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When evening yields to night,-.
Bright as that fibrous woof when stars indue

Its transitory robe.
Her thin and misty form

Moved with the moving air ;
Such sounds as breathed around like odorous winds

Of wakening Spring arose,
Filling the chamber and the midnight sky.

“Maiden, the world's supremest Spirit

Beneath the shadow of her wings
Folds all thy memory doth inherit

From ruin of divinest things,-
Feelings that lure thee to betray,
And light of thoughts that pass away.

For thou hast earned a mighty boon;

The truths which wisest poets see Dimly, thy mind may make its own,

Rewarding its own majesty, Entranced in some diviner mood Of self-oblivious solitude.

“Custom and faith and power thou spurnest,

From hate and awe thy heart is free;
Ardent and pure as day thou burnest;

For dark and cold mortality
A living light, to cheer it long
The watch-fires of the world among.

“ Therefore, from Nature's inner shrine,

Where gods and fiends in worship bend,
Majestic Spirit, be it thine

The flame to seize,—the veil to rend,
Where the vast snake Eternity
In charmed sleep doth ever lie.

“All that inspires thy voice of love,

Or speaks in thy unclosing eyes,
Or through thy frame doth burn and move,

Or think or feel, awake, arise !
Spirit, leave, for mine and me,
Earth's unsubstantial mimicry !”

It ceased : and from the mute and moveless frame

A radiant Spirit rose,
All beautiful in naked purity.
Instinct with inexpressible beauty and grace,

Each stain of earthliness
Had passed away ; it reassumed
Its native dignity, and stood

Immortal amid ruin.

Upon the couch the body lay,

Wrapped in the depth of slumber :
Its features were fixed and meaningless;

Yet animal life was there,
And every organ yet performed

Its natural functions. 'Twas a sight
Of wonder to behold the body and Soul.

The self-same lineaments, the same
Marks of identity, were there ;
Yet oh how different! One aspires to heaven,
Pants for its sempiternal heritage,
And, ever-changing, ever-rising still,

Wantons in endless being.
The other, for a time the unwilling sport
Of circumstance and passion, struggles on;
Fleets through its sad duration rapidly;
Then, like a useless and worn-out machine,

Rots, perishes, and passes.

Fairy. Spirit who hast dived so deep,
Spirit who hast soared so high,
Thou the fearless, thou the mild,
Accept the boon thy worth hath earned, -
Ascend the car with me.

Spirit. Do I dream? Is this new feeling
But a visioned ghost of slumber?
If indeed I am a Soul,
A free, a disembodied Soul,

Speak again to me.

Fairy. I am the Fairy Mab. To me 'tis given
The wonders of the human world to keep.

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The secrets of the immeasurable past
In the unfailing consciences of men,
Those stern unflattering chroniclers, I find.
"The future, from the causes which arise e
In each event, I gather. Not the sting
Which retributive memory implants
In the hard bosom of the selfish man,
Nor that ecstatic and exulting throb
Which virtue's votary feels when he sums up
The thoughts and actions of a well-spent day,
Are unforeseen, unregistered by me :
And it is yet permitted me to rend
The veil of mortal frailty, that the spirit,
Clothed in its changeless purity, may know
How soonest to accomplish the great end
For which it hath its being, and may taste
That peace which in the end all life will share.
This is the meed of virtue ; happy Soul,

Ascend the car with me!

The chains of earth's immurement

Fell from Ianthe's Spirit;
They shrank and brake like bandages of straw
Beneath a wakened giant's strength.

She knew her glorious change,
And felt in apprehension uncontrolled

New raptures opening round :
Each day-dream of her mortal life,
Each frenzied vision of the slumbers

That closed each well-spent day, 14ī
Seemed now to meet reality. Re
The Fairy and the Soul proceeded;

The silver clouds disparted;
And, as the car of magic they ascended,

Again the speechless music swelled,

Again the coursers of the air
Unfurled their azure pennons, and the Queen,

Shaking the beamy reins,
Bade them pursue their way.

The magic car moved on.
The night was fair, and countless stars

Studded heaven's dark-blue vault,

The eastern wave grew pale
With the first smile of morn.
The magic car moved on.

From the celestial hoofs
The atmosphere in flaming sparkles flew;

And, where the burning wheels
Eddied above the mountain's loftiest peak,

Was traced a line of lightning.
Now far above a rock, the utmost verge

Of the wide earth, it flew-
The rival of the Andes, whose dark brow

Loured o'er the silver sea.

Far far below the chariot's path,

Calm as a slumbering babe,

Tremendous Ocean lay.
The mirror of its stillness showed

The pale and waning stars,
The chariot's fiery track,

And the grey light of morn • Tinging those fleecy clouds That cradled in their folds the infant dawn.

The chariot seemed to fly Through the abyss of an immense concave, Radiant with million constellations, tinged

With shades of infinite colour, And semicircled with a belt Flashing incessant meteors.

The magic car moved on.
As they approached their goal,
The coursers seemed to gather speed.
The sea no longer was distinguished ; earth
Appeared a vast and shadowy sphere;

The sun's unclouded orb
Rolled through the black concave;

Its rays of rapid light
Parted around the chariot's swifter course,
And fell like ocean's feathery spray

Dashed from the boiling surge
Before a vessel's prow.

The magic car moved on.

Earth's distant orb appeared
The smallest light that twinkles in the heavens

Whilst round the chariot's way
Innumerable systems rolled,

And countless spheres diffused

An ever-varying glory.
It was a sight of wonder : some
Were hornèd like the crescent moon;
Some shed a mild and silver beam
Like Hesperus o'er the western sea;
Some dashed athwart with trains of flame,

Like worlds to death and ruin driven;
Some shone like stars, and, as the chariot passed,

Bedimmed all other light.

Spirit of Nature ! here,
In this interminable wilderness
Of worlds at whose immensity

Even soaring fancy staggers,
Here is thy fitting temple.

Yet not the lightest leaf
That quivers to the passing breeze

Is less instinct with thee :

Yet not the meanest worm
That lurks in graves and fattens on the dead

Less shares thy eternal breath. ·

Spirit of Nature ! thou Imperishable as this glorious scene !

Here is thy fitting temple !

II.

If solitude hath ever led thy steps
To the wild ocean's echoing shore,

And thou hast lingered there

Until the sun's broad orb
Seemed resting on the burnished wave,
Thou must have marked the braided webs of gold

That without motion hang

Over the sinking sphere : Thou must have marked the billowy mountain-clouds Edged with intolerable radiancy, .

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