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HYMN TO INTELLECTUAL BEAUTY.
THE awful shadow of some unseen Power
Each human heart and countenance;
Like hues and harmonies of evening,
Like clouds in starlight widely spread,
Like memory of music fled,—
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, This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate ? Ask why the sunlight not for ever
Weaves rainbows o'er yon mountain river, Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown, Why fear and dream and death and birth Cast on the daylight of this earth
Such gloom,-why man has such a scope 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
From all we hear and all we see,
Thy light alone—like mist o'er mountains driven,
Thro' 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,
That wax and wane in lovers' eyes—
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 Thro' many a listening chamber, cave and ruin, And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing 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
When musing deeply on the lot
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? With beating heart and streaming eyes, even now I call the phantoms of a thousand hours
Each from his voiceless grave: they have in visioned bowers
Of studious zeal or love's delight
Outwatched with me the envious nightThey know that never joy illumed my brow Unlinked with hope that thou wouldst free This world from its dark slavery,
That thou-O awful Loveliness,
Wouldst give whate'er these words cannot express.
The day becomes more solemn and serene
Which thro' the summer is not heard or seen,
THE POET'S PHILOSOPHY.
[WE] look on that which cannot change the One,
Against the escape of boldest thoughts, repels them
Of suns, and worlds, and men, and beasts, and flowers, With all the silent or tempestuous workings
By which they have been, are, or cease to be,
Is but a vision; all that it inherits
Are motes of a sick eye, bubbles and dreams;