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"Into this valley of perpetual dream,
Show whence I came, and where I am, and why-
Pass not away upon the passing stream.
“Arise and quench thy thirst, was her reply.
And as a shut lily, stricken by the wand
Of dewy morning's vital alchemy,
I rose; and, bending at her sweet command,
Touched with faint lips the cup she raised,
And suddenly my brain became as sand,
" Where the first wave had more than half erased
The track of deer on desert Labrador;
Whilst the wolf, from which they fled amaz

“Leaves his stamp visibly upon the shore,
Until the second bursts ;—so on my sight
Burst a new vision, never seen before,
“And the fair shape waned in the coming light,
As veil by veil the silent splendour drops
From Lucifer, amid the chrysolite
“Of sun-rise, ere it tinge the mountain tops;
And as the presence of that fairest planet,
Although unseen, is felt by one who hopes
“That his day's path may end, as he began it,
In that star's smile, whose light is like the scent
Of a jonquil when evening breezes fan it,
“ Or the soft note in which his dear lament
The Brescian shepherd breathes, or the caress
That turned his weary slumber to content ;*

* The favourite song, “Stanco di pascolar le pecorelle," is a Brescian national air

“So knew I in that light's severe excess The presence of that shape which on the stream Moved, as I moved along the wilderness,

"More dimly than a day-appearing dream,
The ghost of a forgotten form of sleep ;
A light of heaven, whose half-extinguished beam

“ Through the sick day in which we wake to weep, Glimmers, for ever sought, for ever lost ; So did that shape its obscure tenour keep

“Beside my path, as silent as a ghost ;
But the new Vision, and the cold bright car,
With solemn speed and stunning music, crost

“ The forest, and as if from some dread war Triumphantly returning, the loud million Fiercely extolled the fortune of her star.

A moving arch of victory, the vermilion And

green and azure plumes of Iris had Built high over her wind-winged pavilion,

“ And underneath ethereal glory clad
The wilderness, and far before her flew
The tempest of the splendour, which forbade

“ Shadow to fall from leaf and stone; the crew Seemed in that light, like atomies to dance Within a sunbeam ;-some upon

the new

"Embroidery of flowers, that did enhance The grassy vesture of the desert, played, Forgetful of the chariot's swift advance ;

“ Others stood gazing, till within the shade
Of the great mountain its light left them dim ;
Others outspeeded it; and others made

“ Circles around it, like the clouds that swim Round the high moon in a bright sea of air ; And more did follow, with exulting hymn,

“The chariot and the captives fettered there :-
But all like bubbles on an eddying flood
Fell into the same track at last, and were

“Borne onward. I among the multitude Was swept-me, sweetest flowers delayed not long; Me, not the shadow nor the solitude;

Me, not that falling stream's Lethean song ; Me, not the phantom of that early form, Which moved upon its motion—but among

“The thickest billows of that living storm
I plunged, and bared my bosom to the clime
Of that cold light, whose airs too soon deform.

“ Before the chariot had begun to climb The opposing steep of that mysterious dell, Behold a wonder worthy of the rhyme

"Of him who from the lowest depths of hell, Through every paradise and through all glory, Love led serene, and who returned to tell

“ The words of hate and care; the wondrous story How all things are transfigured except Love; (For deaf as is a sea, which wrath makes hoary,

“ The world can hear not the sweet notes that move The sphere whose light is melody to lovers) A wonder worthy of his rhyme—the grove

“Grew dense with shadows to its inmost covers, The earth was grey with phantoms, and the air Was peopled with dim forms, as when there hovers

"A flock of vampire-bats before the glare Of the tropic sun, bringing, ere evening, Strange night upon some Indian vale ;—thus were


Phantoms diffused around ; and some did fling Shadows of shadows, yet unlike themselves, Behind them; some like eaglets on the wing

“Were lost in the white day; others like elves
Danced in a thousand unimagined shapes
Upon the sunny streams and grassy shelves;

“ And others sate chattering like restless apes
On vulgar hands,
Some made a cradle of the ermined capes



“Of kingly mantles; some across the tire
Of pontiffs rode, like demons; others played
Under the crown which girt with empire

A baby's or an idiot's brow, and made
Their nests in it. The old anatomies
Sate hatching their bare broods under the shade

“Of demon wings, and laughed from their dead eyes To re-assume the delegated power, Arrayed in which those worms did monarchise,

- Who made this earth their charnel. Others more Humble, like falcons, sat upon the fist Of common men, and round their heads did soar;

“ Or like small gnats and flies, as thick as mist On evening marshes, thronged about the brow Of lawyers, statesmen, priest, and theorist;

“ And others, like discoloured flakes of snow
On fairest bosoms and the sunniest hair,
Fell, and were melted by the youthful glow

“ Which they extinguished; and, like tears, they were A veil to those from whose faint lids they rained In drops of sorrow.

I became aware

“Of whence those forms proceeded which thus stained The track in which we moved. After brief space, From every form the beauty slowly waned;

“From every firmest limb and fairest face
The strength and freshness fell like dust, and left
The action and the shape without the grace

6. Of life. The marble brow of youth was cleft With care; and in those eyes where once hope shone, Desire, like a lioness bereft

“Of her last cub, glared ere it died ; each one
Of that great crowd sent forth incessantly
These shadows, numerous as the dead leaves blown

In autumn evening from a poplar tree, Each like himself and like each other were At first; but some distorted seemed to be

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