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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
"The chariot and the captives fettered there:
"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;
"The thickest billows of that living storm
"Before the chariot had begun to climb
"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 loversA 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 some 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. 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
"And others, like discoloured flakes of snow
"Which they extinguished; and, like tears, they were
"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 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.
"Obscure clouds, moulded by the casual air;
"As the sun shapes the clouds; thus on the way
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,
And for my sake
Make answer the while my heart shall break!
But heart has a music which Echo's lips,
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
Cast the darkness of absence worse than death!
Indian. And if my grief should still be dearer to me
Than all the pleasure in the world beside,
Why would you lighten it?
I offer only
That which I seek, some human sympathy
Indian. Oh! my friend,
My sister, my beloved! What do I say?
The passing wind which heals the brow at noon,
Loved! Oh, I love. Methinks
This word of love is fit for all the world,
And that for gentle hearts another name
Would speak of gentler thoughts than the world owns. I have loved.
Indian. And thou lovest not? if so
Young as thou art thou canst afford to weep.
I loved, I love, and when I love no more
Let joys and grief perish, and leave despair
The shadow of his presence made my world
While the musk-rose leaves, like flakes of crimson snow,
Sad prophetess of sorrows not our own.
Indian. Your breath is like soft music, your words are The echoes of a voice which on my heart
Sleeps like a melody of early days.
But as you said—
He was so awful, yet
So beautiful in mystery and terror,
Calming me as the loveliness of heaven
More need was there I should be innocent,
More need that I should be most true and kind,
And much more need that there should be found one
To share remorse, and scorn and solitude,
And all the ills that wait on those who do
The tasks of ruin in the world of life.
He fled and I have followed him.
ON THE MEDUSA OF LEONARDO DA VINCI,
IN THE FLORENTINE GALLERY.
IT lieth, gazing on the midnight sky,
Loveliness like a shadow, from which shrine,
Yet it is less the horror than the grace
Into itself, and thought no more can trace;
And from its head as from one body grow,
Their mailed radiance, as it were to mock
And from a stone beside a poisonous eft
Of sense, has flitted 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-