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Whose is the love that, gleaming through the world, Harriet! on thine:—thou wert my purer mind;
Wards off the poisonous arrow of its scorn? Whose is the warm and partial praise, Wirtue's most sweet reward?
Beneath whose looks did my reviving soul
Thou wert the inspiration of my song;
Thine are these early wilding flowers, Though garlanded by me.
I. How wonderful is Death, Death and his brother Sleep ! One, pale as yonder waning moon, With lips of lurid blue ; The other, rosy as the morn When throned on ocean's wave, It blushes o'er the world : Yet both so passing wonderful
Hath then the gloomy Power Whose reign is in the tainted sepulchres Seized on her sinless soul ? Must then that peerless form Which love and admiration cannot view Without a beating heart, those azure veins Which steal like streams along a field of snow, That lovely outline, which is fair As breathing marble, perish Must putrefaction's breath Leave nothing of this heavenly sight But loathsomeness and ruin Spare nothing but a gloomy theme, On which the lightest heart might moralize Or is it only a sweet slumber Stealing o'er sensation, Which the breath of roseate morning Chaseth into darkness?
Will Ianthe wake again, And give that faithful bosom joy Whose sleepless spirit waits to catch Light, life, and rapture, from her smile !
Yes! she will wake again, Although her glowing limbs are motionless, And silent those sweet lips, Once breathing eloquence That might have soothed a tiger's rage, Or thawed the cold heart of a conqueror. Her dewy eyes are closed, And on their lids, whose texture fine Scarce hides the dark blue orbs beneath, The baby Sleep is pillowed : Her golden tresses shade The bosom's stainless pride, Curling like tendrils of the parasite Around a marble column.
Hark! whence that rushing sound !
'Tis like the wondrous strain That round a lonely ruin swells, Which, wandering on the echoing shore,
The enthusiast hears at evening : 'Tis softer than the west wind's sigh ; 'Tis wilder than the unmeasured notes Of that strange lyre whose strings
That circle thy domain Let not a breath be seen to stir Around yon grass-grown ruin's height, Let even the restless gossamer Sleep on the moveless airl Soul of Ianthe thou, Judged alone worthy of the envied boon That waits the good and the sincere; that waits Those who have struggled, and with resolute will Wanquished earth's pride and meanness, burst the The icy chains of custom, and have shone [chains, The day-stars of their age;—Soul of Ianthe l Awake 1 arise !
Sudden arose Ianthe's Soul ; it stood All beautiful in naked purity, The perfect semblance of its bodily frame. 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, Wrapt 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.
Are unforeseen, unregistered by 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, Seemed now to meet reality.
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, Just o'er the eastern wave Peeped the first faint 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 it flew far above a rock, The utmost verge of earth, The rival of the Andes, whose dark brow Lowered 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 canopied the dawn. Seemed it, that the chariot's way Lay through the midst 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 Appear'd a vast and shadowy sphere; The sun's unclouded orb Rolled through the black concave;
If solitude hath ever led thy steps
Yet not the golden islands Gleaming in yon flood of light, Nor the feathery curtains Stretching o'er the sun's bright couch, Nor the burnished ocean-waves, Paving that gorgeous dome, So fair, so wonderful a sight As Mab's ethereal palace could afford.
Yet likest evening's vault, that fairy Hall!
The magic car no longer moved. The Fairy and the Spirit Entered the Hall of Spells: Those golden clouds That rolled in glittering billows Beneath the azure canopy, With the ethereal footsteps trembled not : The light and crimson mists, Floating to strains of thrilling melody Through that unearthly dwelling, Yielded to every movement of the will. Upon their passive swell the Spirit leaned, And, for the varied bliss that pressed around, Used not the glorious privilege Of virtue and of wisdom.
Spirit ! the Fairy said,
But, were it virtue's only meed, to dwell
The secrets of the future.
The Fairy and the Spirit Approached the overhanging battlement.— Below lay stretched the universe ! There, far as the remotest line That bounds imagination's flight, Countless and unending orbs In mazy motion intermingled, Yet still fulfilled immutably Eternal Nature's law. Above, below, around The circling systems formed A wilderness of harmony; Each with undeviating aim, In eloquent silence, through the depths of space Pursued its wondrous way.
There was a little light That twinkled in the misty distance : None but a spirit's eye Might ken that rolling orb ; None but a spirit's eye, And in no other place But that celestial dwelling, might behold Each action of this earth's inhabitants. But matter, space and time, In those aerial mansions cease to act; And all-prevailing wisdom, when it reaps The harvest of its excellence, o'erbounds Those obstacles, of which an earthly soul Fears to attempt the conquest.
Behold yon sterile spot; Where now the wandering Arab's tent Flaps in the desert-blast. There once old Salem's haughty fane Reared high to heaven its thousand golden domes, And in the blushing face of day Exposed its shameful glory. Oh many a widow, many an orphan cursed The building of that fane ; and many a father, Worn out with toil and slavery, implored The poor man's God to sweep it from the earth, And spare his children the detested task Of piling stone on stone, and poisoning The choicest days of life, To soothe a dotard's vanity. There an inhuman and uncultured race Howled hideous praises to their Demon-God ; They rushed to war, tore from the mother's womb The unborn child,—old age and infancy Promiscuous perished ; their victorious arms Left not a soul to breathe. Oh they were fiends: | But what was he who taught them that the God Of nature and benevolence had given A special sanction to the trade of blood His name and theirs are fading, and the tales Of this barbarian nation, which imposture Recites till terror credits, are pursuing Itself into forgetfulness.
Spirit ! ten thousand years Have scarcely passed away, Since, in the waste where now the savage drinks His enemy's blood, and aping Europe's sons, Wakes the unholy song of war, Arose a stately city, Metropolis of the western continent : There, now, the mossy column-stone, Indented by time's unrelaxing grasp, Which once appeared to brave All, save its country's ruin ; There the wide forest scene, Rude in the uncultivated loveliness Of gardens long run wild, Seems, to the unwilling sojourner, whose steps Chance in that desert has delayed, Thus to have stood since earth was what it is. Yet once it was the busiest haunt, Whither, as to a common centre, flocked Strangers, and ships, and merchandize : Once peace and freedom blest The cultivated plain : But wealth, that curse of man, Blighted the bud of its prosperity : Virtue and wisdom, truth and liberty, Fled, to return not, until man shall know That they alone can give the bliss Worthy a soul that claims Its kindred with eternity.
And perishethere noon, Is an unbounded world ; I tell thee that those viewless beings, Whose mansion is the smallest particle Of the impassive atmosphere, Think, feel and live like man ; That their affections and antipathies, Like his, produce the laws Ruling their moral state; And the minutest throb That through their frame diffuses The slightest, faintest motion, Is fixed and indispensable As the majestic laws That rule yon rolling orbs.
The Fairy paused. The Spirit, In ecstacy of admiration, felt All knowledge of the past revived; the events Of old and wondrous times, Which dim tradition interruptedly Teaches the credulous vulgar, were unfolded In just perspective to the view ; Yet dim from their infinitude. The Spirit seemed to stand High on an isolated pinnacle ; The flood of ages combating below, The depth of the unbounded universe Above, and all around Nature's unchanging harmony.
III. FAIRY the Spirit said, And on the Queen of Spells Fixed her ethereal eyes, I thank thee. Thou hast given A boon which I will not resign, and taught A lesson not to be unlearned. I know The past, and thence I will essay to glean A warning for the future, so that man May profit by his errors, and derive Experience from his folly: For, when the power of imparting joy Is equal to the will, the human soul Requires no other heaven.
MAB, Turn thee, surpassing Spirit ! Much yet remains unscanned. Thou knowest how great is man, Thou knowest his imbecility: Yet learn thou what he is; Yet learn the lofty destiny Which restless Time prepares For every living soul.
Behold a gorgeous palace, that, amid