Obrazy na stronie

Are unforeseen, unregistered by me :
And it is yet permitted me, to rend
The veil of mortal frailty, that the spirit,
Clothed in its changeless purity, may know
How soonest to accomplish the great end
For which it hath its being, and may taste

peace, which in the end, all life will share. This is the meed of virtue ; happy Soul,

Ascend the car with me!

Its rays of rapid light
Parted around the chariot's swifter course,
And fell, like ocean's feathery spray

Dashed from the boiling surge
Before a vessel's prow.

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.

Earth's distant orb appeared
The smallest light that twinkles in the heaven ;

Whilst round the chariot's way
Innumerable systems rolled,
And countless spheres diffused

An ever-varying glory.
It was a sight of wonder : some
Were hornèd like the crescent moon ;
Some shed a mild and silver beam
Like Hesperus o'er the western sea;
Some dashed athwart with trains of flame,

Like worlds to death and ruin driven ; Some shone like suns, and as the chariot passed,

Eclipsed all other light.

Spirit of Nature ! here !
In this interminable wilderness
Of worlds, at whose immensity

Even soaring fancy staggers,
Here is thy fitting temple.

Yet not the lightest leaf
That quivers to the passing breeze

Is less instinct with thee :

Yet not the meanest worm That lurks in graves and fattens on the dead

Less shares thy eternal breath.

Spirit of Nature ! thou !
Imperishable as this scene,

Here is thy fitting temple !

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.

If solitude hath ever led thy steps
To the wild ocean's echoing shore,

And thou hast lingered there,

Until the sun's broad orb
Seemed resting on the burnished wave,

Thou must have marked the lines
Of purple gold, that motionless

Hung o'er the sinking sphere:
Thou must have marked the billowy clouds
Edged with intolerable radiancy,

Towering like rocks of jet
Crowned with a diamond wreath,
And yet there is a moment,

When the sun's highest point
Peeps like a star o'er ocean's western edge,
When those far clouds of feathery gold,

Shaded with deepest purple, gleam

Like islands on a dark blue sea ;
Then has thy fancy soared above the earth,

And furled its wearied wing
Within the Fairy's fane.
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.

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 ;

Yet likest evening's vault, that fairy Hall!

The Fairy pointed to the earth.
As Heaven, low resting on the wave, it spread The Spirit's intellectual eye
Its floors of Aashing light,

Its kindred beings recognized.
Its vast and azure dome,

The thronging thousands, to a passing view,
Its fertile golden islands

Seemed like an ant-hill's citizens.
Floating on a silver sea ;

How wonderful ! that even
Whilst suns their mingling beamings darted The passions, prejudices, interests,
Through clouds of circumambient darkness, That sway the meanest being, the weak touch
And pearly battlements around

That moves the finest nerve, Looked o'er the immense of Heaven.

And in one human brain

Causes the faintest thought, becomes a link
The magic car no longer moved.

In the great chain of nature.
The Fairy and the Spirit
Entered the Hall of Spells :

Behold, the Fairy cried,
Those golden clouds

Palmyra's ruin'd palaces ! -
That rolled in glittering billows

Behold! where grandeur frowned ; Beneath the azure canopy,

Behold ! where pleasure smiled ;
With the ethereal footsteps trembled not :

What now remains l_ the memory
The light and crimson mists,

Of senselessness and shame-
Floating to strains of thrilling melody

What is immortal there? Through that unearthly dwelling,

Nothing-it stands to tell Yielded to every movement of the will.

A melancholy tale, to give Upon their passive swell the Spirit leaned,

An awful warning: soon And, for the varied bliss that pressed around, Oblivion will steal silently Used not the glorious privilege

The remnant of its fame.
Of virtue and of wisdom.

Monarchs and conquerors there
Spirit ! the Fairy said,

Proud o’er prostrate millions trod-
And pointed to the gorgeous dome,

The earthquakes of the human race,-
This is a wondrous sight

Like them, forgotten when the ruin
And mocks all human grandeur ;

That marks their shock is past.
But, were it virtue's only meed, to dwell

Beside the eternal Nile
In a celestial palace, all resigned
To pleasurable impulses, immured

The Pyramids have risen.
Within the prison of itself, the will

Nile shall pursue his changeless way; Of changeless nature would be unfulfilled.

Those Pyramids shall fall ;

Yea ! not a stone shall stand to tell
Learn to make others happy. Spirit, come!
This is thine high reward :—the past shall rise ;

The spot whereon they stood ;
Thou shalt behold the present ; I will teach

Their very site shall be forgotten,
The secrets of the future.

As is their builder's name !
The Fairy and the Spirit

Behold yon sterile spot;
Approached the overhanging battlement.--

Where now the wandering Arab's tent Below lay stretched the universe !

Flaps in the desert-blast. There, far as the remotest line

There once old Salem's haughty fane That bounds imagination's flight,

Reared high to heaven its thousand golden domes, Countless and unending orbs

And in the blushing face of day In mazy motion intermingled,

Exposed its shameful glory. Yet still fulfilled immutably

Oh! many a widow, many an orphan cursed Eternal Nature's law.

The building of that fane ; and many a father,
Above, below, around

Worn out with toil and slavery, implored
The circling systems formed

The poor man's God to sweep it from the earth,
A wilderness of harmony ;

And spare his children the detested task Each with undeviating aim,

Of piling stone on stone, and poisoning
In eloquent silence, through the depths of space

The choicest days of life,
Pursued its wondrous way.

To soothe a dotard's vanity.

There an inhuman and uncultured race
There was a little light

Howled hideous praises to their Demon-God ; That twinkled in the misty distance :

They rushed to war, tore from the mother's womb
None but a spirit's eye

The unborn child,-old age and infancy
Might ken that rolling orb ;

Promiscuous perished ; their victorious arms
None but a spirit's eye,

Left not a soul to breathe. Oh! they were And in no other place

fiends : But that celestial dwelling, might behold

But what was he who taught them that the God Each action of this earth's inhabitants.

Of nature and benevolence had given
But matter, space and time,

A special sanction to the trade of blood ?
In those aerial mansions cease to act ;

His name and theirs are fading, and the tales And all-prevailing wisdom, when it reaps

Of this barbarian nation, which imposture The harvest of its excellence, o'erbounds

Recites till terror credits, are pursuing Those obstacles, of which an earthly soul

Itself into forgetfulness. Fears to attempt the conquest.

And perisheth ere 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.

Where Athens, Rome, and Sparta stood,
There is a moral desert now :
The mean and miserable huts,
The yet more wretched palaces,
Contrasted with those ancient fanes,
Now crumbling to oblivion ;
The long and lonely colonnades,
Through which the ghost of Freedom stalks,

Seem like a well-known tune,
Which, in some dear scene we have loved to hear,

Remembered now in sadness.
But, oh ! how much more changed,
How gloomier is the contrast

Of human nature there !
Where Socrates expired, a tyrant's slave,
A coward and a fool, spreads death around-

Then, shuddering, meets his own.
Where Cicero and Antoninus lived,
A cowled and hypocritical monk

Prays, curses, and deceives.
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 shail know
That they alone can give the bliss

Worthy a soul that claims
Its kindred with eternity.
There's not one atom of yon earth

But once was living man ;
Nor the minutest drop of rain,
That hangeth in its thinnest cloud,

But flowed in human veins :
And from the burning plains
Where Lybian monsters yell,
From the most gloomy glens
Of Greenland's sunless clime,
To where the golden fields
Of fertile England spread
Their harvest to the day,
Thou canst not find one spot
Whereon no city stood.

How strange is human pride!
I tell thee that those living things,
To whom the fragile blade of grass,

That springeth in the morn

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.


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
Yon populous city, rears its thousand towers
And seems itself a city. Gloomy troops
Of sentinels, in stern and silent ranks,
Encompass it around: the dweller there
Cannot be free and happy; hearest thou not
The curses of the fatherless, the groans
Of those who have no friend? He passes on :
The King, the wearer of a gilded chain
That binds his soul to abjectness, the fool
Whom courtiers nickname monarch, whilst a slave
Even to the basest appetites—that man

Heeds not the shriek of penury; he smiles Against a king's employ? No—'tis not strange, At the deep curses which the destitute

He, like the vulgar, thinks, feels, acts and lives Mutter in secret, and a sullen joy

Just as his father did; the unconquered powers Pervades his bloodless heart when thousands groan Of precedent and custom interpose But for those morsels which his wantonness

Between a king and virtue. Stranger yet, Wastes in unjoyous revelry, to save

To those who know not nature, nor deduce All that they love from famine: when he hears The future from the present, it may seern, The tale of horror, to some ready-made face

That not one slave, who suffers from the crimes Of hypocritical assent he turns,

Of this unnatural being; not one wretch, Smothering the glow of shame, that, spite of him, Whose children famish, and whose nuptial bed Flushes his bloated cheek.

Is earth's unpitying bosom, rears an arm

To dash him from his throne!

Now to the meal Of silence, grandeur, and excess, he drags

Those gilded flies His palled unwilling appetite. If gold,

That basking in the sunshine of a court, Gleaming around, and numerous viands culled Fatten on its corruption !-what are they ? From every clime, could force the loathing sense

- The drones of the community; they feed To overcome satiety,—if wealth

On the mechanic's labour; the starved hind The spring it draws from poisons not,-or vice,

For them compels the stubborn glebe to yield Unfeeling, stubborn vice, converteth not

Its unshared harvests; and yon squalid form, Its food to deadliest venom; then that king

Leaner than fleshless misery, that wastes Is happy; and the peasant who fulfils

A sunless life in the unwholesome mine, His unforced task, when he returns at even,

Drags out in labour a protracted death, And by the blazing faggot meets again

To glut their grandeur; many faint with toil, Her welcome for whom all his toil is sped,

That few may know the cares and woe of sloth. Tastes not a sweeter meal.

Whence, thinkest thou, kings and parasites arose?

Behold him now Whence that unnatural line of drones, who heap Stretched on the gorgeous couch ; his fevered brain Toil and unvanquishable penury Reels dizzily awhile : but ah! too soon

On those who build their palaces, and bring (vice; The slumber of intemperance subsides,

Their daily bread ?-From vice, black loathsome
And conscience, that undying serpent, calls From rapine, madness, treachery, and wrong ;
Her venomous brood to their nocturnal task. From all that genders misery, and makes
Listen! he speaks! oh! mark that frenzied eye Of earth this thorny wilderness; from lust,
Oh! mark that deadly visage.

Revenge, and murder.–And when reason's voice,
Loud as the voice of nature, shall have waked

The nations; and mankind perceive that vice
No cessation !

Is discord, war, and misery; that virtue Oh! must this last for ever! Awful death,

Is peace, and happiness and harmony; : I wish yet fear to clasp thee! Not one moment When man's maturer nature shall disdain Of dreamless sleep! O dear and blessed peace! The playthings of its childhood ;-kingly glare Why dost thou shroud thy vestal purity

Will lose its power to dazzle; its authority In penury and dungeons! wherefore lurkest

Will silently pass by; the gorgeous throne With danger, death, and solitude: yet shunn'st Shall stand unnoticed in the regal hall, The palace I have built thee ! Sacred peace! Fast falling to decay; whilst falsehood's trade Oh visit me but once, and pitying shed

Shall be as hateful and unprofitable One drop of balm upon my withered soul.

As that of truth is now. Vain man! that palace is the virtuous heart,

Where is the fame And peace defileth not her snowy robes

Which the vain-glorious mighty of the earth In such a shed as thine. Hark! yet he mutters;

Seek to eternize! Oh! the faintest sound His slumbers are but varied agonies,

From time's light foot-fall, the minutest wave They prey like scorpions on the springs of life.

That swells the flood of ages, whelms in nothing There needeth not the hell that bigots frame

The unsubstantial bubble. Aye! to-day To punish those who err: earth in itself

Stern is the tyrant's mandate, red the gaze Contains at once the evil and the cure;

That flashes desolation, strong the arm And all-sufficing nature can chastise

That scatters multitudes. To-morrow comes ! Those who transgress her law,-she only knows

That mandate is a thunder-peal that died How justly to proportion to the fault

In ages past; that gaze, a transient flash The punishment it merits.

On which the midnight closed, and on that arm

The worm has made his meal.

Is it strange
That this poor wretch should pride him in his woe?

The virtuous man Take pleasure in his abjectness, and hug

Who, great in his humility, as kings
The scorpion that consumes him? Is it strange Are little in their grandeur; he who leads
That, placed on a conspicuous throne of thorns, Invincibly a life of resolute good,
Grasping an iron sceptre, and immured

And stands amid the silent dungeon-depths
Within a splendid prison, whose stern bounds More free and fearless than the trembling judge,
Shut him from all that's good or dear on earth, Who, clothed in venal power, vainly strove
His soul asserts not its humanity?

To bind the impassive spirit ;—when he falls, That mau's inild nature rises not in war

Ilis mild eye beams benevolence no more:



Withered the hand outstretched but to relieve; Thine the tribunal which surpasseth
Sunk reason's simple eloquence, that rolled

The show of human justice,
But to appal the guilty. Yes! the grave [frost As God surpasses man.
Hath quenched that eye, and death's relentless
Withered that arm: but the unfading fame

Spirit of Nature! thou
Which virtue hangs upon its votary's tomb; Life of interminable multitudes;
The deathless memory of that man, whom kings Soul of those mighty spheres
Call to their mind and tremble; the remembrance Whose changeless paths through Heaven's deep
With which the happy spirit contemplates

Soul of that smallest being, [silence lie; Its well-spent pilgrimage on earth,

The dwelling of whose life Shall never pass away.

Is one faint April sun-gleam ;

Man, like these passive things, Nature rejects the monarch, not the man;

Thy will unconsciously fulfilleth: The subject, not the citizen: for kings

Like theirs, his age of endless peace, And subjects, mutual foes, for ever play

Which time is fast maturing, A losing game into each other's hands,

Will swiftly, surely, come; Whose stakes are vice and misery. The man And the unbounded frame, which thou pervadest, Of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys.

Will be without a flaw
Power, like a desolating pestilence,

Marring its perfect symmetry.
Pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame
A mechanized automaton.

How beautiful this night! the balmiest sigh,
When Nero,

Which vernal zephyrs breathe in evening's ear, High over flaming Rome, with savage joy

Were discord to the speaking quietude Lowered like a fiend, drank with enraptured ear That wraps this moveless scene. Heaven's ebon The shrieks of agonising death, beheld

Studded with stars unutterably bright, [vault, The frightful desolation spread, and felt

Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur A new-created sense within his soul

Seems like a canopy which love has spread (rolls, Thrill to the sight, and vibrate to the sound; To curtain her sleeping world. Yon gentle hills, Thinkest thou his grandeur had not overcome Robed in a garment of untrodden snow; The force of human kindness? and, when Rome, Yon darksome rocks, whence icicles depend, With one stern blow, hurled not the tyrant down, So stainless that their white and glittering spires Crushed not the arm, red with her dearest blood, Tinge not the moon's pure beam; yon castled steep, Had not submissive abjectness destroyed

Whose banner hangeth o'er the time-worn tower Nature's suggestions?

So idly, that rapt fancy deemeth it

A metaphor of peace ;-all form a scene
Look on yonder earth : Where musing solitude might love to lift
The golden harvests spring; the unfailing sun Her soul above this sphere of earthliness;
Sheds light and life; the fruits, the flowers, the Where silence undisturbed might watch alone,
Arise in due succession; all things speak (trees, So cold, so bright, so still.
Peace, harmony, and love. The universe,

The orb of day,
In nature's silent eloquence, declares
That all fulfil the works of love and joy,-

In southern climes, o'er ocean's waveless field

Sinks sweetly smiling: not the faintest breath All but the outcast, Man. He fabricates The sword which stabs his peace; he cherisheth

Steals o'er the unruffled deep; the clouds of eve The snakes that gnaw his heart; he raiseth up

Reflect unmoved the lingering beam of day; The tyrant, whose delight is in his woe,

And vesper's image on the western main Whose sport is in his agony. Yon sun,

Is beautifully still. To-morrow comes : Lights it the great alone? Yon silver beams,

Cloud upon cloud, in dark and deepening mass,

Roll o'er the blackened waters; the deep roar Sleep they less sweetly on the cottage thatch,

Of distant thunder mutters awfully;
Than on the dome of kings? Is mother earth
A step-dame to her numerous sons, who earn

Tempest unfolds its pinion o'er the gloom
Her unshared gifts with unremitting toil;

That shrouds the boiling surge; the pitiless fiend,

With all his winds and lightnings, tracks his prey; A mother only to those puling babes Who, nursed in ease and luxury, make men

The torn deep yawns,-the vessel finds a grave The playthings of their babyhood, and mar,

Beneath its jagged gulf. In self-important childishness, that peace

Ah! whence yon glare Which men alone appreciate ?

That fires thearch of heaven!--that dark red smoke

Blotting the silver moon? The stars are quenched Spirit of Nature ! no!

In darkness, and the pure and spangling snow The pure diffusion of thy essence throbs Gleams faintlythrough the gloom that gathers round. Alike in every human heart.

Hark to that roar, whose swift and deafening peals Thou, aye, erectest there

In countless echoes through the mountains ring, Thy throne of power unappealable:

Startling pale midnight on her starry throne! Thou art the judge beneath whose nod Now swells the intermingling din; the jar Man's brief and frail authority

Frequent and frightful of the bursting bomb; Is powerless as the wind

The falling beam, the shriek, the groan, the shout, That passeth idly by.

The ceaseless clangor, and the rush of men

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