Imatges de pÓgina

Outwatching weary night,
Without assured reward.

Her dewy eyes are closed:

On their translucent lids, whose texture fine
Scarce hides the dark blue orbs that burn below
With unapparent fire,

The baby Sleep is pillowed:

Her golden tresses shade
The hosom's stainless pride,

Twining like tendrils of the parasite

Around a marble column.

Hark! whence that rushing sound?

'Tis like a wondrous strain that sweeps
Around a lonely ruin,

When west winds sigh and evening waves respond
In whipers from the shore:

"Tis wilder than the unmeasured notes

Which from the unseen lyres of dells and groves
The genii of the breezes sweep.
Floating on waves of music and of light
The chariot of the Demon of the World
Descends in silent power:

Its shape reposed within: slight as some cloud
That catches but the palest tinge of day
When evening yields to night,

Bright as that fibrous woof when stars indue
Its transitory robe.

Four shapeless shadows bright and beautiful
Draw that strange car of glory, reins of light
Check their unearthly speed; they stop and fold
Their wings of braided air:

The Demon leaning from the ethereal car

Gazed on the slumbering maid.

Human eye hath ne'er beheld

A shape so wild, so bright, so beautiful,

As that which o'er the maiden's charmed sleep

Waving a starry wand,

Hung like a mist of light.

Such sounds as breathed around like odorous winds

Of wakening spring arose,

Filling the chamber and the moonlight sky.

Maiden, the world's supremest spirit

Beneath the shadow of her wings

Folds all thy memory doth inherit
From ruin of divinest things,

Feelings that lure thee to betray,
And light of thoughts that pass away.

For thou hast earned a mighty boon,
The truths which wisest poets see
Dimly, thy mind may make its own,
Rewarding its own majesty,

Entranced in some diviner mood
Of self-oblivious solitude.

Custom, and Faith, and Power thou spurnest;
From hate and awe thy heart is free;
Ardent and pure as day thou burnest,
For dark and cold mortality

A living light to cheer it long,
The watch-fires of the world among.

Therefore from nature's inner shrine,
Where gods and fiends in worship bend,
Majestic spirit, be it thine

The flame to seize, the veil to rend,
Where the vast snake Eternity
In charmed sleep doth ever lie.

All that inspires thy voice of love,
Or speaks in thy unclosing eyes,

Or through thy frame doth burn or move,
Or think or feel, awake, arise !
Spirit, leave for mine and me

Earth's unsubstantial mimicry!

it ceased, and from the mute and moveless frame A radiant spirit arose,

All beautiful in naked purity.

Robed in its human hues it did ascend,
Disparting as it went the silver clouds

It moved towards the car, and took its seat
Beside the Demon shape.

Obedient to the sweep of aëry song,
The mighty ministers
Unfurled their prismy wings.

The magic car moved on;

The night was fair, innumerable stars
Studded heaven's dark blue vault ;
The eastern wave grew pale
With the first smile of morn.

The magic car moved on
From the swift sweep of wings
The atmosphere in flaming sparkles flew
And where the burning wheels

Eddied above the mountain's loftiest peak
Was traced a line of lightning.

Now far above a rock the utmost verge
Of the wide earth it flew,

The rival of the Andes, whose dark brow
Frowned o'er the silver sea.

Far, far below the chariot's stormy path
Calm as a slumbering babe,
Tremendous ocean lay.

Its broad and silent mirror gave to view

The pale and waning stars,

The chariot's fiery track,
And the grey light of morn

Tinging those fleecy clouds

That cradled in their folds the infant dawn.

The chariot seemed to fly

Through the abyss of an immense concave,
Radiant with million constellations, tinged
With shades of infinite colour,
And semicircled with a belt
Flashing incessant meteors.

As they approached their goal,

The winged shadows seemed to gather speed.
The sea no longer was distinguished; earth
Appeared a vast and shadowy sphere, suspended
In the black concave of heaven

With the sun's cloudless orb,
Whose rays of rapid light

Parted around the chariot's swifter course,
And fell like ocean's feathery spray

Dashed from the boiling surge

Before a vessel's prow.

The magic car moved on.

Earth's distant orb appeared

The smallest light that twinkles in the heavens,
Whilst round the chariot's way
Innumerable systems widely rolled,
And countless spheres diffused
An ever-varying glory.

It was a sight of wonder! Some were horned,
And, like the moon's argentine crescent hung
In the dark dome of heaven, some did shed
A clear mild beam like Hesperus, while the sea
Yet glows with fading sunlight; others dashed
Athwart the night with trains of bickering fire,
Like sphered worlds to death and ruin driven;
Some shone like stars, and as the chariot passed
Dedimmed all other light.

Spirit of Nature! here

In this interminable wilderness

Of worlds, at whose involved immensity
Even soaring fancy staggers,

Here is thy fitting temple.

Yet not the lightest leaf

That quivers to the passing breeze

Is less instinct with thee,

Yet not the meanest worm,

That lurks in graves and fattens on the dead,
Less shares thy eternal breath.

Spirit of Nature! thou
Imperishable as this glorious scene,
Here is thy fitting temple.

If solitude hath ever led thy steps
To the shore of the immeasurable sea,
And thou hast lingered there

Until the sun's broad orb

Seemed resting on the fiery line of ocean,

Thou must have marked the braided webs of gold

That without motion hang

Over the sinking sphere;

Thou must have marked the billowy mountain clouds, Edged with intolerable radiancy,

Towering like rocks of jet
Above the burning deep:
And yet there is a moment

When the sun's highest point

Peers like a star o'er ocean's western edge,

When those far clouds of feathery purple gleam

Like fairy lands girt by some heavenly sea;
Then has thy rapt imagination soared

Where in the midst of all existing things
The temple of the mightiest Demon stands,
Yet not the golden islands

That gleam amid yon flood of purple light,
Nor the feathery curtains

That canopy the sun's resplendent couch,
Nor the burnished ocean waves
Paving that gorgeous dome,
So fair so wonderful a sight

As the eternal temple could afford.
The elements of all that human thought
Can frame of lovely or sublime, did join
To rear the fabric of the fane, nor aught
Of earth may image forth its majesty.
Yet likest evening's vault that faëry hall,
As heaven low resting on the wave it spread
Its floors of flashing light,

Its vast and azure dome;

And on the verge of that obscure abyss
Where crystal battlements o'erhang the gulf
Of the dark world, ten thousand spheres diffuse
Their lustre through its adamantine gates.

The magic car no longer moved;
The Demon and the Spirit

Entered the eternal gates.

Those clouds of aëry gold

That slept in glittering billows

Beneath the azure canopy,

With the ethereal footsteps trembled not;

While slight and odorous mists

Floated to strains of thrilling melody

Through the vast columns and the pearly shrines.

The Demon and the Spirit
Approached the overhanging battlement.
Below lay stretched the boundless universe!
There, far as the remotest line

That limits swift imagination's flight,
Unending orbs mingled in mazy motion,
Immutably fulfilling

Eternal Nature's law.
Above, below, around,

The circling systems formed

A wilderness of harmony,
Each with undeviating aim


In eloquent silence through the depths of space
Pursued its wondrous way.

Awhile the Spirit paused in ecstasy.

Yet soon she saw, as the vast spheres swept by,
Strange things within their belted orbs appear.
Like animated frenzies, dimly moved

Shadows, and skeletons, and fiendly shapes,
Thronging round human graves, and o'er the dead
Sculpturing records for each memory

In verse, such as malignant gods pronounce,
Blasting the hopes of men, when heaven and hell
Confounded burst in ruin o'er the world:
And they did build vast trophies, instruments
Of murder, human bones, barbaric gold,
Skins torn from living men, and towers of skulls
With sightless holes gazing on blinder heaven,
Mitres, and crowns, and brazen chariots stained
With blood, and scrolls of mystic wickedness,
The sanguine codes of venerable crime.
The likeness of a throned king came by,
When these had past, bearing upon his brow
A threefold crown; his countenance was calm,
His eye severe and cold; but his right hand
Was charged with bloody coin, and he did gnaw
By fits, with secret smiles, a human heart
Concealed beneath his robe; and motley shapes,
A multitudinous throng, around him knelt,

With bosoms bare, and bowed heads, and false looks

Of true submission, as the sphere rolled by,
Brooking no eye to witness their foul shame,

Which human hearts must feel, while human tongues
Tremble to speak, they did rage horribly,

Breathing in self contempt fierce blasphemies

Against the Demon of the World, and high

Hurling their armed hands where the pure Spirit,

Serene and inaccessibly secure,

Stood on an isolated pinnacle,

The flood of ages combating below,
The depth of the unbounded universe
Above, and all around
Necessity's unchanging harmony.

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