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One light flame among the brakes,
By the glory of the sky:
Which from heaven like dew doth fall,
And that one star, which to her
Other flowering isles must be
To some calm and blooming cove,
And the earth grow young again.
HYMN TO INTELLECTUAL BEAUTY. THE awful shadow of some unseen Power Floats though unseen among us; visiting
This various world with as inconstant wing As summer winds that creep from flower to flower; Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower, It visits with inconstant glance
Each human heart and countenance;
Like hues and harmonies of evening,
Like clouds in starlight widely spread,
Like aught that for its grace may be
Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.
Spirit of BEAUTY, that dost consecrate
With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon
Of human thought or form, where art thou gone?
Why dost thou pass away and leave our state,
Weaves rainbows o'er yon mountain river;
For love and hate, despondency and hope?
No voice from some sublimer world hath ever
To sage or poet these responses given :
Therefore the names of Demon, Ghost, and Heaven, Remain the records of their vain endeavour :
Frail spells, whose uttered charm might not avail to sever, From all we hear and all we see,
Doubt, chance, and mutability.
Thy light alone, like mist o'er mountains driven,
Through strings of some still instrument,
Gives grace and truth to life's unquiet dream.
Love, Hope, and Self-esteem, like clouds, depart
Didst thou, unknown and awful as thou art,
Keep with thy glorious train firm state within his heart. Thou messenger of sympathies
That wax and wane in lover's eyes;
Thou, that to human thought art nourishment,
Like darkness to a dying flame!
Depart not as thy shadow came:
Depart not, lest the grave should be,
Like life and fear, a dark reality.
While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped
Through many a listening chamber, cave and ruin,
Hopes of high talk with the departed dead.
I called on poisonous names with which our youth is fed:
I was not heard: I saw them not:
Of life, at that sweet time when winds are wooing
I shrieked, and clasped my hands in ecstasy!
I vowed that I would dedicate my powers
To thee and thine: have I not kept the vow?
I call the phantoms of a thousand hours
Each from his voiceless grave: they have in visioned bowers
Outwatched with me the envious night:
Wouldst give whate'er these words cannot express.
The day becomes more solemn and serene
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
From her couch of snows
Her steps paved with green
Which slopes to the western gleams:
In murmurs as soft as sleep;
The Earth seemed to love her, And Heaven smiled above her, As she lingered towards the deep.
Then Alpheus bold,
On his glacier cold,
With his trident the mountains strook;
And opened a chasm
And the black south wind
"Oh, save me! Oh, guide me!