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Its blinding splendour—through such veil

was seen That work of subtlest power, divine and rare; Orb above orb, with starry shapes between, And hornèd moons, and meteors strange and


On night-black columns poised-one hollow

hemisphere !

LIII. Ten thousand columns in that quivering light Distinct between whose shafts wound far


The long and labyrinthine aisles—more

bright With their own radiance than the Heaven of

Day; And on the jasper walls around, there lay Paintings, the poesy of mightiest thought, Which did the Spirit's history display;

A tale of passionate change, divinely taught, Which, in their winged dance, unconscious

Genii wrought.

LIV. Beneath, there sate on many a sapphire throne The Great, who had departed from mankind, A mighty Senate ;—some, whose white hair

shone Like mountain snow, mild, beautiful, and

blind. Some, female forms, whose gestures beamed

with mind; And ardent youths, and children bright and

fair; And some had lyres whose strings were inter

With pale and clinging flames, which ever

there Waked faint yet thrilling sounds that pierced

the crystal air.

LV. One seat was vacant in the midst, a throne, Reared on a pyramid like sculptured flame, Distinct with circling steps which rested on Their own deep fire-soon as the Woman

came Into that hall, she shrieked the Spirit's name And fell; and vanished slowly from the sight Darkness arose from her dissolving frame, Which gathering, filled that dome of woven

light, Blotting its spherèd stars with supernatural


Then, first, two glittering lights were seen to

In circles on the amethystine floor,
Small serpent eyes trailing from side to side,
Like meteors on a river's grassy shore,
They round each other rolled, dilating more
And more-then rose, commingling into one,
One clear and mighty planet hanging o'er

A cloud of deepest shadow, which was thrown Athwart the glowing steps and the crystàlline



The cloud which rested on that cone of flame Was cloven ; beneath the planet sate a Form, Fairer than tongue can speak or thought may The radiance of whose limbs rose-like and


warm Flowed forth, and did with softest light

inform The shadowy dome, the sculptures, and the

state Of those assembled shapes—with clinging

charm Sinking upon their hearts and mine-He sate Majestic, yet most mild-calm, yet compas


LVIII. Wonder and joy a passing faintness threw Over my brow—a hand supported me, Whose touch was magic strength: an eye of

blue Looked into mine, like moonlight, soothingly; And a voice said–Thou must a listener be This day-two mighty Spirits now return, Like birds of calm, from the world's raging

sea, They pour fresh light from Hope's immortal

urn; A tale of human power—despair not-list and


LIX. I looked, and lo! one stood forth eloquently, His eyes were dark and deep, and the clear

brow Which shadowed them was like the morning

sky, The cloudless Heaven of Spring, when in their

flow Through the bright air, the soft winds as

they blow

Wake the green world--his gesture did obey
The oracular mind that made his features

And, where his curvèd lips half open lay,
Passion's divinest stream had made impetuous


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Beneath the darkness of his outspread hair
He stood thus beautiful: but there was One
Who sate beside him like his shadow there,
And held his handfar lovelier-she was

To be thus fair, by the few lines alone
Which through her floating locks and

gathered cloke,
Glances of soul-dissolving glory, shone:-

None else beheld her eyes—in him they woke
Memories which found à tongue, as thus he

silence broke.


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THE star-light smile of children, the sweet

Of women, the fair breast from which I fed,
The murmur of the unreposing brooks,
And the green light which, shifting overhead,
Some tangled bower of vines around me shed,

1 Here the poet follows the allegoric woman “out of the tale,” the rest of which is an autobiography told by Laon in the next world.-ED.

The shells on the sea-sand, and the wild

flowers, The lamp-light through the rafters cheerly

spread, And on the twining flax-in life's young

hours These sights and sounds did nurse my spirit's

folded powers.

In Argolis, beside the echoing sea,
Such impulses within my mortal frame
Arose, and they were dear to memory,
Like tokens of the dead :-but others came
Soon, in another shape: the wondrous fame
Of the past world, the vital words and deeds
Of minds whom neither time nor change can

tame, Traditions dark and old, whence evil creeds Start forth, and whose dim shade a stream of

poison feeds.

III. I heard, as all have heard, the various story Of human life, and wept unwilling tears. Feeble historians of its shame and glory, False disputants on all its hopes and fears, Victims who worshipped ruin,-chroniclers Of daily scorn, and slaves who loathed their

state, Yet, flattering power, had given its ministers A throne of judgment in the grave::—'twas

fate, 1 That is to say, slaves who loathed their slavery, yet, being habituated to the flattery of worldly powers, imagined similar powers sitting in judgment on them after death.-ED.

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