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That among such as these my youth should

seek its mate.

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Iv. The land in which I lived, by a fell bane Was withered up. Tyrants dwelt side by • side, And stabled in our homes, until the chain Stifled the captive's cry, and to abide That blasting curse men had no shame-all

vied In evil, slave and despot; fear with lust, Strange fellowship through mutual hate had

tied, Like two dark serpents tangled in the dust, Which on the paths of men their mingling

poison thrust.

Earth, our bright home, its mountains and

its waters, And the ætherial shapes which are suspended Over its green expanse, and those fair daugh

ters, The clouds, of Sun and Ocean, who have

blended The colours of the air since first extended It cradled the young world, none wandered

forth To see or feel: a darkness had descended On every heart: the light which shows its

worth Must among gentle thoughts and fearless take

its birth.


This vital world, this home of happy spirits, Was as a dungeon to my blasted kind,


All that despair from murdered hope inherits They sought, and, in their helpless misery A deeper prison and heavier chains did find, And stronger tyrants :-a dark gulph before, The realm of a stern Ruler, yawned ; behind,

Terror and Time conflicting drove, and bore On their tempestuous flood the shrieking wretch

from shore.


Out of that Ocean's wrecks had Guilt and

Woe Framed a dark dwelling for their homeless

thought, And, starting at the ghosts which to and fro Glide o’er its dim and gloomy strand, had

brought The worship thence which they each other

taught. Well might men loathe their life, well might

they turn Even to the ills again from which they sought Such refuge after death !-well might they

learn To gaze on this fair world with hopeless un. concern!

VIII. For they all pined in bondage : body and soul, Tyrant and slave, victim and torturer, bent Before one Power, to which supreme control Over their will, by their own weakness lent, Made all its many names omnipotent; All symbols of things evil, all divine ; And hymns of blood or mockery, which rent

The air from all its fanes, did intertwine Imposture's impious toils round each discordant


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I heard, as all have heard, life’s various story, And in no careless heart transcribed the tale; But, from the sneers of men who had grown

hoary In shame and scorn, from groans of crowds

made pale By famine, from a mother's desolate wail O'er her polluted child, from innocent blood Poured on the earth, and brows anxious and

pale With the heart's warfare, did I gather food To feed my many thoughts—a tameless multi

tude !

I wandered through the wrecks of days

departed Far by the desolated shore, when even O’er the still sea and jaggèd islets darted The light of moonrise; in the northern

heaven, Among the clouds near the horizon driven, The mountains lay beneath one planet pale; Around me, broken tombs and columns riven

Looked vast in twilight, and the sorrowing gale Waked in those ruins grey its everlasting wail!

XI. I knew not who had framed these wonders

then, Nor had I heard the story of their deeds; But dwellings of a race of mightier men, And monuments of less ungentle creeds, Tell their own tale to him who wisely heeds The language which they speak; and now,

to me

The moonlight making pale the blooming

weeds, The bright stars shining in the breathless sea, Interpreted those scrolls of mortal mystery.


Such man has been, and such may yet be

come! Aye, wiser, greater, gentler, even than they Who on the fragments of yon shattered dome Have stamped the sign of power-I felt the

sway Of the vast stream of ages bear away My floating thoughts—my heart beat loud

and fastEven as a storm let loose beneath the ray

Of the still moon, my spirit onward passed Beneath truth's steady beams upon its tumult



It shall be thus no more! too long, too long, Sons of the glorious dead, have ye lain bound In darkness and in ruin.—Hope is strong, Justice and Truth their winged child have

found Awake! arise! until the mighty sound Of your career shall scatter in its gust The thrones of the oppressor, and the ground

Hide the last altar's unregarded dust, Whose Idol has so long betrayed your impious


XIV. It must be so—I will arise and waken The multitude, and like a sulphurous hill, Which on a sudden from its snows has shaken

The swoon of ages, it shall burst and fill
The world with cleansing fire: it must, it

willIt may not be restrained !—and who shall

stand Amid the rocking earthquake steadfast still,

But Laon? on high Freedom's desert land A tower whose marble walls the leaguèd storms


xv. One summer night, in commune with the hope Thus deeply fed, amid those ruins grey I watched, beneath the dark sky's starry cope;. And ever from that hour upon me lay The burthen of this hope, and night or day, In vision or in dream, clove to my breast : Among mankind, or when gone far away To the lone shores and mountains, 'twas a

guest Which followed where I fled, and watched when

I did rest.

XVI. These hopes found words through which my

spirit sought To weave a bondage of such sympathy, As might create some response to the thought Which ruled me now—and as the vapours lie Bright in the out-spread morning's radiancy, So were these thoughts invested with the light Of language: and all bosoms made reply On which its lustre streamed, whene'er it

might Through darkness wide and deep those trancèd

spirits smite.

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