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XVII. And is this death? the pyre has disappeared, The Pestilence, the Tyrant, and the throng; The flames grow silent-slowly there is heard The music of a breath-suspending song, Which, like the kiss of love when life is

young, Steeps the faint eyes in darkness sweet and

deep; With ever changing notes it floats along,

Till on my passive soul there seemed to creep A melody, like waves on wrinkled sands that


XVIII. The warm touch of a soft and tremulous hand Wakened me then ; lo, Cythna sate reclined Beside me, on the waved and golden sand Of a clear pool, upon a bank o’ertwined With strange and star-bright flowers, which

to the wind Breathed divine odour ; high above, was

spread The emerald heaven of trees of unknown kind, Whose moonlike blooms and bright fruit

overhead A shadow, which was light, upon the waters


XIX. And round about sloped many a lawny

mountain With incense-bearing forests, and vast caves Of marble radiance to that mighty fountain ; And where the flood its own bright margin

Their echoes talk with its eternal waves,

Which, from the depths whose jaggèd caverns

breed Their unreposing strife, it lifts and beaves,

Till through a chasm of hills they roll, and feed A river deep, which flies with smooth but

arrowy speed.

As we sate gazing in a trance of wonder,
A boat approached, borne by the musical air
Along the waves which sung and sparkled

Its rapid keel—a wingèd shape sate there,
A child with silver-shining wings, so fair,
That as her bark did through the waters glide,
The shadow of the lingering waves did wear
Light, as from starry beams; from side to

side, While veering to the wind her plumes the bark

did guide.

XXI. The boat was one curved shell of hollow pearl, Almost translucent with the light divine Of her within ; the prow and stern did curl

i It would have been strange indeed if Shelley, who used to ramp up and down declaiming passages from The Ancient Mariner, had not been driven nearly wild by the preternatural beauty of Kubla Khan, published by Coleridge with Christabel in 1816. When he had quieted down, “Alph, the sacred river,” the “deep romantic chasm,” the “cedarn cover,” the “incense-bearing trees,” and the “caverns measureless to man," must have entered deeply into his poetic being; and here we have them transmuted into a stanza almost as delicately beautiful as the visionary touch of Coleridge himself could have made it.-ED.

Hornèd on high, like the young moon supine, When o'er dim twilight mountains dark with

pine, It floats upon the sunset's sea of beams, Whose golden waves in many a purple line Fade fast, till borne on sunlight's ebbing

streams, Dilating, on earth's verge the sunken meteor


XXII. Its keel has struck the sands beside our

feet;Then Cythna turned to me, and from her eyes Which swam with unshed tears, a look more

sweet Than happy love, a wild and glad surprise, Glanced as she spake; “ Aye, this is Paradise And not a dream, and we are all united ! Lo, that is mine own child, who in the guise

Of madness came, like day to one benighted In lonesome woods: my heart is now too well


XXIII. And then she wept aloud, and in her arms Clasped that bright Shape, less marvellously

fair Than her own human hues and living charms; Which, as she leaned in passion's silence

there, Breathed warmth on the cold bosom of the


Which seemed to blush and tremble with

delight; The glossy darkness of her streaming hair

Fell o'er that snowy child, and wrapped from

sight The fond and long embrace which did their

hearts unite.

XXIV. Then the bright child, the plumèd Seraph,

came, And fixed its blue and beaming eyes on mine, And said, “I was disturbed by tremulous

shame When once we met, yet knew that I was thine From the same hour in which thy lips divine Kindled a clinging dream within my brain, Which ever waked when I might sleep, to

twine Thine image with her memory dear-again We meet; exempted now from mortal fear or


XXV. “When the consuming flames had wrapped

ye round, The hope which I had cherished went away; I fell in agony on the senseless ground, And hid mine eyes in dust, and far astray My mind was gone, when bright, like dawning

day, The Spectre of the Plague before me flew, And breathed upon my lips, and seemed to

say, •They wait for thee beloved ;'—then I knew The death-mark on my breast, and became

calm anew.

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“ It was the calm of love-for I was dying. I saw the black and half-extinguished pyre

In its own grey and shrunken ashes lying;
The pitchy smoke of the departed fire
Still hung in many a hollow dome and spire
Above the towers like night; beneath whose

Awed by the ending of their own desire

The armies stood; a vacancy was made In expectation's depth, and so they stood


XXVII. “ The frightful silence of that altered mood The tortures of the dying clove alone, Till one uprose among the multitude, And said—The flood of time is rolling on, We stand upon its brink, whilst they are gone To glide in peace down death's mysterious

stream. Have ye done well? they moulder flesh and

bone, Who might have made this life's envenomed

dream A sweeter draught than ye will ever taste, I


XXVIII. “. These perish as the good and great of yore Have perished, and their murderers will

repent; Yes, vain and barren tears shall flow before Yon smoke has faded from the firmament Even for this cause, that ye who must lament The death of those that made this world so

fair, Cannot recall them now; but then' is lent 1 This word should probably be there ; but it is not certain that then is wrong.-ED.

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