Obrazy na stronie

To man the wisdom of a high despair, When such can die, and he live on and linger


XXIX. “ • Aye, ye may fear not now the Pestilence; From fabled hell, as by a charm withdrawn, All power and faith must pass, since calmly

hence In torment and in fire have Atheists gone ; And ye must sadly turn away, and moan In secret, to his home each one returning, And to long ages shall this hour be known;

And slowly shall its memory, ever burning, Fill this dark night of things with an eternal morning

xxx. “For me the world is grown too void and

cold, Since hope pursues immortal destiny With steps thus slow—therefore shall ye

behold How Atheists and Republicans can dieTell to your children this !' then suddenly He sheathed a dagger in his heart and fell ; My brain grew dark in death, and yet to me

There came a murmur from the crowd, to tell Of deep and mighty change which suddenly


XXXI. “ Then suddenly I stood a winged Thought Before the immortal Senate, and the seat Of that star-shining spirit, whence is wrought The strength of its dominion, good and great, The better Genius of this world's estate. His realm around one mighty Fane is spread, Elysian islands bright and fortunate,

Calm dwellings of the free and happy dead, Where I am sent to lead!” these wingèd words

she said,

XXXII. And with the silence of her eloquent smile, Bade us embark in her divine canoe; Then at the helm we took our seat, the while Above her head those plumes of dazzling hue Into the winds' invisible stream she threw, Sitting beside the prow : like gossamer, On the swift breath of morn, the vessel flew O’er the bright whirlpools of that fountain

fair, Whose shores receded fast, whilst we seemed

lingering there;

[ocr errors]

Till down that mighty stream dark, calm,

and fleet, Between a chasm of cedarn mountains riven, Chased by the thronging winds whose viewi less feet As swift as twinkling beams, had, under

Heaven, From woods and waves wild sounds and

odours driven, The boat fled visibly—three nights and days, Borne like a cloud through morn, and noon,

and even, We sailed along the winding watery ways

1 Here we are even closer than in stanza xix to Kubla Khan :

But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!-ED.

Of the vast stream, a long and labyrinthine


A scene of joy and wonder to behold
That river's shapes and shadows changing

ever, Where the broad sunrise filled with deepen

ing gold Its whirlpools, where all hues did spread and

quiver ; And where melodious falls did burst and

shiver Among rocks clad with flowers, the foam and

spray Sparkled like stars upon the sunny river;

Or when the moonlight poured a holier day, One vast and glittering lake around green

islands lay.

[ocr errors]

Morn, noon, and even, that boat of pearl

outran The streams which bore it, like the arrowy

cloud Of tempest, or the speedier thought of man, Which flieth forth and cannot make abode. Sometimes through forests, deep like night,

we glode, Between the walls of mighty mountains

crowned With Cyclopean piles, whose turrets proud,

The homes of the departed, dimly frowned O'er the bright waves which girt their dark

foundations round.

XXXVI. Sometimes between the wide and flowering

meadows Mile after mile we sailed, and 'twas delight To see far off the sunbeams chase the shadows Over the grass ; sometimes beneath the night Of wide and vaulted caves, whose roofs were

bright With starry gems, we fled, whilst from their

deep And dark-green chasms, shades beautiful and

white Amid sweet sounds across our path would

sweep, Like swift and lovely dreams that walk the

waves of sleep.

XXXVII. And ever as we sailed our minds were full Of love and wisdom, which would overflow In converse wild, and sweet, and wonderful ; And in quick smiles whose light would come

and go, Like music o'er wide waves, and in the flow Of sudden tears, and in the mute caressFor a deep shade was cleft, and we did know That virtue, though obscured on Earth, not

less Survives all mortal change in lasting loveliness.

XXXVIII. Three days and nights we sailed, as thought

and feeling Number delightful hours--for through the

sky The spherèd lamps of day and night, revealing New changes and new glories, rolled on high,

Sun, Moon, and moonlike lamps, the progeny
Of a diviner Heaven, serene and fair :
On the fourth day, wild as a wind-wrought


The stream became, and fast and faster bare The spirit-winged boat, steadily speeding there.

XXXIX. Steady and swift, where the waves rolled like

mountains Within the vast ravine, whose rifts did pour Tumultuous floods from their ten thousand

fountains, The thunder of whose earth-uplifting roar Made the air sweep in whirlwinds from the

shore, Calm as a shade, the boat of that fair child Securely fled, that rapid stress before,

Amid the topmost spray, and sunbows wild, Wreathed in the silver mist: in joy and pride

we smiled.

The torrent of that wide and raging river
Is passed, and our aërial speed suspended.
We look behind; a golden mist did quiver
Where its wild surges with the lake were

blended : Our bark hung there, as on a line suspended Between two heavens, that windless waveless


Which four great cataracts from four vales,

attended By mists, aye feed; from rocks and clouds

they break, And of that azure sea a silent refuge make.

« PoprzedniaDalej »