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Be braided nevermore?
O dreadful is the world of dreams,
When all that world a chaos seems
Of thoughts so fix'd before!
When heaven's own face is tinged with blood!
And friends cross o'er our solitude,
Now friends of ours no more!
Or, dearer to our hearts than ever,
Keep stretching forth with vain endeavour,
Their pale and palsied hands,
To clasp us phantoms, as we go
Along the void like drifting snow,
To far-off nameless lands!
Yet all the while we know not why,
Nor where those dismal regions lie,
Half hoping that a curse so deep
And wild can only be in sleep,
And that some overpowering scream
Will break the fetters of the dream,
And let us back to waking life,
Pill'd though it be with care and strife;
Since there at least the wretch can know
The meanings on the face of woe,
Assured that no mock shower is shed
Of tears upon the realldead,
Or that his bliss, indeed, is bliss,
When bending o'er the death-like cheek
Of one who scarcely seems alive,
_ Translated from Calderon. It certainly shames the cold and unimaginative lovers of the north.
The cradle of the infant sun,
That scarf d in purple clouds and dun,
Kisses the dewy tear-drops up,
Shed in the flowret's odorous cup—
The budding, spring-awaken'd rose,
That, proudly bursting its green prison,
Proclaims that April has arisen,
And over the laughing gardens goes,
While mid the mild frosts gently-wrinkling,
The tears that morning weeps from heaven
In smile and sparkle earth are sprinkling;
The streamlet that has vainly striven
To bubble its harmonious story
Between these lips that ice confines
And seals awhile;—the pink that shines
A coral star of transient glory,—
The golden-plumaged bird, that shows
All gaudy tints upon its wing,
A feather'd harp, that still doth sing
To the water, murmuring
Sweet music, as it onward flows:—
The rock that can deceive the sun,
Who would dissolve it with his ray;
Its snowy outwork may be won,
But the rock melts not away—
The laurel tree, which bathes its foot
In the snows it tramples down;
A green narcissus, fearing not
The lightnings which it turns aside,
Or wears for an innocuous crown,
Daring the fires above deride.
Or the frost about its root,—
In fine, the cradle, and the light,
THE CLIFFS OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT. By a young Swede, named Theodore Elbert.
The cliffs that rise in stately show
How calm they hear the ocean's flow,
They have a quiet joy to meet
That pleased embrace their aged feet,
The deep blue main and sportful foam
That say, Come, make thy daily home
And here, in truth, so sweet and wild,
So lone and beautiful the spot, In it might live the ocean's child,
As in his own familiar grot.
And here is many a secret nook,
Where the sea ripples like a brook
Haunts of the billow and the breeze,
O! tell me, better than in these,
The wide and mighty main should be
My father, brother, trusted friend; To the old wisdom of the sea
My thoughts, my heart, I here might lend.
And he with every wave should teach
The scanty sounds of human speech
And I my spirit would control
Into the child's subservient mood; And daily fill my grasping soul
With all he speaks of wise and good.
Then ought I not the crowd to flee,
Their thoughts despise, their deeds abhor;
And make the pure and holy sea
Aye, but the universal love,
The instincts each to all that bind! The blessed boon from him above
To the vast brotherhood, mankind!
And God's own word which bade us cling,
Heart unto heart, and hand to hand! Who hath the evil strength to fling
From oif his heart this inmost band?
And I had rather live my days
The tenant of a dungeon's gloom, Where nought of heaven's fresh brightness plays,
And chains each wasting limb consume;
So might I find some heart to blend
In free communion with mine own, Than make the boundless sea my friend,
With none but him to hear my moan.
Thou monarch of the upper air,
Thou mighty temple given
For morning's earliest of light,
And evening's last of heaven.
The vapour from the marsh, the smoke
From crowded cities sent,
Are purified before they reach
Thy loftier element.
Thy hues are not of earth but heaven;
Only the sunset rose
Hath leave to fling a crimson dye
Upon thy stainless snows.
Now out on those adventurers
Who scaled thy breathless height,
And made thy pinnacle, Mont Blanc,
A thing for common sight.
Before that human step had felt
Its sully on thy brow,
The glory of thy forehead made
A shrine to those below:
Men gazed upon thee as a star,
And turn'd to earth again,
With dreams like thine own floating clouds,
The vague but not the vain.
No feelings are less vain than those
That bear the mind away,
Till blent with nature's mysteries
It half forgets its clay.
It catches loftier impulses;
And owns a nobler power;
The poet and philosopher
Are born of such an hour.
But now where may we seek a place