Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Swung blind in unascended majesty,

Silent alone amid a Heaven of Song.
Assume thy winged throne, thou Vesper of our throng!”

Who mourns for Adonais ? oh come forth,
Fond wretch ! and know thyself and him aright.
Clasp with thy panting soul the pendulous Earth;
As from a centre, dart thy spirit's light
Beyond all worlds, until its spacious might
Satiate the void circumference: then shrink
Even to a point within our day and night;

And keep thy heart light, lest it make thee sink
When hope has kindled hop and lured thee to the

brink.
Or go to Rome, which is the sepulchre,
Oh, not of him, but of our joy: 'tis nought
That ages, empires, and religions, there
Lie buried in the ravage they have wrought,
For such as he can lend,—they borrow not
Glory from those who made the world their prey;
And he is gather'd to the kings of thought

Who waged contention with their time's decay,
And of the past are all that cannot pass away.

Go thou to Rome,-at once the Paradise,
The grave, the city, and the wilderness ;
And where its wrecks like shatter'd mountains rise,
And flowering weeds, and fragrant copses dress
The bones of Desolation's nakedness,
Pass, till the Spirit of the spot shall lead
Thy footsteps to a slope of green access,

Where, like an infant's smile, over the dead
A light of laughing flowers along the grass is spread,

And grey walls moulder round, on which dull Time
Feeds, like slow fire upon a hoary brand ;
And one keen pyramid with wedge sublime,
Pavilioning the dust of him who plann'd
This refuge for his memory, doth stand
Like flame transform'd to marble; and beneath
A field is spread, on which a newer band

Have pitch'd in Heaven's smile their camp of death, Welcoming him we lose with scarce extinguish'd breath

Here pause : these graves are all too young as yet
To have outgrown the sorrow which consign'd
Its charge to each; and if the seal is set,
Here, on one fountain of a mourning mind,
Break it not thou! too surely shalt thou find
Thine own well full, if thou returnest home,
Of tears and gall. From the world's bitter wind

Seek shelter in the shadow of the tomb.
What Adonais is, why fear we to become ?

The One remains, the many change and pass;
Heaven's light for ever shines, Earth's shadows fly:
Life, like a dome of many-colour'd glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity,
Until Death tramples it to fragments.-- Die,
If thou wouldst be with that which thou dost seek
Follow where all is filed !-Rome's azure sky,

Flowers, ruins, statues, music, words, are weak
The glory they transfuse with fitting truth to speak.

Why linger, why turn back, why shrink, my Heart?
Thy hopes are gone before : from all things here
They have departed ; thou shouldst now depart!
A light is passed from the revolving year,
And man, and woman; and what still is dear
Attracts to crush, repels to make thee wither.
The soft sky smiles,-the low wind whispers near

'Tis Adonais calls ! oh, hasten hither, No more let Life divide what Death can join together

That Light whose smile kindles the Universe,
That Beauty in which all things work and move,
That Benediction which the eclipsing Curse
Of birth can quench not, that sustaining Love
Which, through the web of being blindly wove
By man and beast and earth and air and sea,
Burns bright or dim, as each are mirrors of

The fire for which all thirst, now beams on me,
Consuming the last clouds of cold mortality.

The breath whose might I have invoked in song
Descends on me ; my spirit's bark is driven
Far from the shore, far from the trembling throng
Whose sails were never to the tempest given :
The massy earth and sphered skies are riven !
I am borne darkly, fearfully, afar;
Whilst burning through the iomost veil of Heaven,

The soul of Adonais, like a star,
Beacons from the abode where the Eternal are

[ocr errors][merged small]

HELLAS;

A LYRICAL DRAMA.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

MAHMUD.
HASSAN.

DAOop.
AHASUERUS, a Jeu.

Chorus of Greek Captive Women.

Messengers, Slaves, and Attendants.
SCENE-Constantinople. TIME-Sunset.

SCENE-A Terrace on the Seraglio.
MAHMUD (sleeping) an Indian Slave sitting beside his

Couch.
Chorus of Greek Captive Women.
We strew these opiate flowers

On thy restless pillow,-
They were stript from Orient bowers
By the Indian billow.
Be thy sleep

Calm and deep,
Like theirs who fell- not ours who weep!
Indian. Away, unlovely dreams!

Away, false shapes of sleep.
Be bis, as heaven seems,

Clear, bright, and deep!

Sost as love and calm as death,
Sweet as a summer night without a breath.

With the soul of slumber;
Chorus. Sleep, sleep! our song is laden

It was sung by a Samian maiden
Whose lover was of the number

Who now keep

That calm sleep
Whence none may wake, where none shall weep.
Indian. I touch thy temples pale!

I breathe my soul on thee!
And, could my prayers avail,

All my joy should be
Dead, and I would live to weep,

So thou mightst win one hour of quiet sleep.
Chorus. Breathe low, low,

The spell of the mighty mistress now!
When conscience lulls her sated snake,
And Tyrants sleep, let Freedom wake.

Breathe low, low,
The words which, like secret fire, shall flow

Through the veins of the frozen earth-low, low! Semnicho. I. Life may change, but it may fiy not;

Hope may vanish, but can die not;
Truth be veiled, but still it burneth;

Love repulsed,—but it returneth!
Semicho. II. Yet were life a charnel, where

Hope lay coffin'd with despair;
Yet were truth a sacred lie,

Love were lust-
Semicho. I.

If Liberty
Lent not life its soul of light,
Hope its iris of delight,
Truth its prophet's robe to wear,

Love its power to give and hear.
Chorus. In the great morning of the world,

The spirit of God with might unfurla
The flag of Freedom over Chaos,

And all its banded anarchs filed,
Like vultures frighted from [maus,

Before an earthquake's tread-
So from Time's tempestuous dawn
Freedom's splendor burst and shone:---
Thermopylæ and Marathon
Caught, like mountains beacon-lighted,

« PoprzedniaDalej »