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Hast thou forgotten one who watches thee
I said all hope was vain but love: thou lovest.
How fair these air-born shapes ! and yet I feel
Deeply in truth; but the eastern star looks white,
END OF THE FIRST ACT.
. SCENE I.
As are the noon-tide plumes of summer winds
Satiate with sweet flowers. I was wont to sleep
Peacefully, and awake refreshed and calm
Before the sacred Titan's fall, and thy
Unhappy love, had made, through use and pity,
Under the glaucous caverns of old Ocean
While my shut eyes and cheek were pressed within
The folded depth of her life-breathing bosom:
Which fails beneath the music that I bear
Into the sense with which love talks, my rest
Lift up thine eyes,
And let me read thy dream.
As I have said,
Under the moon, had spread their snowy flakes, 'Tis lost! and through yon peaks of cloud-like snow From the keen ice shielding our linked sleep. The roseate sun-light quivers: hear I not
Then two dreams came. One, I remember not.
Fell from Prometheus, and the azure night
Grew radiant with the glory of that form
Which lives unchanged within, and his voice fell
Like music which makes giddy the dim brain,
Faint with intoxication of keen joy : Like stars half-quenched in mists of silver dew.
“ Sister of her whose footsteps pave the world Beloved and most beautiful, who wearest
With loveliness—more fair than aught but her,
Whose shadow thou art-lift thine eyes on me."
I lifted them: the overpowering light
Of that immortal shape was shadowed o'er
By love; which, from his soft and flowing limbs,
Steamed forth like vaporous fire ; an atmosphere
As the warm ether of the morning sun
It passes now into my mind. Methought
Wraps ere it drinks some cloud of wandering dewo
As you speak, your words
Thou speakest, but thy words
I lift them, though they droop beneath the load
Follow, follow ! Of that they would express : what canst thou see But thine own fairest shadow imaged there?
The crags, this clear spring morning, mock our Thine eyes are like the deep, blue, boundless heaven As they were spirit-tongued.
(voices, Contracted to two circles underneath Their long, fine lashes; dark, far, measureless,
It is some being Orb within orb, and line through line inwoven. Around the crags. What fine clear sounds ! 0, list!
ECHOES (unseen). Why lookest thou as if a spirit passed !
Echoes we: listen!
We cannot stay: There is a change; beyond their inmost depth
As dew-stars glisten I see a shade, a shape: 'tis He, arrayed
Then fade away
Child of Ocean !
Hark! Spirits, speak. The liquid responses Within that bright pavilion which their beams
Of their aërial tongues yet sound. Shall build on the waste world? The dream is told.
O follow, follow,
As our voice recedeth
Through the caverns hollow,
Where the forest spreadeth;
O follow, follow! It is mine other dream.
Through the caverns hollow,
As the song floats thou pursue,
Where the wild bee never flew,
Through the noon-tide darkness deep,
Child of Ocean!
Are awake through all the broad noon-day,
And through the windless ivy-boughs,
Watching to catch the languid close
The wings of the weak melody,
The song, and all the woods are mute; When there is heard through the dim air The rush of wings, and rising there
Like many a lake-surrounded flute, Sounds overflow the listener's brain So sweet that joy is almost pain.
Of echoes, music-tongued, which draw,
With melting rapture, or sweet awe,
As inland boats are driven to Ocean Down streams made strong with mountain thaw;
And first there comes a gentle sound
To those in talk or slumber bound, And wakes the destined, soft emotion Attracts, impels them ; those who saw
Say from the breathing earth behind
There streams a plume-uplifting wind
Believe their own swift wings and feet
Until, still sweet, but loud and strong,
Sucked up and hurrying: as they fleet
Behind, its gathering billows meet
SCENE II. 4 Forest, intermingled with Rocks and Caverns. Asta
and PANTHEA pass into it. Two young Fauns are sitting on a Rock, listening.
SEMICHORUS I. OF SPIRITS.
Have past, by cedar, pine, and yew,
Is curtained out from Heaven's wide blue; Nor sun, nor moon, nor wind, nor rain,
Can pierce its interwoven bowers,
Hangs each a pearl in the pale flowers
'Tis hard to tell: I have heard those more skilled in spirits say, The bubbles, which enchantment of the sun Sucks from the pale faint water flowers that pave The oozy bottom of clear lakes and pools, Are the pavilions where such dwell and float Under the green and golden atmosphere Which noon-tide kindles through the woven leaves; And when these burst, and the thin fiery air, The which they breathed within those lucent domes, Ascends to flow like meteors through the night, They ride on them, and rein their headlong speed, And bow their burning crests, and glide in fire, Under the waters of the earth again.
While the sound whirls around,
Down, down! As the fawn draws the hound, As the lightning the vapour, As a weak moth the taper ; Death, despair ; love, sorrow ; Time both ; to-day, to-morrow ; As steel obeys the spirit of the stone,
ASIA. Fit throne for such a Power ! Magnificent ! How glorious art thou, Earth! And if thou be The shadow of some spirit lovelier still, Though evil stain its work, and it should be Like its creation, weak yet beautiful, I could fall down and worship that and thee. Even now my heart adoreth : Wonderful ! Look, sister, ere the vapour dim thy brain : Beneath is a wide plain of billowy mist, As a lake, paving in the morning sky, With azure waves which burst in silver light, Some Indian vale. Behold it, rolling on Under the curdling winds, and islanding The peak whereon we stand, midway, around, Encinctured by the dark and blooming forests, Dim twilight lawns and stream-illumined caves, And wind-enchanted shapes of wandering mist; And far on high the keen sky-cleaving mountains, From icy spires of sun-like radiance fling The dawn, as lifted Ocean's dazzling spray, From some Atlantic islet scattered up, Spangles the wind with lamp-like water-drops. The vale is girdled with their walls, a howl Of Cataracts from their thaw-cloven ravines Satiates the listening wind, continuous, vast, Awful as silence. Hark! the rushing snow ! The sun-awakened avalanche ! whose mass, Thrice sifted by the storm, had gathered there Flake after flake, in heaven-defying minds As thought by thought is piled, till some great truth Is loosened, and the nations echo round, Shaken to their roots, as do the mountains now.
Through the grey, void abysm,
Down, down! Where the air is no prism, And the moon"and stars are not, And the cavern-crags wear not The radiance of Heaven, Nor the gloom to Earth given, Where there is one pervading, one alone,
Down, down !
We have bound thee, we guide thee ;
Down, down! With the bright form beside thee ; Resist not the weakness, Such strength is in meekness That the Eternal, the Immortal, Must unloose through life's portal The snake-like Doom coiled underneath his By that alone.
Who reigns ? There was the Heaven and Earth at The Cave of DEMOGORGON. Asia and PANTHEA.
And Light and Love;then Saturn, fromwhose throne What veiled form sits on that ebon throne ? Time fell, an envious shadow : such the state
Of the earth's primal spirits beneath his sway,
As the calm joy of flowers and living leaves
Before the wind or sun has withered them
And semi-vital worms ; but he refused
For thirst of which they fainted. Then Prometheus A living spirit.
Gave wisdom, which is strength, to Jupiter,
And with this law alone, “ Let man be free,”
To know nor faith, nor love, nor law ; to be
Omnipotent but friendless is to reign ; What canst thou tell ?
And Jove now reigned ; for on the race of man
First famine, and then toil, and then disease,
Fell; and the unseasonable seasons drove,
With alternating shafts of frost and fire, Who made the living world ?
Their shelterless, pale tribes to mountain caves :
And in their desert hearts fierce wants he sent,
And mad disquietudes, and shadows idle
So ruining the lair wherein they raged.
and waked the legioned hopes That it contains ? thought, passion, reason, will, Which sleep within folded Elysian flowers, Imagination ?
Nepent Moly, Amaranth, fadeless blooms,
That they might hide with thin and rainbow wings
The shape of Death ; and Love he sent to bind
The disunited tendrils of that vine Who made that sense which, when the winds of Which bears the wine of life, the human heart; In rarest visitation or the voice
And he tamed fire which, like some beast of prey, Of one beloved heard in youth alone,
Most terrible, but lovely, played beneath Fills the faint eyes with falling tears which dim
The frown of man; and tortured to his will The radiant looks of unbewailing flowers,
Iron and gold, the slaves and signs of power, And leaves this peopled earth a solitude
And gems and poisons, and all subtlest forms When it returns no more?
Hidden beneath the mountains and the waves.
He gave man speech, and speech created thought,
Which is the measure of the universe ;
And Science struck the thrones of earth and heaven,
Which shook, but fell not; and the harmonious mind And who made terror, madness, crime, remorse,
Poured itself forth in all-prophetic song; Which from the links of the great chain of things,
And music lifted up the listening spirit To every thought within the mind of man
Until it walked, exempt from mortal care, Sway and drag heavily, and each one reels
Godlike, o'er the clear billows of sweet sound; Under the load towards the pit of death;
And human hands first mimicked and then mocked, Abandoned hope, and love that turns to hate;
With moulded limbs more lovely than its own, And self-contempt bitterer to drink than blood;
The human form, till inarble grew divine, Pain, whose unheeded and familiar speech
And mothers, gazing, drank the love men see Is howling, and keen shrieks, day after day ;
Reflected in their race, behold, and perish. And Hell, or the sharp fear of Hell ?
He told the hidden power of herbs and springs,
And Disease drank and slept. Death grew like sleep.
He taught the implicated orbits woven
Of the wide-wandering stars; and how the sun
Changes his lair, and by what secret spell Utter his name: a world pining in pain
The pale moon is transformed, when her broad eye Asks but his name : curses shall drag him down. Gazes not on the interlunar sea :
He taught to rule, as life directs the limbs,
The tempest-winged chariots of the Ocean,
And the Celt knew the Indian. Cities then
Were built, and through their snow-like columns
And the blue sea and shadowy hills were seen.