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“Others stood gazing, till within the shade Of the great mountain its light left them dim; Others outspeeded it; and others made “Circles around it, like the clouds that swim Round the high moon in a bright sea of air; And more did follow, with exulting hymn, “The chariot and the captives fettered there: But all like bubbles on an eddying flood Fled into the same track at last, and were “ Borne onward.—I among the multitude Was swept-me, sweetest flowers delayed not long; Me, not the shadow nor the solitude; "Me, not that falling stream's Lethean song; Me, not the phantom of that early form, Which moved upon its motion--but among "The thickest billows of that living storm I plunged, and bared my bosom to the clime Of that cold light, whose airs too soon deform. " Before the chariot had begun to climb The opposing steep of that mysterious dell, Behold a wonder worthy of the rhyme "Of him who from the lowest depths of hell, Through every paradise and through all glory, Love led serene, and who returned to tell "The words of hate and care; the wondrous story How all things are transfigured except Love; For deaf as is a sea, which wrath makes hoary, " The world can hear not the sweet notes that move The sphere whose light is melody to lovers, A wonder worthy of his rhyme-the grove "Grew dense with shadows to its inmost covers, The earth was grey with phantoms, and the air Was peopled with dim forms, as when there hovers "A flock of vampire-bats before the glare Of the tropic sun, bringing, ere evering, Strange night upon soine Indian vale ;-thus were "Phantoms diffused around ; and some did fling Shadows of shadows, yet unlike themselves, Behind them ; some like eaglets on the wing "Were lost in the white day; others like elves Danced in a thousand unimagined shapes Upon the sunny streams and grassy shelves ; "And others sate chattering like restless apes On vulgar hands, Some made a cradle of the ermined capes
“Of kingly mantles ; some across the tire Of pontiffs rode, like demons; others played Under the crown which girt with empire “A baby's or an idiot's brow, and made Their nests in it. The old anatomies Sate hatching their bare broods under the shade “Of demon wings, and laughed from their dead eyes To reassume the delegated power, Arrayed in which those worms did monarchize, “Who make this earth their charnel. Others more Humble, like falcons, sate upon the fist Of common men, and round their heads did soar; “Or like small gnats and flies, as thick as mist On evening marshes, thronged about the brow Of lawyers, statesmen, priest and theorist; "And others, like discoloured flakes of snow On fairest bosoms and the sunniest hair, Fell, and were melted by the youthful glow “Which they extinguished ; and, like tears, they were A veil to those from whose faint lids they rained In drops of sorrow.
I became aware "Of whence those forms proceeded which thus stained The track in which we moved. After brief space, From every form the beauty slowly waned ; “From every firmest limb and fairest face The strength and freshness fell like dust, and left The action and the shape without the grace “ Of life. The marble brow of youth was cleft With care ; and in those eyes where once hope shone, Desire, like a lioness bereft "Of her last cub, glared ere it died; each one Of that great crowd sent forth incessantly These shadows, numerous as the dead leaves blown " In autumn evening from a poplar tree. Each like himself and like each other were At first; but some distorted seemed to be
"Obscure clouds, moulded by the casual air ; And of this stuff the car's creative ray Wrapt all the busy phantoms that were there, " As the sun shapes the clouds ; thus on the way Mask after mask fell from the countenance And form of all; and long before the day “Was old, the joy which waked like heaven's glance The sleepers in the oblivious valley, died ; And some grew weary of the ghastly dance,
" And fell, as I have fallen, by the way side; Those soonest from whose forms most shadows past, And least of strength and beauty did abide. " Then, what is life? I cried."—
FROM AN UNFINISHED DRAMA.
He came like a dream in the dawn of life,
He fied like a shadow before its noon;
O sweet Echo wake,
And for my sake
'Though tender and true, yet can answer not, And the shadow that moves in the soul's eclipse Can return not the kiss by his now forgot ;
Sweet lips ! he who hath
On my desolate path
Indian. And if my grief should still be dearer to me Than all the pleasure in the world beside, Why would you lighten it?Lady:
I offer only
Indian. Oh! my friend,
Lady. Loved! Oh, I love. Methinks
Indian. And thou lovest not? if so
Lady. Oh! would that I could claim exemption
The shadow of his presence made my world
Indian. Your breath is like soft music, your words are
He was so awful, yet
He fied and I have followed him.
ON THE MEDUSA OF LEONARDO DA VINCI,
IN THE FLORENTINE GALLERY.
Ir lieth, gazing on the midnight sky,
Upon the cloudy mountain peak supine;
Its horror and its beauty are divine.
Loveliness like a shadow, from which shrine,
Yet it is less the horror than the grace
Which turns the gazer's spirit into stone;
Are graven, till the characters be grown
Into itself, and thought no more can trace;
"Tis the melodious hue of beauty thrown Athwart the darkness and the glare of pain, Which humanize and harmonize the strain.
And from its head as from one body grow,
) grass out of a watery rock,
And their long tangles in each other lock,
Their mailed radiance, as it were to mock
And from a stone beside a poisonous eft
Peeps idly into those Gorgonian eyes;
Of sense, has fitted with a mad surprise
And he comes hastening like a moth that hies
'Tis the tempestuous loveliness of terror;
For from the serpents gleams a brazen glare
Which makes a thrilling vapour of the air
Of all the beauty and the terror there-
Gazing in death on heaven from those wet rocks.
RARELY, rarely, comest thou,
Spirit of Delight !
Many a day and night? Many a weary night and day "Tis since thou art fled away.
Let me set my mournful ditty
To a merry measure,
Thou wilt come for pleasure,
How shall ever one like me
Win thce back again ?
Thou wilt scoff at pain.
I love all that thou lovest,
Spirit of Delight !
And the starry night;
As a lizard with the shade
Of a trembling leaf,
Even the sighs of grief
I love snow, and all the forms
Of the radiant frost: