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O that the free would stamp the impious name Paused, and the spirit of that mighty singing Of **** into the dust ; or write it there,
To its abyss was suddenly withdrawn ; So that this blot upon the page of fame
Then as a wild swan, when sublimely winging Were as a serpent's path, which the light air Its path athwart the thunder-smoke of dawn, Erases, and the flat sands close behind !
Sinks headlong through the aerial golden light
On the vy sound plain,
When the bolt has pierced its brain ;
As a brief insect dies with dying day, The axes and the rods which awe mankind; My song its pinions disarrayed of might, The sound has poison in it, 'tis the sperm
Drooped ; o'er it closed the echoes far away Of what makes life foul, cankerous, and abhorred; of the great voice which did its flight sustain, Disdain not thou, at thine appointed term,
As waves which lately paved his watery way To set thine armed heel on this reluctant worm.
Hiss round a drowner's head in their tempestuous
O that the wise from their bright minds would kindle
Such lamps within the dome of this dim world, That the pale name of Priest might shrink and
of impious pride from fiends impure
Each before the judgment-throne
Were stript of their thin masks and various hue,
Till in the nakedness of false and true
Can be between the cradle and the grave,
If on his own high will a willing slave,
What if earth can clothe and feed
Amplest millions at their need,
Diving on fiery wings to Nature's throne,
And cries, give me, thy child, dominion
New wants, and wealth from those who toil and
From her couch of snows
From cloud and from crag,
With many a jag,
She leapt down the rocks
With her rainbow locks
Her steps paved with green
The downward ravine
And gliding and springing,
She went, ever singing,
The earth seemed to love her,
And Heaven smiled above her,
Then Alpheus bold,
On his glacier cold,
And opened a chasm
In the rocks ;-with the spasm
And the black south wind
It concealed behind
And earthquake and thunder
Did rend in sunder
The beard and the hair
Of the river God were
As he followed the light
Of the fleet nymph's flight
Come thou, but lead out of the inmost cave
Of man's deep spirit, as the morning-star Beckons the Sun from the Eoan wave,
Wisdom. I hear the pennons of her car Self-moving like cloud charioted by flame ;
Comes she not, and come ye not,
Rulers of eternal thought,
Of what has been, the Hope of what will be ? 0, Liberty ! if such could be thy name
Wert thou disjoined from these, or they from
By blood or tears, have not the wise and free
“Oh, save me! Oh, guide me !
And bid the deep hide me,
The loud Ocean heard,
To its blue depth stirred,
And under the water
HYMN OF APOLLO.
Fled like a sunny beam ;
Behind her descended
Her billows, unblended With the brackish Dorian stream:
Like a gloomy stain
On the emerald main Alpheus rushed behind,
As an eagle pursuing
A dove to its ruin Down the streams of the cloudy wind.
The sleepless Hours who watch me as I lie,
Curtained with star-enwoven tapestries, From the broad moonlight of the sky,
Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes, Waken me when their Mother, the grey Dawn, Tells them that dreams and that the moon is gone.
Then I arise, and climbing Heaven's blue dome,
I walk over the mountains and the waves, Leaving my robe upon the ocean foam ;
My footsteps pave the clouds with fire; the caves Are filled with my bright presence, and the air Leaves the green earth to my embraces bare.
Under the bowers
Where the Ocean Powers Sit on their pearled thrones :
Through the coral woods
Of the weltering floods, Over heaps of unvalued stones;
Through the dim beams
Which amid the streams Weave a net-work of coloured light ;
And under the caves,
Where the shadowy waves Are as green as the forest's night :
Outspeeding the shark,
And the sword-fish dark, Under the ocean foam,
And up through the rifts
Of the mountain clifts
And now from their fountains
In Enna's mountains, Down one vale where the morning basks,
Like friends once parted
Grown single-hearted, They ply their watery tasks.
At sunrise they leap
From their cradles steep In the cave of the shelving hill ;
At noon-tide they flow
Through the woods below And the meadows of Asphodel ;
And at night they sleep
In the rocking deep Beneath the Ortygian shore ;
Like spirits that lie
In the azure sky
The sunbeams are my shafts, with which I kill
Deceit, that loves the night and fears the day ; All men who do or even imagine ill
Fly me, and from the glory of my ray Good minds and open actions take new might, Until diminished by the reign of night. I feed the clouds, the rainbows, and the flowers,
With their ethereal colours; the Moon's globe And the pure stars in their eternal bowers
Are cinctured with my power as with a robe ; Whatever lamps on Earth or Heaven may shine Are portions of one power, which is mine. I stand at noon upon the peak of Heaven,
Then with unwilling steps I wander down Into the clouds of the Atlantic even ;
For grief that I depart they weep and frown: What look is more delightful than the smile With which I soothe them from the western isle !
I am the eye with which the Universe
Beholds itself and knows itself divine; All harmony of instrument or verse,
All prophecy, all medicine are mine, All light of art or nature ;—to my song Victory and praise in their own right belong.
HYMN OF PAN.
SONG OF PROSERPINE,
WHILE GATHERING FLOWERS ON THE PLAIN OF ENNA.
Sacred Goddess, Mother Earth,
Thou from whose immortal bosom, Gods, and men, and beasts have birth,
Leaf and blade, and bud and blossom, Breathe thine influence most divine On thine own child, Proserpine.
From the forests and highlands
We come, we come ;
Where loud waves are dumb
Listening to my sweet pipings.
The bees on the bells thyme,
The cicale above in the lime,
Listening to my sweet pipings.
And all dark Tempe lay
The light of the dying day, • This and the former poem were written at the request of a friend, to be inserted in a drama on the subject of Midas. Apollo and Pan contended before Tmolus for the prize in music.
If with mists of evening dew
Thou dost nourish these young flowers Till they grow, in scent and hue,
Fairest children of the hours, Breathe thine influence most divine On thine own child, Proserpine.
THE TWO SPIRITS.
Speeded with my sweet pipings. The Sileni, and Sylvans, and Fauns,
And the nymphs of the woods and waves,
And the brink of the dewy caves,
With envy of my sweet pipings.
I sang of the dancing stars,
I sang of the daedal Earth,
And Love, and Death, and Birth,
And then I changed my pipings,Singing how down the vale of Menalus
I pursued a maiden and clasped a reed :
It breaks in our bosom and then we bleed :
At the sorrow of my sweet pipings.
O Thou, who plumed with strong desire
Wouldst float above the earth, beware!
Night is coming !
And among the winds and beams
Night is coming !
The deathless stars are bright above :
If I would cross the shade at night,
And that is day!
On my golden plumes where'er they move ;
And make night day.
I DREAMED that, as I wandered by the way,
But if the whirlwinds of darkness waken
Hail, and lightning, and stormy rain ; Mixed with a sound of waters murmuring
See the bounds of the air are shakenAlong a shelving bank of turf, which lay
Night is coming ! Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling
The red swift clouds of the hurricane Its green arms round the bosom of the stream,
Yon declining sun have overtaken, But kissed it and then fled, as thou mightest in dream.
The clash of the hail sweeps over the plainThere grew pied wind-flowers and violets,
Night is coming !
Faint oxlips ; tender blue bells, at whose birth | I see the light, and I hear the sound ;
Which makes night day :
And thou, when the gloom is deep and stark, And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine, Look from thy dull earth, slumber-bound,
Green cow-bind and the moonlight-coloured May, My moonlight flight thou then may’st mark And cherry blossoms, and white cups, whose wine
On high, far away.
Some say there is a precipice
'Mid Alpine mountains ;
And that the languid storm pursuing And nearer to the river's trembling edge
That winged shape, for ever flies Theregrew broad flag-flowers, purple prankt with
Round those hoar branches, aye renewing
Its aëry fountains.
say when nights are dry and clear, And bulrushes, and reeds of such deep green
And the death-dews sleep on the morass, As soothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen.
Sweet whispers are heard by the traveller,
Which makes night day : Methought that of these visionary flowers
And a silver shape like his early love doth pass I made a nosegay, bound in such a way
Upborne by her wild and glittering hair, That the same hues, which in their natural bowers
And when he awakes on the fragrant grass, Were mingled or opposed, the like array
He finds night day.
Within my hand,—and then, elate and gay,
Pledging the demons of the earthquake, who
Reply to them in lava-cry, halloo !
And call out to the cities o'er their head,
Roofs, towns, and shrines,—the dying and the dead TO MARIA GISBORNE.
Crash through the chinks of earth-and then all
Another rouse, and hold their sides and laugh. LEGHORN, July 1, 1820.
This quicksilver no gnome has drunk-within The spider spreads her webs, whether she be
The walnut-bowl it lies, veined and thin, In poet's tower, cellar, or barn, or tree ;
In colour like the wake of light that stains The silkworm in the dark-green mulberry leaves
The Tuscan deep, when from the moist moon rains His winding-sheet and cradle ever weaves ! The inmost shower of its white fire-the breeze So I, a thing whom moralists call worm,
Is still-blue heaven smiles over the pale seas.
A rude idealism of a paper boat-
He fears not I should do more mischief.—Next
With steam-boats, frigates, and machinery quaint
Traced over them in blue and yellow paint. Whoever should behold me now, I wist,
Then comes a range of mathematical Would think I were a mighty mechanist,
Instruments, for plans nautical and statical, Bent with sublime Archimedean art
A heap of rosin, a green broken glass To breathe a soul into the iron heart
With ink in it ;-a china cup that was Of some machine portentous, or strange gin, What it will never be again, I think, Which by the force of figured spells might win A thing from which sweet lips were wont to drink Its way over the sea, and sport therein ;
The liquor doctors rail at-and which I For round the walls are hung dread engines, such Will quaff in spite of them—and when we die As Vulcan never wrought for Jove to clutch We'll toss up who died first of drinking tea, Ixion or the Titan :-or the quick
And cry out,- heads or tails? where'er we be. Wit of that man of God, St. Dominic,
Near that a dusty paint-box, some old books, To convince Atheist, Turk, or Heretic ;
A half burnt match, an ivory block, three books, Or those in philosophic councils met,
Where conic sections, spherics, logarithms, Who thought to pay some interest for the debt To great Laplace, from Saunderson and Sims, They owed to Jesus Christ for their salvation, Lie heaped in their harmonious disarray By giving a faint foretaste of damnation
Of figures,-disentangle them who may. To Shakspeare, Sidney, Spenser, and the rest Baron de Tott's Memoirs beside them lie, Who made our land an island of the blest,
And some odd volumes of old chemistry. When lamp-like Spain, who now relumes her fire Near them a most inexplicable thing, On Freedom's hearth, grew dim with Empire : With least in the middle— I'm conjecturing With thumb-screws, wheels, with tooth and spike How to make Henry understand ;-but-no, and jag,
I'll leave, as Spenser says, with many mo,
This secret in the pregnant womb of time,
Plotting dark spells, and devilish enginery,
The self impelling steam-wheels of the mind Sleeping in beauty on their mangled prey, Which pump up oaths from clergymen, and grind As panthers sleep :—and other strange and dread The gentle spirit of our meek reviews Magical forms the brick-floor overspread
Into a powdery foam of salt abuse, Proteus transformed to metal did not make Ruffling the ocean of their self-content ;More figures, or more strange ; nor did he take I sit-and smile or sigh as is my bent, Such shapes of unintelligible brass,
But not for them-Libeccio rushes round Or heap himself in such a horrid mass
With an inconstant and an idle sound, Of tin and iron not to be understood,
I heed him more than them—the thunder-smoke And forms of unimaginable wood,
Is gathering on the mountains, like a cloak To puzzle Tubal Cain and all his brood :
Folded athwart their shoulders broad and bare ; Great screws, and cones, and wheels, and grooved The ripe corn under the undulating air blocks,
Undulates like an ocean ;-and the vines The elements of what will stand the shocks Are trembling wide in all their trellised lines ;Of wave and wind and time.-Upon the table The murmur of the awakening sea doth fill More knacks and quips there be than I am able The empty pauses of the blast ;- the hill To cataloguise in this verse of mine :
Looks hoary through the white electric rain, A pretty bowl of wood—not full of wine,
And from the glens beyond, in sullen strain But quicksilver; that dew which the gnomes drink The interrupted thunder howls ; above When at their subterranean toil they swink, One chasm of heaven smiles, like the eye of love
On the unquiet world ;—while such things are, At once is deaf and loud, and on the shore How could one worth your friendship heed the war Vomits its wrecks, and still howls on for more. Of worms? The shriek of the world's carrion Yet in its depth what treasures! You will see jays,
Your old friend Godwin, greater none than he ; Their censure, or their wonder, or their praise ? Though fallen on evil times, yet will he stand,
Among the spirits of our age and land, You are not here! The quaint witch Memory sees
Before the dread tribunal of To-come In vacant chairs your absent images,
The foremost, whilst rebuke stands pale and dumb. And points where once you sat, and now should be, You will see Coleridge ; he who sits obscure But are not.-I demand if ever we
In the exceeding lustre and the pure Shall meet as then we met ;—and she replies, Intense irradiation of a mind, Veiling in awe her second-sighted eyes,
Which, with its own internal lustre blind, “I know the past alone-but summon home Flags wearily through darkness and despair-. My sister Hope, she speaks of all to come." A cloud-encircled meteor of the air, But I, an old diviner, who know well
A hooded eagle among blinking owls. Every false verse of that sweet oracle,
You will see Hunt ; one of those happy souls Turned to the sad enchantress once again,
Which are the salt of the earth, and without whom And sought a respite from my gentle pain,
This world would smell like what it is—a tomb; In acting every passage o'er and o'er
Who is, what others seem :-his room no doubt Of our communion.- How on the sea shore Is still adorned by many a cast from Shout, We watched the ocean and the sky together, With graceful flowers, tastefully placed about ; Under the roof of blue Italian weather ;
And coronals of bay from ribbons hung, How I ran home through last year's thunder-storm, And brighter wreaths in neat disorder fung, And felt the transverse lightning linger warm The gifts of the most learned among some dozens Upon my cheek : and how we often made
Of female friends, sisters-in-law and cousins. Treats for each other, where good will outweighed And there is he with his eternal puns, The frugal luxury of our country cheer,
Which beat the dullest brain for smiles, like duns As it well might, were it less firm and clear Thundering for money at a poet's door ; Than ours must ever be ;-and how we spun Alas! it is no use to say, “ I'm poor !”. A shroud of talk to hide us from the sun
Or oft in graver mood, when he will look Of this familiar life, which seems to be
Things wiser than were ever said in book, But is not,—or is but quaint mockery
Except in Shakspeare's wisest tenderness. Of all we would believe ; or sadly blame
You will see H-, and I cannot express The jarring and inexplicable frame
His virtues, though I know that they are great, Of this wrong world :-and then anatomize Because he locks, then barricades, the gate The purposes and thoughts of men whose eyes Within which they inhabit ;—of his wit, Were closed in distant years ;-or widely guess And wisdom, you'll cry out when you are bit. The issue of the earth's great business,
Не: a pearl within an oyster-shell,
One of the richest of the deep. And there
That gleams i'the Indian air. Have you not heard Of visionary rhyme ;—in joy and pain
When a man marries, dies, or turns Hindoo, Struck from the inmost fountains of my brain, His best friends hear no more of him? but you With little skill perhaps ;-or how we sought Will see him, and will like him too, I hope, Those deepest wells of passion or of thought With the milk-white Snowdonian Antelope Wrought by wise poets in the waste of years, Matched with his camelopard his fine wit Staining the sacred waters with our tears ; Makes such a wound, the knife is lost in it ; Quenching a thirst ever to be renewed !
A strain too learned for a shallow age, Or how I, wisest lady! then indued
Too wise for selfish bigots ;-let his page,
Which charms the chosen spirits of the age,
Make this dull world a business of delight,
Are all combined in Horace Smith. And these, An echo in our hearts, and with the sound
With some exceptions, which I need not teaze Startled oblivion ;-thou wert then to me
Your patience by descanting on, are all
You and I know in London.
What see you ?-Unpavilioned heaven is fair, These recollected pleasures ?
Whether the moon, into her chamber gone,
Leaves midnight to the golden stars, or wan
Climbs with diminished beams the azure steep ; In London, that great sea, whose ebb and flow Or whether clouds sail o'er the inverse deep,