Obrazy na stronie
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Then on the sands the Woman sate again,
And wept and clasped her hands, and all between
Renewed the unintelligible strain
of her melodious voice and eloquent mien ;
And she unveiled her bosom, and the green
And glancing shadows of the sea did play
O'er its marmoreal depth :-one moment seen,
For ere the next the Serpent did obey
Her voice, and, coiled in rest, in her embrace it lay

Then she arose, and smiled on me with eyes
Serene, yet sorrowing, like that planet sair,
While yet the day-light lingereth in the skies
Which cleaves with arrowy beams the dark-red air,
And said: To grieve is wise, but the despair
Was weak and vain which ied thee here from sleep:
This shalt thou know, and more, if thou dost dare
With me and with this Serpent, o'er the deep,
A voyage divine and strange, companionship to keep.

Her voice was like the wildest, saddest tone,
(et sweet, of some loved voice heard long ago.
I wept. Shall this fair woman, all alone,
Over the sea with that fierce Serpent go?
His head is on her heart, and who can know
How soon he may devour his feeble prey ?--
Such were my thoughts, when the tide 'gan to flov;
And tha: strange boat, like the moon's shade, did sway
Amid reflected stars that in the waters lay.

A boat of rare device, which had no sail
But its own curved prow of thin moonstone,
Wrought like a web of texture fine and frail,
To catch those gentlest winds which are not known
To breathe, but by the steady speed alone
With which it cleaves the spark ung sea ; and now
We are embarked, the mountains hang and frown
Over the starry deep that gleams below
A vast and dim expanse, as o'er the waves we go.

And, as we sailed, a strange and awful tale
That Woman told, like such mysterious dream
As makes the slumberer's cheek with wonder pale!
"Twas midnight, and around, a shoreless stream,
Wide ocean rolled, when that majestic theme
Shrined in her heart found utterance, and she bent
Her looks on mine; those eyes a kindling beam
of love divine into my spirit sent,
And, ere her lips could move, made the air eloquent.

Speak not to me, but hear! Much shalt thou learn,
Much must remain untaught, and more untold,
In the dark Future's ever-flowing urn:
Know then, that, from the depth of ages old,
Two Powers o'er mortal things dominion hold,
Ruling the world with a divided lot,
Immortal, all-pervading, manifold,
Twin Genii, equal Gods-when life and thought
Sprang forth, they burst the womb of inessential

Nought.
The earliest dweller of the world alone
Stood on the verge of chaos: Lo! afar
O'er the wide wild abyss two meteors shone,
Sprung from the depth of its tempestuous jar:
A blood-red Comet and the Morning Star
Mingling their heams in combat-as he stood,
All thoughts within his mind waged mut war,
In dreadful sympathy-when to the flood (blood
That fair Star fell, he turned and shed his brother's
Thus evil triumphed, and the Spirit of evil,
One Power of many shapes which none may know,
One Shape of many names ; the Fiend did level
In victory, reigning o'er a world of woe,
For the new race of man went to and fro,
Famished and homeless, loathed and loathing, wild,
And hating good--for his immortal foe
He changed from starry shape, beauteous and mild,
To a dire Snake, with man and beast unreconciled.

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The darkness lingering o'er the dawn of things
Was Evil's breath and life: this made him strong
To soar aloft with overshadowing wings;
And the great Spirit of Good did creep among
The nations of mankind, and every tongue
Cursed and blasphemed him as he pass'd; for none
Kiew good from evil, tho' their names were hung
Tu mockery o'er the fane where many a groan, Lown.
As King, and Lord, and God, the conquering Fiend did

The fiend, whose name was Legion ; Death, Decay,
Earthquake, and Blight, and Want, and Madness pule
Winged and wan diseases, and array
Numerous as leaves that strew th' autumnal gale;
Poison, a snake in flowers, beneath the veil
Of food and mirth, hiding his mortal head;
And, without whom all these might nought avail,
Fear, Hatred, Faith, and Tyranny, who spread
Those subtle nets which snare the living and the dead.

His spirit is their power, and they his slaves
In air, and light, and thought, and language, dwell,
And keep their state from palaces to graves,
In all resorts of men-invisible,
But, when in ebon mirror, Nightmare fell
To tyrant or impostor bids them rise,
Black-winged demon forms-whom from the hell
His reign and dwelling beneath nether skies,
He loosens to their dark and blasting ministries

In the world's youth his empire was as firm
As its foundations-soon the Spirit of Good,
Tho' in the likeness of a loathsome worm,
Sprang from the billows of the formless flood,
Which shrank and fled; and with that fiend of blood
Renewed the doubtful war-thrones then first shook,
And rarth’s immense and trampled multitude
In hope on their own power began to look,
And Fear, the demon pale, his sanguine shrina sorsook.

Then Greece arose, and to its hards ana sages,
In dream, the golden-pinioned Genii came,
Even where they slept amid the night of ages,
Steeping their hearts in the divinest flame
Which thy breath kindled, Power of holiest name!
And oft in cycles since, when darkness gave
New weapons to thy foe, their sunlike fame
Upon the combat shone-a light to save,
Like Paradise spread forth beyond the shadowy grave

Such is this conflict-when mankind doth strive
With its oppressors in a strife of blood,
Or when free thoughts, like lightnings, are alive ;
And in each hosom of the multitude
Justice and truth, with custom's hydra brood,
Wage silent war;—when priests and kings dissemole
In smiles or frowns their fierce disquietude,
When round pure hearts a-host of hopes assemble,
The Snake and Eagle meet — the world's foundations

tremble,

Thou hast heheld that fight-when to thy home
Thou dost return, steep not its hearth in tears ;
Tho' thou may'st hear that earth is now become
The tyrant's garbage, which to his compeers
The vile reward of their dishonoured years,
He will dividing give-the victor Fiend,
Omnipotent of yore, now quails, and fears
His triumph dearly won, which soon will lend
An impulse swift and sure to his approaching end.

List, stranger, list! Mine is a human form,
Like that thou wearest-touch me-shrink not now!
My hand thou feel'st is not a ghost's, but warm
With human blood.'Twas many years ago
Since first my thirsting soul aspired to know
The secrets of this wondrous world, when deep
My heart was pierced with sympathy for woc
Which could not be mine own and thought did keep,
In dream, unnatural watch beside an infant's sleep.

Woe could not be mine own-since far from men
I dweļt, a free and happy orphan child,
By the sea-shore, in a deep mountain glen ;
And near the waves, and thro' the forests wild.
I roamed, to storm and darkness reconciled,
For I was calm while tempest shook the sky:
But, when the breathless heavens in beauty smiled,
I wept sweet tears, yet too tumultuously
For peace, and clasped my hands alost in extacy.

These were forebodings of my fate.-Before
A woman's heart beat in my virgin breast,
It had been nurtured in divinest lore:
A dying poet gave me books, and blest
With wild but holy talk the sweet unrest
In which I watched him as he died away-
A youth with hoary hair-a fleeting guest
of our lone mountains and this lore did sway
My spirit like a storm, contending there alway.

Thus the dark tale which history doth unfold
I knew, but not, methinks, as others know,
For they weep not; and Wisdom had unrolled
The clouds which hide the gulf of mortal woe:
To few can she that warning vision show,
For I loved all things with intense devotion ;
So that when Hope's deep source in fullest flow,
Like earthquake, did uplift the stagnant ocean {tion,
of human thoughts--mine siook beneath the wide emo-

When first the living blood thro' all these veins
Kindled a thought in sense, great France sprang forth,
And seized, as if to break, the ponderous chaius
Which bind in woe the nations of the earth.
I saw, and started from my cottage hearth;
And to the clouds and waves in tameless gladness
Shrieked, till they caught immeasurable mirth-,
And laughed in light and music: soon sweet madness
Was poured upon my lieart, a soft and thrilling sadness,

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