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Hast thou forgotten one who watches thee
The cold dark night, and never sleeps but when
The shadow of thy spirit falls on her?

PROMETHEUS.

I said all hope was vain but love: thou lovest.

PANTHEA.

How fair these air-born shapes ! and yet I feel
Most vain all hope but love; and thou art far,
Asia! who, when my being overflowed,
Wert like a golden chalice to bright wine
Which else had sunk into the thirsty dust.
All things are still : alas ! how heavily
This quiet morning weighs upon my heart;
Though I should dream I could even sleep with

grief,
If slumber were denied not. I would fain
Be what it is my destiny to be,
The saviour and the strength of suffering man,
Or sink into the original gulf of things :
There is no agony, and no solace left;
Earth can console, Heaven can torment no more.

Deeply in truth; but the eastern star looks white,
And Asia waits in that far Indian vale
The scene of her sad exile ; rugged once
And desolate and frozen, like this ravine ;
But now invested with fair flowers and herbs,
And haunted by sweet airs and sounds, which flow
Among the woods and waters, from the ether
Of her transforming presence, which would fade
If it were mingled not with thine. Farewell !

END OF THE FIRST ACT.

ASIA.

ASIA.

ACT II.

. SCENE I.

As are the noon-tide plumes of summer winds

Satiate with sweet flowers. I was wont to sleep
Morning. A lonely Vale in the Indian Caucasus.

Peacefully, and awake refreshed and calm
Asia, alone.

Before the sacred Titan's fall, and thy

Unhappy love, had made, through use and pity,
From all the blasts of heaven thou hast descended : Both love and woe familiar to my heart
Yes, like a spirit, like a thought, which makes As they had grown to thine : erewhile I slept
Unwonted tears throng to the horny eyes,

Under the glaucous caverns of old Ocean
And beatings haunt the desolated heart, (scended Within dim bowers of green and purple moss,
Which should have learnt repose: thou hast de- Our young Ione's soft and milky arms
Cradled in tempests ; thou dost wake, 0 Spring ! Locked then, as now, behind my dark, moist hair,
() child of many winds! As suddenly

While my shut eyes and cheek were pressed within
Thou comest as the memory of a dream,

The folded depth of her life-breathing bosom:
Which now is sad because it hath been sweet ; But not as now, since I am made the wind
Like genius, or like joy which riseth up

Which fails beneath the music that I bear
As from the earth, clothing with golden clouds Of thy most wordless converse ; since dissolved
The desert of our life.

Into the sense with which love talks, my rest
This is the season, this the day, the hour ; Was troubled and yet sweet; my waking hours
At sunrise thou shouldst come, sweet sister mine, Too full of care and pain.
Too long desired, too long delaying, come!
How like death-worms the wingless momentscrawl!

Lift up thine eyes,
The point of one white star is quivering still
Deep in the orange light of widening morn

And let me read thy dream.
Beyond the purple mountains : through a chasm
Of wind-divided mist the darker lake

As I have said,
Reflects it; now it wanes; it gleams again With our sea-sister at his feet I slept.
As the waves fade, and as the burning threads - The mountain mists, condensing at our voice
Of woven cloud unravel in pale air:

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.
The Æolian music of her sea-green plumes But in the other his pale wound-worn limbs
Winnowing the crimson dawn?

Fell from Prometheus, and the azure night
PANTHEA enters.

Grew radiant with the glory of that form
I feel, I see

Which lives unchanged within, and his voice fell
Those eyes which burn through smiles that fade

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."
The shadow of that soul by which I live,
How late thou art! the sphered sun had climbed

I lifted them: the overpowering light
The sea; my heart was sick with hope, before

Of that immortal shape was shadowed o'er
The printless air felt thy belated plumes.

By love; which, from his soft and flowing limbs,
And passion-parted lips, and keen, faint eyes,

Steamed forth like vaporous fire ; an atmosphere
Pardon, great Sister! but my wings were faint Which wrapped me in its all-dissolving power,
With the delight of a remembered dream,

As the warm ether of the morning sun

PANTHEA.

in tears,

PANTHEA.

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PANTHEA.

It passes now into my mind. Methought
As we sate here, the flower-infolding buds
Burst on yon lightning-blasted almond tree,
When swift from the white Scythian wilderness
A wind swept forth wrinkling the Earth with frost:
I looked, and all the blossoms were blown down;
But on each leaf was stamped, as the blue bells
Of Hyacinth tell Apollo's written grief,
O, FOLLOW, FOLLOW!

ASIA.

Wraps ere it drinks some cloud of wandering dewo
I saw not, heard not, moved not, only felt
His presence flow and mingle through my blood
Till it became his life, and his grew mine,
And I was thus absorbed, until it passed,
And like the vapours when the sun sinks down,
Gathering again in drops upon the pines,
And tremulous as they, in the deep night
My being was condensed ; and as the rays
Of thought were slowly gathered, I could hear
His voice, whose accents lingered ere they died
Like footsteps of weak melody: thy name
Among the many sounds alone I heard
Of what might be articulate; though still
I listened through the night when sound was none.
Ione wakened then, and said to me:
“ Canst thou divine what troubles me to-night?
I always knew what I desired before,
Nor ever found delight to wish in vain.
But now I cannot tell thee what I seek;
I know not ; something sweet, since it is sweet
Even to desire; it is thy sport, false sister;
Thou hast discovered some enchantment old,
Whose spells have stolen my spirit as I slept
And mingled it with thine: for when just now
We kissed, I felt within thy parted lips
The sweet air that sustained me, and the warmth
Of the life-blood, for loss of which I faint,
Quivered between our intertwining arms."
I answered not, for the Eastern star grew pale,
But fled to thee.

As you speak, your words
Fill, pause by pause, my own forgotten sleep
With shapes. Methought among the lawns together
We wandered, underneath the young grey dawn,
And multitudes of dense white fleecy clouds
Were wandering in thick flocks along the mountains
Shepherded by the slow, unwilling wind;
And the white dew on the new-bladed grass,
Just piercing the dark earth, hung silently ;
And there was more which I remember not:
But on the shadows of the morning clouds,
Athwart the purple mountain slope, was written
Follow, 0, FOLLOW ! As they vanished by,
And on each herb, from which Heaven's dew had

fallen,
The like was stamped, as with a withering fire,
A wind arose among the pines; it shook
The clinging music from their boughs, and then
Low, sweet, faint sounds, like the farewell of ghosts,
Were heard : OH, follow, follow, FOLLOW ME !
And then I said, “ Panthea, look on me.”
But in the depth of those beloved eyes
Still I saw, FOLLOW, follow !

ASIA.

Thou speakest, but thy words
Are as the air: I feel them not: Oh, lift
Thine eyes, that I may read his written soul !

PANTHEA.

ECHO.

PANTHEA.

ASIA.

ASIA.

PANTHEA.

ASIA.

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
In the soft light of his own smiles, which spread

Child of Ocean !
Like radiance from the cloud-surrounded morn,
Prometheus, it is thine! depart not yet!
Say not those smiles that we shall meet again

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.

PANTHEA.
What shape is that between us? Its rude hair

I hear.
Roughens the wind that lifts it, its regard
Is wild and quick, yet ’tis a thing of air
For through its grey robe gleams the golden dew

O follow, follow,
Whose stars the noon has quenched not.

As our voice recedeth

Through the caverns hollow,
DREAM.

Where the forest spreadeth;
Follow ! Follow !

(More distant.)

O follow, follow! It is mine other dream.

Through the caverns hollow,

As the song floats thou pursue,
It disappears.

Where the wild bee never flew,

ASIA.

ECHOES.

PANTHEA.

ASIA.

Through the noon-tide darkness deep,
By the odour-breathing sleep
Of faint night-flowers, and the waves
At the fountain-lighted caves,
While our music, wild and sweet,
Mocks thy gently falling feet,

Child of Ocean!

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SEMICHORUS II.
There the voluptuous nightingales,

Are awake through all the broad noon-day,
When one with bliss or sadness fails,

And through the windless ivy-boughs,
Sick with sweet love, droops dying away
On its mate's music-panting bosom ;
Another from the swinging blossom,

Watching to catch the languid close
Of the last strain, then lifts on high

The wings of the weak melody,
Till some new strain of feeling bear

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.

SEMICHORUS I.
There those enchanted eddies play

Of echoes, music-tongued, which draw,
By Demogorgon's mighty law,

With melting rapture, or sweet awe,
All spirits on that secret way ;

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
Which drives them on their path, while they

Believe their own swift wings and feet
The sweet desires within obey :
And so they float upon their way,

Until, still sweet, but loud and strong,
The storm of sound is driven along,

Sucked up and hurrying: as they fleet

Behind, its gathering billows meet
And to the fatal mountain bear
Like clouds amid the yielding air.

FIRST FAUN.
Canst thou imagine where those spirits live
Which make such delicate music in the woods?
We haunt within the least frequented caves
And closest coverts, and we know these wilds,
Yet never meet them, though we hear them oft :
Where may they hide themselves ?

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SECOND FAUN.

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.
The path through which that lovely twain

Have past, by cedar, pine, and yew,
And each dark tree that ever grew,

Is curtained out from Heaven's wide blue; Nor sun, nor moon, nor wind, nor rain,

Can pierce its interwoven bowers,
Nor aught, save where some cloud of dew,
Drifted along the earth-creeping breeze,
Between the trunks of the hoar trees,

Hangs each a pearl in the pale flowers
Of the green laurel, blown anew;
And bends, and then fades silently,
One frail and fair anemone :
Or when some star of many a one
That climbs and wanders through steep night,
Has found the cleft through which alone
Beams fall from high those depths upon
Ere it is borne away, away,
By the swift Heavens that cannot stay,
It scatters drops of golden light,
Like lines of rain that ne'er unite :
And the gloom divine is all around;
And underneath is the mossy ground.

'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.

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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,

Down, down!

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!
In the depth of the deep

Down, down!
Like veiled lightning asleep,
Like the spark nursed in embers,
The last look Love remembers,
Like a diamond, which shines
On the dark wealth of mines.
A spell is treasured but for thee 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.

(throne

ASIA.

PANTHEA.

ASIA.

ASIA.

DEMOGORGON.

ASIA.

DEMOGORGON.

ASIA,

SCENE IV.

Who reigns ? There was the Heaven and Earth at The Cave of DEMOGORGON. Asia and PANTHEA.

first,

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
The veil has fallen.

Before the wind or sun has withered them
PANTHEA.

And semi-vital worms ; but he refused
I see a mighty darkness The birthright of their being, knowledge, power,
Filling the seat of power, and rays of gloom The skill which wields the elements, the thought
Dart round, as light from the meridian sun, Which pierces this dim universe like light,
Ungazed upon and shapeless ; neither limb, Self-empire, and the majesty of love ;
Nor form, nor outline ; yet we feel it is

For thirst of which they fainted. Then Prometheus A living spirit.

Gave wisdom, which is strength, to Jupiter,
DEMOGORGON.

And with this law alone, “ Let man be free,”
Ask what thou wouldst know. Clothed him with the dominion of wide Heaven.

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,
All things thou dar'st demand. Strife, wounds, and ghastly death unseen before,

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,
God.

And mad disquietudes, and shadows idle
Of unreal good, which levied mutual war,

So ruining the lair wherein they raged.
Who made all
Prometheus saw,

and waked the legioned hopes That it contains ? thought, passion, reason, will, Which sleep within folded Elysian flowers, Imagination ?

Nepent Moly, Amaranth, fadeless blooms,
DEMOGORGON.

That they might hide with thin and rainbow wings
God: Almighty God.

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

[spring

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,
DEMOGORGON.

Which is the measure of the universe ;
Merciful God.

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.
DEMOGORGON.

He taught the implicated orbits woven
He reigns.

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,
DEMOGORGON.
He reigns.

The tempest-winged chariots of the Ocean,

And the Celt knew the Indian. Cities then
I feel, I know it : who?

Were built, and through their snow-like columns
The warm winds, and the azureæthershone, [flowed

And the blue sea and shadowy hills were seen.
He reigns. Such, the alleviations of his state,

ASIA.

ASIA.

ASIA.

ASIA.

DEMOGORGON.

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