or heap himself in such a horrid mass