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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
FROM THE ARABIC.
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
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
It may bring to thee.
'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.
For me to profane it,
For thee to disdain it.
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
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
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.
PASSAGE OF THE APENNINES.
Heard in its raging ebb and flow
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.
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
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
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,
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.
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
Ye come again.
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.
In its coffin in the clay,
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.
Halcyons of memory, Seek some far calmer nest Than this abandoned breast;
LINES WRITTEN IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI.
The everlasting universe, of things