Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

His lips, which speech divided not

he went Alone, as you may guess, to banish

ment.

Thou shadowest forth that mighty

shape in story, As ocean its wrecked fanes, severe yet

tender : The light-invested angel Poesy Was drawn from the dim world to

welcome thee. And thou in painting didst transcribe

all taught By loftiest meditations ; marble knew The sculptor's fearless soul-and as he

wrought, The grace of his own power and free

dom grew. And more than all, heroic, just, sublime Thou wert among the false—was this

thy crime? Yes ; and on Pisa's marble walls the

twine Of direst weeds hangs garlanded—the

snake Inhabits its wrecked palaces;-in thine A beast of subtler venom now doth

make Its lair, and sits amid their glories

overthrown, And thus thy victim's fate is as thine

own. The sweetest flowers are ever frail and

rare, And love and freedom blossoms but to

wither; And good and ill like vines entangled

are, So that their grapes may oft be plucked

together; Divide the vintage ere thou drink, then

make 'Thy heart rejoice for dead Mazenghi's

sake. No record of his crime remains in story, But if the morning bright as evening

shone, It was some high and holy deed, by

glory Pursued into forgetfulness, which won From the blind crowd he made secure

and free The patriot's meed, toil, death, and

infamy. For when by sound of trumpet was de

clared A price upon his life, and there was set A penalty of blood on all who shared So much of water with him as might wet

Amid the mountains, like a hunted

beast, He hid himself, and hunger, cold, and

toil, Month after month endured; it was a

feast Whene'er he found those globes of

deep red gold Which in the woods the strawberry

tree doth bear, Suspended in their emerald atmo

sphere. And in the roofless huts of vast mo

rasses, Deserted by the fever-stricken serf, All overgrown with reeds and long rank

grasses, And hillocks heaped of moss-inwoven

turf, And where the huge and speckled aloe

made, Rooted in stones, a broad and pointed

shade, He housed himself. There is a point

of strand Near Veda's tower and town; and on

one side The treacherous marsh divides it from

the land, Shadowed by pine and ilex forests

wide, And on the other creeps eternally, Through muddy weeds, the shallow,

sullen sea. Naples, 1818.

THE WOODMAN AND THE

NIGHTINGALE, A WOODMAN whose rough heart was

out of tune (I think such hearts yet never came to

good) Hated to hear, under the stars or moon

One nightingale in an interfluous wood Satiate the hungry dark with melody; Aud as a vale is watered by a tlovi,

Of sound, shook forth the dull oblivion Out of their dreams; harmony became

love In every soul but one

rose

Or as the moonlight fills the open sky Struggling with darkness--as a tubePeoples some Indian dell with scents

which lie Like clouds above the flower from

which they rose, The singing of that happy nightingale In this sweet forest, from the golden

close Of evening, till the star of dawn may

fail, Was interfused upon the silentness ; The folded roses and the violets pale Heard her within their slumbers, the

abyss Of heaven with all its planets; the dull

ear Of the night-cradled earth ; the lone

liness Of the circumfluous waters, -every

sphere And every flower and beam and cloud And every wind of the mute atmo

sphere, And every beast stretched in its rugged

cave, And every bird lulled on its mossy

bough, And every silver moth fresh from the

grave, Which is its cradle-ever from below Aspiring like one who loves too fair,

too far, To be consumed within the purest glow Of one serene and unapproached star, As if it were a lamp of earthly light, Unconscious, as some human lovers

and wave,

And so this man returned with axe and

saw At evening close from killing the tall

treen, The soul of whom by nature's gentle

law Was each a wood-nymph, and kept

ever green The pavement and the roof of the wild

copse, Chequering the sunlight of the blue

serene With jagged leaves, -and from the

forest tops Singing the winds to sleep-or weep

ing oft Fast showers of aërial water drops Into their mother's bosom, sweet and

soft, Nature's pure tears which have no bit

terness ; Around the cradles of the birds aloft They spread themselves into the love

liness Of fan-like leaves, and over pallid

flowers Hang like moist clouds :-or, where

high branches kiss, Make a green space among the silent

bowers, Like a vast fane in a metropolis, Surrounded by the columns and the

towers All overwrought with branch-like tra

ceries In which there is religion-and the

mute Persuasion of unkindled melodies, Odours and gleains and murmurs,

which the lute Of the blind pilot-spirit of the blast Stirs as it sails, now grave and now

acute, Wakening the leaves and waves ere it To such brief unison as on the brain One tone, which never can recur, has

cast, One accent never to return again.

are,

Itself how low, how high beyond all

height The heaven where it would perish!

and every form That worshipped in the temple of the

night Was awed into delight, and by the

charm Girt as with an interminable zone, Whilst that sweet bird, whose music

was a storm

has past

And weave into his shame, which like

the dead Shrouds me, the hopes that from his

glory fled."

TO THE MOOX.
Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing of

the earth, Wandering companionless Among the stars that have a different

birth, And ever changing, like a joyless ere That finds no object worth its con

stancy?

WRITTEN ON HEARING THE

NEWS OF THE DEATH OF NAPOLEON. WHAT! alive and so bold, oh earth?

Art thou not over bold?

What ! leapest thou forth as of old In the light of thy morning mirth, The last of the flock of the starry

fold?

Ha ! leapest thou forth as of old ? Are not the limbs still when the ghost

is fled, And canst thou move, Napoleon being

dead? How ! is not thy quick heart cold?

What spark is alive on thy hearth? How! is not his death-knell knolled,

And livest thou still, Mother Earth? Thou wert warming thy fingers old

O'er the embers covered and cold Of that most fiery spirit, when it fledWhat, Mother, dost thou laugh now

he is dead?
"Who has known me of old," re-

plied Earth,
"Or who has my story told?

It is thou who art over bold."
And the lightning of scorn laughed

forth As she sung, “To my bosom I fold All my sons when their knell is

knolled; And so with living motion all are fed, And the quick spring like weeds out

of the dead.
"Still alive and still bold," shouted

Earth,
“I grow bolder and still more bold.

The dead fill me ten thousand fold Fuller of speed, and splendour, and

mirth, I was cloudy, and sullen, and cold,

Like a frozen chaos uprolled,
Till by the spirit of the mighty dead
My heart grew warm. I feed on whom

Í fed.
“Ay, alive, and still bold," muttered

Earth,
Napoleon's fierce spirit rolled,
In terror and blood and gold,
A torrent of ruin to death from his

birth.
Leave the millions who follow to

mould
The metal before it be cold;

SONG FOR TASSO. I LOVED-alas ! our life is love: But when we cease to breathe and more I do suppose love ceases too. I thought, but not as now I do, Keen thoughts and bright of linked

lore, Of all that men had thought before, And all that nature shows, and more.

And still I love and still I think,
But strangely, for my heart can drink
The dregs of such despair, and live,
And love; [

1
And if I think, my thoughts come fast,
I mix the present with the past,
And each seems uglier than the last.

Sometimes I see before me flee
A silver spirit's form, like thee,
O, Leonora, and i sit

) still watching it,
Till by the grated casement's ledge
It fades, with such a sigh, as sedce
Breathes o'er the breezy stream.et's

edge.

THE WANING MOOX. And like a dying lady, lean and pale, Who totters forth, wrapt in a gaur

veil, Out of her chamber, led by the incare And feeble wanderings of her facing

brain, The moon arose up in the murky earth A white and shapeless mess.

EPITAPH. These are two friends whose lives were

undivided, So let their memory be, now they have

glided Under the grave; let not their bones

be parted, For their two hearts in life were single

hearted.

Hasten to the bridal bed-
Underneath the grave 'tis spread:
In darkness may our love be hid,
Oblivion be our coverlid-
We may rest, and none forbid.
Clasp me till our hearts be

grown
Like two lovers into one;
Till this dreadful transport may
Like a vapour fade away,
In the sleep that lasts alway.
We may dream, in that long sleep,
That we are not those who weep;
E'en as pleasure dreams of thee,
Life-deserting Misery,
Thou mayst dream of her with me.
Let us laugh, and make our mirth,
At the shadows of the earth,
As dogs bay the moonlight clouds,
That, like spectres wrapt in shrouds,
Pass o'er night in multitudes.
All the wide world beside us
Are like multitudinous
Shadows shifting from a scene-
What but mockery may they mean?
Where am I?-Where thou hast been.

INVOCATION TO MISERY.
COME, be happy !-sit by me,
Shadow-vested Misery:
Coy, unwilling, silent bride,
Mourning in thy robe of pride,
Desolation-deified !
Come, be happy !-sit near me:
Sad as I may seem to thee,
I am happier far than thou,
lady, whose imperial brow
Is endiademed with woe.
Misery! we have known each other,
Like a sister and a brother
Living in the same lone home,
Many years—we must live some
Years and ages yet to come.
'Tis an evil lot, and yet
Let us make the most of it;
If love lives when pleasure dies,
We will love, till in our eyes
This heart's Hell seem Paradise.
Come, be happy!- lie thee down
On the fresh grass newly mown,
Where the grasshopper doth sing
Merrily-one joyous thing
In a world of sorrowing !
There our tent shall be the willow,
And thine arm shall be my pillow;
Sounds and odours sorrowful
Because they once were sweet, shall

lull
U's to slumber, deep and dull.
Ha! thy frozen pulses fluiter
With a love thou darest not utter.

AN ARIETTE FOR MUSIC. TO A LADY SINGING TO HER ACCOM

PANIMENT ON THE GUITAR. As the moon's soft splendour O'er the faint cold starlight of heaven

Is thrown, So thy voice most tender To the strings without soul has given

Its own.

The stars will awaken, Though the moon sleep a full hour

later

To-night: No leaf will be shaken Whilst the dews of thy melody scatter

Delight.

Thou art murmuring, thou art weeping,
Whilst my burning bosom's leaping.
Kiss me;-oh! thy lips are cold:
Round my neck thine arms enfold-
They are soft, but chill and dead;
Ard thy tears upon my head
Burn like points of frozen lead.

Though the sound overpowers, Sing again, with thy sweet voice

revealing

A tone Of some world far from ours, Where music and moonlight and

feeling

Are one.

WITH A GUITAR. The artist who this idol wrought, To echo all harmonious thought, Felled a tree, while on the steep The winds were in their winter sleep, Rocked in that repose divine On the wind-swept Apennine; And dreaming some of Autumn past, And some of Spring approaching fast, And some of April buds and showers, And some of songs in July bowers, And all of love; and so this tree,-O that such our death may be ! Died in sleep, and felt no pain, To live in happier form again; From which, beneath Heaven's fairest

star, The artist wrought that loved Guitar, And taught it justly to reply, 'lo all who question skilfully, In language gentle as its own, Whispering in enamoured tone Sweet oracles of woods and dells, And summer winds in sylvan cells; For it had learnt all harmonies Of the plains and of the skies, Of the forests and the mountains, And the many-voiced fountains; The clearest echoes of the hills, The softest notes of falling rills, The melodies of birds and bees, The murmuring of summer seas, And pattering rain, and breathing dew, And airs of evening; and it knew That seldom-heard mysterious sound, Which, Griven in its diurnal round, As it floats through boundless day, Our world enkindles on its way-All this it knows, but will not tell To those who cannot question well The spirit that inhabits it. It talks according to the wit Of its companions; and no more Is heard than has been felt before, By those who tempt it to betray These secrets of an elder day: But sweetly as its answers will Flatter hands of perfect skill, It keeps its highest, holiest tone, For our beloved friend alone.

My pity on thy heart, poor friend;

And from my fingers flow
The powers of life, and like a sign,

Seal thee from thine hour of woe; And brood on thee, but may not blend

With thine. Sleep on ! sleep on! I love thee not;

But when I think that he Who made and makes my lot As full of flowers as thine of weeds,

Might have been lost like thee; And that a hand which was not mine,

Might then have chased his agony As I another's—my heart bleeds

For thine, Sleep, sleep, and with the slumber of

The dead and the unborn, Forget thy life and woe; Forget that thou must wake for ever;

Forget the world's dull scorn; Forget lost health, and the divine Feelings that die in youth's brief

morn; And forget me, for I can never

Be thine. Like a cloud big with a May shower,

My soul weeps healing rain,
On thee, thou withered flower;
It breathes mute music on thy sleep;

Its odour calms thy brain !
Its light within thy gloomy breast

Speaks like a second youth again. By mine thy being is to its deep

Possest.

The spell is done. How feel you now?

Better-Quite well, replied The sleeper. - What would do You good when suffering and awake?

What cure your head and side?'Twould kill me what would cure my

pain; And as I must on earth abide Awhile, yet tempt me not to break

My chain.

TO THE QUEEN OF MY

HEART. SHALL we roam, my love, To the twilight grove,

THE MAGNETIC LADY TO

HER PATIENT. SLEEP on ! sleep on! forget thy pain:

My hand is on thy brow, My spirit on thy brain;

* This poem is considered doubtful ; but it was published by Captain Medwin as Shelley's.

« AnteriorContinua »