Imatges de pÓgina

AN ALLEGORY. A PORTAL as of shadowy adamant Stands yawning on the highway of

the life Which we all tread, a cavern huge and

gaunt ; Around it rages an unceasing strife Of shadows, like the restless clouds

that haunt The gap of some cleft mountain, listed

high Into the wbirlwinds of the upper sky. And many passed it by with careless

tread, Not knowing that a shadowy [ ] Tracks every traveller even to where

the dead Wait peacefully for their companion

new; But others, by more curious humour

led, Pause to examine, - these are very

few, And they learn little there, except to

know 'That shadows follow them where'er

they go.


AN IMITATION. My faint spirit was sitting in the light

Of thy looks, my love; It panted for thee like the hind at noon

For the brooks, my love. Thy barb whose hoofs outspeed the

tempest's flight

Bore thee far from me ; My heart, for my weak feet were weary


Did companion thee. Ah! fleeter far than fleetest storm or


Or the death they bear, The heart which tender thought

clothes like a dove

With the wings of care ; In the battle, in the darkness, in the


Shall mine cling to thee, Nor claim one smile for all the com

fort, love,

It may bring to thee.

The flower that smiles to-day

'To-morrow dies ; All that we wish to stay,

Tempts and then flies; What is this world's delight? Lightning that mocks the night, Brief even as bright. Virtue, how frail it is!

Friendship too rare ! Love, how it sells poor bliss

For proud despair ! But we, though soon they fall, Survive their joy and all Which ours we call.

ONE word is too often profaned

For me to profane it,
One feeling too falsely disdained

For thee to disdain it.
One hope is too like despair

For prudence to smother, And Pity from thee more dear,

Than that from another. I can give not what men call love,

But wilt thou accept not The worship the heart lifts above

And the Heavens reject not. The desire of the moth for the star,

Of the night for the morrow, The devotion to something afar

From the sphere of our sorrow?

Whilst skies are blue and bright,

Whilst flowers are gay, Whilst eyes that change ere night

Make glad the day; Whilst yet the calm hours creep. Dream thou-aud from thy sleep Then wake to weep.

MUSIC. I PANT for the music which is divine, My heart in its thirst is a dying

flower ; Pour forth the sound like enchanted

wine, Loosen the notes in a silver shower; Like a herbless plain, for the gentle

rain, I gasp, I saint, till they wake again.

The moon made thy lips pale, beloved; The wind made thy bosom chill ;

The night did shed

On thy dear head Its frozen dew, and thou didst lie Where the bitter breath of the naked sky

Might visit thee at will. November, 1815.

Let me drink of the spirit of that sweet

sound, More, O more, -I am thirsting yet, It loosens the serpent which care has

bound Upon my heart toʻstifle it; The dissolving strain, through every

vein, Passes into my heart and brain. As the scent of a violet withered up, Which grew by the brink of a silver

lake ; When the hot noon has drained its

dewy cup, And mist there was none its thirst

to slake--And the violet lay dead while the

odour flew On the wings of the wind o'er the

waters blueAs one who drinks from a charmed cup Of foaming, and sparkling and mur

muring wine Whom, a mighty Enchantress filling up,

Invites to love with her kiss divine.

DEATH DEATH is here and death is there, Death is busy everywhere, All around, within, beneath, Above is death-and we are death. Death has set his mark and seal On all we are and all we feel, On all we know and all we fear,

First our pleasures die-and then
Our hopes, and then our fears-and

These are dead, the debt is due,
Dust claims dust--and we die too.
All things that we love and cherish,
Like ourselves must fade and perish,
Such is our rude mortal lot,
Love itself would, did they not.

The cold earth slept below;
Above the cold sky shone ;

And all around,

With a chilling sound, From caves of ice and fields of snow, The breath of night like death did flow

Beneath the sinking moon. The wintry hedge was black, The green grass was not seen,

The birds did rest

On the bare thorn's breast, Whose roots, beside the pathway track, Had bound their folds o'er many a

crack Which the frost had made between. Thine eyes glowed in the glare Of the moon's dying light;

As a fen-fire's beam,

On a sluggish stream, Gleams dimly-so the moon shone

there, And it yellowed the strings of thy

tangled hair
That shook in the wind of night.

TO WHEN passion's trance is overpast, If tenderness and truth could last Or live, whilst all wild feelings keep Some mortal slumber, dark and deep, I should not weep, I should not weep! It were enough to feel, to see Thy soft eyes gazing tenderly, And dream the rest -- and burn and be The secret food of fires unseen, Couldst thou but be as thou hast been. After the slumber of the year The woodland violets reappear, All things revive in field or grove, And sky and sea, but two, which move, And for all others, life and love.

Listen, listen, Mary mine,
To the whisper of the Apennine,
It bursts on the roof like the thunder's

Or like the sea on a northern shore,

Heard in its raging ebb and flow
By the captives pent in the cave below.
The Apennine in the light of day
Is a mighty mountain dim and grey,
Which between the earth and sky doth

But when night comes, a chaos dread
On the dim starlight then is spread,
And the Apennine walks abroad with

the storm. May 4th, 1818.

Have woven all the wondrous imagery Of this dim spot, which mortals call

the world; Infinite depths of unknown elements Massed into one impenetrable mask; Sheets of immeasurable fire, and veinis Of gold and stone, and adamantine

iron. And as a veil in which I walk through

Heaven I have wrought mountains, seas, and

waves, and clouds, And lastly light, whose interfusion

dawns In the dark space of interstellar air.

* sky

TO MARY SHELLEY. On! Mary dear, that you were here With your brown eyes bright and clear, And your sweet voice, like a bird Singing love to its lone mate In the ivy bower disconsolate; Voice the sweetest ever heard ! And your brow more Than the Of this azure Italy. Mary dear, come to me soon, I am not well whilst thou art far; As sunset to the sphered moon, As twilight to the western star, Thou, beloved, art to me. Oh ! Mary dear, that you were here; The Castle echo whispers “Here !"

Este, September, 1818.

THE PAST. Wilt thou forget the happy hours Which we buried in Love's sweet

bowers, Heaping over their corpses cold Blossoms and leaves, instead of mould? Blossoms which were the joys that fell, And leaves, the hopes that yet remain. Forget the dead, the past ? O yet There are ghosts that may take re

venge for it, Memories that make the heart a tomb, Regrets which glide through the

spirit's gloom, And with ghastly whispers tell That joy, once lost, is pain.

LIBERTY. The fiery mountains answer each

other; Their thunderings are echoed from

zone to zone; The tempestuous oceans awake one

another, And the ice-rocks are shaken round

winter's zone
When the clarion of the Työ

phoon is blown. From a single cloud the lightning

flashes, Whilst a thousand isles are illumined

around, Earthquake is trampling one city to

ashes, An hundred are shuddering and tottering; the sound

Is bellowing underground. But keener thy gaze than the light

ning's glare, And swister thy step than the earth

quake's tramp: Thou deafenest the rage of the ocean;

thy stare Makes blind the volcanoes; the sun's bright lamp

To thine is a fen-fire damp. From billow and mountain and ex

halation The sunlight is darted through vapour

and hlast; From spirit to spirit, from nation to

nation, From city to hamlet thy dawning is And tyrants and slaves are like shadows of night

In the van of the morning light.


SONG OF A SPIRIT. Within the silent centre of the earth My mansion is; where I livedensphered From the beginning, and around my sleep

TO MUSIC, when soft voices die, Vibrates in the memoryOdours, when sweet violets sicken, Live within the sense they quicken. Rose leaves, when the rose is dead, Are heaped for the beloved's bed; And so thy thoughts, when thou art

gone, Love itself shall slumber on.

TO SINE eyes were dim with tears unshed;

Yes, I was firm-thus did not thou; My baffled looks did fear yet dread

To meet thy looks—I could not know How anxiously they sought to shine With soothing pity upon mine. To sit and curb the soul's mute rage

Which preys upon itself alone; To curse the life which is the cage

Of fettered grief that dares not groan, Hiding from many a careless eye The scorned load of agony. Whilst thou alone, then not regarded, The [

] thou alone should be, To spend years thus, and be rewarded,

As thou, sweet love, requited me When none were near-Oh! I did wake From torture for that moment's sake. Upon my heart thy accents sweet

Of peace and pity, fell like dew On flowers hall dead;—thy lips did

Mine tremblingly; thy dark eyes

Thy soft persuasion on my brain,
Charming away its dream of pain.
We are not happy, sweet; our state

Is strange and full of doubt and fear; More need of words that ills abate;

Reserve or censure come not near Our sacred friendship, lest there be No solace left for thou and me. Gentle and good and mild thou art,

Sor I can live if thou appear Aught but thyself, or turn thine heart

Away from me, or stoop to wear The mask of scorn, although it be To hide the love thou feel for me.

TIME. UNFATHOMABLE Sea! whose waves

are years, Ocean of Time, whose waters of deep

woe Are brackish with the salt of human

tears ! Thou shoreless flood, which in thy

ebb and flow Claspest the limits of mortality ! And sick of prey, yet howling on for

more, Vomitest thy wrecks on its inhospitable

shore, Treacherous in calm, and terrible in


Who shall put forth on thee,
Unfathomable Sea ?

That time is dead for ever, child,
Drowned, frozen, dead for ever!

We look on the past

And stare aghast At the spectres wailing, pale and glast, Of hopes which thou and I beguiled

To death on life's dark river. The stream we gazed on then, rolled by; Its waves are unreturning;

But we yet stand

In a lone land, Like tombs to mark the memory Of hopes and fears, which fade and flee In the light of life's dim morning.

November 5th, 1817.

THE ISLE. THERE was a little lawny islet By anemone and violet,

Like mosaic, paven: And its roof was flowers and leaves Which the summer's breath enweaves, Where nor sun nor showers nor breeze Pierce the pines and tallest trees,

Each a gem engraven.
Girt by many an azure wave
With which the clouds and mountains

A lake's blue chasm.

A SONG. A widow bird sate mourning for her


Upon a wintry bough; The frozen wind kept on above,

The freezing stream below.

There was no leaf upon the forest bare,

No flower upon the ground, And little motion in the air

Except the mill-wheel's sound.

No news of your false spring
To my heart's winter bring,
Once having gone, in vain

Ye come again.
Vultures, who build your bowers
High in the Future's towers,
Withered hopes on hopes are spread,
Dying joys choked by the dead,
Will serve your beaks for prey

Many a day.

THE WORLD'S WANDERERS. Tell me, thou star, whose wings of

light Speed thee in thy fiery flight, In what cavern of the night

Will thy pinions close now? Tell me, moon, thou pale and grey Pilgrim of heaven's homeless way, In what depth of night or day

Seekest thou repose now? Weary wind, who wanderest Like the world's rejected guest, Hast thou still some secret nest

On the tree ur billow?

A DIRGE. ROUGH wind, that moanest loud

Grief too sad for song; Wild wind, when sullen cloud

Knells all the night long; Sad storm, whose tears are vain, Bare woods, whose branches stain, Deep caves and dreary main,

Wail for the world's wrong!

DIRGE FOR THE YEAR. ORPHAN hours, the year is dead,

Come and sigh, come and weep! Merry hours, smile instead,

For the year is but asleep.
See, it smiles as it is sleeping,
Mocking your untimely weeping.
As an earthquake rocks a corse

In its coffin in the clay,
So White Winter, that rough nurse,

Rocks the death-cold year to-day; Solemn hours! wait aloud For your mother in her shroud. As the wild air stirs and sways

The tree-swung cradle of a child, So the breath of these rude days

Rocks the year:- be calm and mild, Trembling hours, she will arise With new love within her eyes. January grey is here,

Like a sexton by her grave: February bears the bier,

March with grief doth howl and rave, And April weeps-but, О ye hours, Follow with May's fairest flowers.

January 1st, 1821.

FAR, far away, O ye

Halcyons of memory, Seek some far calmer nest Than this abandoned breast;




The everlasting universe, of things
Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
Now dark-now glittering-now reflecting gloom-
Now lending splendour, where from secret springs
The source of human thought its tribute brings
Of waters,—with a sound but half its own,
Such as a feeble brook will oft assume
In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
Where waterfalls around it leap for ever,
Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.

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