Imatges de pÓgina
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Of Christian night rolled back upon the West
When the orient moon of Islam role in triumph
From Tmolus to the Acroceraunian snow.

Wake, thou word
Of God, and from the throne of Destiny
Even to the utmost limit of thy way
May triumph-

Be thou a curse on them whose creed Divides and multiplies the most high God! 1821.

SONG OF PROSERPINE, WHILST GATHERING FLOWERS ON THE PLAIN OF ENXA.

SACRED Goddess, Mother Earth,

Thou from whose immortal bosom
Gods and men and beasts have birth,

Leaf and blade, and bud and blossom,
Breathe thine influence most divine
On thine own child, Proserpine.
If with mists of evening dew

Thou dost nourish these young flowers
Till they grow in scent and hue

Fairest children of the Hours,
Breathe thine influence most divine
On thine own child, Proserpine.

OTHO.
Thou wert not, Cassius, and thou couldst not be,

“Last of the Romans,"—though thy memory claim From Brutus his own glory, and on thee

Rests the full splendour of his sacred fame; Nor he who dared make the foul tyrant quail

Amid his cowering senate with thy name; Though thou and he were great, it will avail To thine own fame that Otho's should not fail. 'Twill wrong thee not: thou wouldst, if thou couldst feel,

Abjure such envious fame. Great Otho died
Like thee: he sanctified his country's steel,

At once the tyrant and tyrannicide,
In his own blood. A deed it was to wring

Tears froin all men-though full of gentle pride,
Such pride as from impetuous love may spring
That will not be refused its offering.
Dark is the realm of grief: but human things

Those may not know who cannot weep for them. 1817.

FRAGMENTS. SILENCE! Oh well are Death and Sleep and Thou Three brethren named, the guardians gloomy-winged Of one abyss, where life and truth and

joy Are swallowed up. Yet spare me, Spirit, pity me! Until the sounds I hear become my soul, And it has left these faint and weary limbs, To track along the lapses of the air This wandering melody until it rests

Among lone mountains in some 1818.

My head is wild with weeping for a grief

Which is the shadow of a gentle mind.
I walk into the air (but no relief

To seek,-or haply, if I sought, to find;
It came unsought);-to wonder that a chief

Among men's spirits should be cold and blind.

.

1818.

'The fierce beasts of the woods and wildernesses
Track not the steps of him who drinks of it;
For the light breezes, which for ever fleet

Around its margin, heap the sand thereon. 1818.

FLOURISHING vine, whose kindling clusters glow

Beneath the autumnal sun, none taste of thee; For thou dost shroud a ruin, and below

The rotting bones of dead antiquity.

1818.

552

Sonnets.

1.

OZYMANDIAS.
I Met a traveller from an antique land

Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, ard despair !'

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away."

II.
POLITICAL GREATNESS.
Nor happiness, nor majesty, nor fame,
Nor peace, nor strength, nor skill in arms or arts,
Shepherd those herds whom tyranny makes tame;
Verse echoes not one beating of their hearts,
History is but the shadow of their shame,
Art veils her glass, or from the pageant starts
As to oblivion their blind millions fleet,
Staining that Heaven with obscene imagery
Of their own likeness. What are numbers knit

By force or custom? Man who man would be,
Must rule the empire of himself; in it
Must be supreme, establishing his throne

On vanquished will, quelling the anarchy
Of hopes and fears, being himself alone.

III.

TO A REVIEWER.
ALAS! good friend, what profit can you see
In hating such an hateless thing as me?
There is r.o sport in hate where all the rage
Is on one side. In vain would you assuage
Your frowns upon an unresisting smile,
In which not even contempt lurks, to beguile
Your heart, by some faint sympathy of hate,
O conquer what you cannot satiate!

For to your passion I am far more coy
Than ever yet was coldest maid or boy
In winter noon. Or your antipathy
If I am the Narcissus, you are free
To pine into a sound with hating me.

IV.

LIFT not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life; though unreal shapes be pictured there..
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread: behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin destinies; who ever weave
The shadows, which the world calls substance, there.
I knew one who lifted it—he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love
But found them not, alas ! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.

V.
FEELINGS OF A REPUBLICAN ON THE FALL OF

BONAPARTE.
I HATED thee, fallen Tyrant! I did groan

To think that a most unambitious slave,

Like thou, should dance and revel on the grave
Of Liberty. Thou mightst have built thy throne
Where it had stood even now : thou didst prefer

A frail and bloody pomp, which Time has swept
In fragments towards oblivion. Massacre,

For this, I prayed, would on thy sleep have crept,
Treason and Slavery, Rapine, Fear, and Lust,

And stifled thee their minister. I know
Too late, since thou and France are in the dust,

That Virtue owns a more eternal foe
Than Force or Fraud : old Custom, Legal Crime,
And bloody Faith, the foulest birth of Time.

VI.
Ye hasten to the dead : what seek ye there,

Ye restless thoughts and busy purposes
Of the idle brain, which the world's livery wear ?

O thou quick heart, which pantest to possess
All that anticipation seigneth sair-

Thou vainly curious mind which wouldst guess
Whence thou didst come and whither thou mayst go,
And that which never yet was known wouldst know-

Oh! whither hasten ye, that thus ye press

With such swift feet life's green and pleasant path,
Seeking alike from happiness and woe

A refuge in the cavern of grey death?
O heart and mind and thoughts! what thing do you
Hope to inherit in the grave below?

VII.

SONNET TO BYRON. [I am afraid these verses will not please you, but] IT esteemed you less, Envy would kill

Pleasure, and leave to Wonder and Despair The ministration of the thoughts that fill

The mind which, like a worm whose life may share A portion of the unapproachable,

Marks your creations rise as fast and fair
As perfect worlds at the Creator's will.
But such is my regard that nor your power

To sqar above the heights where others (climb].
Nor fame, that shadow of the unborn hour
Cast from the envious future on the time,
Move one regret for his unhonoured name
Who dares these words :—the worm beneath the sod
May lift itself in homage of the God.
1821.

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