Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

And hark! a rush as if the deep
Had burst its bonds; she looked behind
And saw over the western steep

A raging flood descend, and wind
Through that wide vale; she felt no fear,
But said within herself, 'tis clear

These towers are Nature's own, and she
To save them has sent forth the sea.

And now those raging billows came
Where that fair Lady sate, and she
Was borne towards the showering flame
By the wild waves heaped tumultuously,
And on a little plank, the flow
Of the whirlpool bore her to and fro.

The waves were fiercely vomited

From every tower and every dome, And dreary light did widely shed

O'er that vast flood's suspended foam, Beneath the smoke which hung its night On the stained cope of heaven's light.

The plank whereon that Lady sate

Was driven through the chasms, about and about, Between the peaks so desolate

Of the drowning mountain, in and out,
As the thistle-beard on a whirlwind sails-
While the flood was filling those hollow vales.

At last her plank an eddy crost,

And bore her to the city's wall,

Which now the flood had reached almost;
It might the stoutest heart appal

To hear the fire roar and hiss

Through the domes of those mighty palaces.

The eddy whirled her round and round
Before a gorgeous gate, which stood
Piercing the clouds of smoke which bound
Its aery arch with light like blood;
She looked on that gate of marble clear,
With wonder that extinguished fear.

For it was filled with sculptures rarest,
Of forms most beautiful and strange,
Like nothing human, but the fairest

Of winged shapes, whose legions range
Throughout the sleep of those that are,
Like this same Lady, good and fair.

And as she looked, still lovelier grew

Those marble forms;-the sculptor sure

Was a strong spirit, and the hue

Of his own mind did there endure
After the touch, whose power had braided
Such grace, was in some sad change faded.

[graphic][merged small]

She looked, the flames were dim, the flood
Grew tranquil as a woodland river
Winding through hills in solitude;

Those marble shapes then seemed to quiver,
And their fair limbs to float in motion,
Like weeds unfolding in the ocean.

And their lips moved; one seemed to speak,
When suddenly the mountain crackt,
And through the chasm the flood did break
With an earth-uplifting cataract :
The statues gave a joyous scream,
And on its wings the pale thin dream
Lifted the Lady from the stream.

The dizzy flight of that phantom palc
Waked the fair Lady from her sleep,
And she arose, while from the veil

Of her dark eyes the dream did creep,
And she walked about as one who knew
That sleep has sights as clear and true
As any waking eyes can view.
Marlow, 1817.

LINES TO AN INDIAN AIR.

I ARISE from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low,
And the stars are shining bright:
I arise from dreams of thee,
And a spirit in my feet

Has led me-who knows how?
To thy chamber window, sweet!

The wandering airs they faint
On the dark, the silent stream-
The champak odours fail
Like sweet thoughts in a dream ;
The nightingale's complaint,
It dies upon her heart,
As I must die on thine,
Beloved as thou art !

O lift me from the grass!
I die, I faint, I fail!

Let thy love in kisses rain

On my lips and eyelids pale.

My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast,
Oh! press it close to thine again,
Where it will break at last.

STANZAS

WRITTEN IN DEJECTION, NEAR NAPLES

THE sun is warm, the sky is clear,

The waves are dancing fast and bright,

Blue isles and snowy mountains wear
The purple noon's transparent light
Around its unexpanded buds;

Like many a voice of one delight,
The winds, the birds, the ocean floods,
The City's voice itself is soft, like Solitude's.

I see the Deep's untrampled floor

With green and purple seaweeds strown;

I see the waves upon the shore,

Like light dissolved in star-showers, thrown

I sit upon the sands alone,

The lightning of the noontide ocean

Is flashing round me, and a tone

Arises from its measured motion,

[ocr errors]

How sweet! did any heart now share in my emotion.

Alas! I have nor hope nor health,

Nor peace within nor calm around,
Nor that content surpassing wealth
The sage in meditation found,

And walked with inward glory crowned

Nor fame, nor power, nor love, nor leisure.
Others I see whom these surround-

Smiling they live and call life pleasure;

To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.

Yet now despair itself is mild,

Even as the winds and waters are;
I could lie down like a tired child,
And weep away the life of care
Which I have borne and yet must bear,
Till death like sleep might steal on me,

And I might feel in the warm air

My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea
Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.

Some might lament that I were cold,
As I, when this sweet day is gone,
Which my lost heart, too soon grown old,
Insults with this untimely moan;

They might lament-for I am one

Whom men love not,-and yet regret,

Unlike this day, which, when the sun

Shall on its stainless glory set,

Will linger, though enjoyed, like joy in memory yet. December, 1818.

AUTUMN:

A DIRGE.

THE warm sun is failing, the bleak wind is wailing,
The bare boughs are sighing, the pale flowers are dying,
And the year

On the earth her deathbed, in a shroud of leaves dead,
Is lying.

« AnteriorContinua »