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But thou, Clitumnus ! in thy sweetest wave Of the most living crystal that was eler The haunt of river-nymph, to gaze and lave Her limbs where nothing hid them, thou dost rear Thy grassy banks whereon the milk-white steer Grazes; the purest god of gentle waters : And most serene of aspect and most clear ! Surely that stream was unprofaned by slaughters, mirror and a bath for Beauty's youngest daughters! And on thy happy shore a temple still, Of small and delicate proportion, keeps, Upon a mild declivity of hill, Its memory of thee; beneath it sweeps Thy current's calmness; oft from out it leaps The finny darter with the glittering scales, Who dwells and revels in thy glassy deeps ; While, chance, some scattered water-lily sails Down * the shallower wave still tells its bubbling tales.
The Greek statues at Florence are then inimitably described, after which the poet visits Rome, and revels in the ruins of the Palatine and Coliseum, and the glorious remains of ancient art. His dreams of love and beauty, of intellectual power and majesty, are here realised. The lustre of the classic age
The seal is set.—Now welcome, thou dread power! Nameless, yet thus omnipotent, which here Walk'st in the shadow of the midnight hour With a deep awe, yet all distinct from fear; Thy haunts are ever where the dead walls rear Their ivy mantles, and the solemn scene Derives from thee a sense so deep and clear, That we become a part of what has been, And grow unto the spot, all-seeing, but unseen. And here the buzz of eager nations ran, In murmured pity, or loud-roared applause, As man was slaughtered by his fellow-man. And wherefore slaughtered wherefore, but because Such were the bloody circus' genial laws, And the imperial pleasure. Wherefore not? What matters where we fall to fill the maws Of worms—on battle-plains or listed spot? Both are but theatres where the chief actors rot.
The stars are forth, the moon above the tops
And twines its roots with the imperial hearths,
The other father had a weaklier child,
And o'er him bent his sire, and never raised
| The boy expired—the father held the clay, | And looked upon it long; and when at last | Death left no doubt, and the dead burthen lay Stiff on his heart, and pulse and hope were past, | He watched it wistfully, until away | "Twas borne by the rude wave wherein 'twas cast; Then he himself sunk down all dumb and shivering, | And gave no sign of life, save his limbs quivering. | i [Description of Haidee.] [From the same.]
Her brow was overhung with coins of gold That sparkled o'er the auburn of her hair; | Her clustering hair, whose longer locks were rolled | In braids behind; and though her stature were Even of the highest for a female mould, They nearly reached her heels; and in her air There was a something which bespoke command, As one who was a lady in the land.
| Her hair, I said, was auburn; but her eyes Were black as death, their lashes the same hue, Of downcast length, in whose silk shadow lies Deepest attraction; for when to the view Forth from its raven fringe the full glance flies, Ne'er with such force the swiftest arrow flew : . | "Tis as the snake late coiled, who pours his length, | And hurls at once his venom and his strength.
Her brow was white and low; her cheek's pure dye,
[Haidee Visits the Shipwrecked Don Juan.]
| And down the cliff the island virgin came,
| And when into the cavern Haidee stepped
And then she stopped and stood as if in awe,
| (For sleep is awful) and on tiptoe crept
| And wrapt him closer, lest the air, too raw, | Should reach his blood; then o'er him, still as death, | Bent, with hushed lips, that drank his scarce-drawn | breath.
| And thus, like to an angel o'er the dying | Who die in righteousness, she leaned; and there | All tranquilly the shipwrecked boy was lying, | As o'er him lay the calm and stirless air: | But Zoe the meantime some eggs was frying, | Since, after all, no doubt the youthful pair | Must breakfast, and betimes—lest they should ask it, | She drew out her provision from the basket.
- * * | And now, by dint of fingers and of eyes, | And words repeated after her, he took
|| Alesson in her tongue; but by surmise,
| No doubt, less of her language than her look:
| As he who studies fervently the skies,
|| Thus Juan learned his alpha beta better | From Haidee's glance than any graven letter.
'Tis pleasing to be schooled in a strange tongue
When both the teacher and the taught are young;
Th; smile so when one's right, and when one's wrong, They smile still more, and then there intervene
Pressure of hands, perhaps even a chaste kiss;–
I learned the little that I know by this.
[Haidee and Juan at the Feast.]
Haidee and Juan carpeted their feet
Crystal and marble, plate and porcelain,
There was no want of lofty mirrors, and
Of all the dresses, I select Haidee's :
One large gold bracelet clasped each lovely arm,
Around, as princess of her father's land,
Her hair's long auburn waves, down to her heel
Round her she made an atmosphere of life;
PERcy Bysshe SHELLEY was the son and heir of a wealthy English baronet, Sir Timothy Shelley of Castle Goring, in Sussex, and was born at Field Place, in that county, on the 4th of August 1792. | In worldly prospects and distinction the poet therefore surpassed most of his tuneful brethren; yet this only served to render his unhappy and strange destiny the more conspicuously wretched. He was first educated at Eton, and afterwards at Oxford. His resistance to all established authority and opinion displayed itself while at school, and in the introduction to his Revolt of Islam, he has portrayed his early impressions in some sweet and touching stanzas—
Thoughts of great deeds were mine, dear friend, when first The clouds which wrap this world from youth did
I do onemier well the hour which burst My spirit's sleep: a fresh May-dawn it was, When I walked forth upon the glittering grass, And wept, I knew not why : until there rose From the near schoolroom voices that, alas ! Were but one echo from a world of woes— | The harsh and grating strife of tyrants and of foes.
| And then I clasped my hands and looked around, | But none was near to mock my streaming eyes, | Which poured their warm drops on the sunny ground; | So, without shame, I spake—“I will be wise, | And just, and free, and mild, if in me lies Such power, for I grow weary to behold The selfish and the strong still tyrannise Without reproach or check.’ I then controlled | My tears, my heart grew calm, and I was meek and bold.
And from that hour did I with earnest thought
Heap knowledge from forbidden mines of lore;
| Yet nothing that my tyrants knew or taught
I cared to learn, but from that secret store
| It might walk forth to war among mankind;
Thus power and hope were strengthened more and more
Within me, till there came upon my mind
| A sense of loneliness, a thirst with which I pined.
With these feelings and predilections Shelley went to Oxford. He studied hard, but irregularly, and spent much of his leisure in chemical experiments. He incessantly speculated, thought, and read, as he himself has stated. At the age of fifteen he wrote two short prose romances. He had also great facility in versification, and threw off various effusions. The “forbidden mines of lore’ which had captivated his boyish mind at Eton were also diligently explored, and he was soon an avowed republican and sceptic. He published a volume of political rhymes, entitled Margaret Nicholson's Remains, the said Margaret being the unhappy maniac who attempted to stab George III.; and he issued a syllabus from Hume's Essays, at the same time challenging the authorities of Oxford to a public controversy on the subject. Shelley was at this time just seventeen years of age The consequence of his conduct was, that he was expelled the university, and his friends being disgusted with him, he was cast on the world, a prey to the undisciplined ardour of youth and passion. His subsequent life was truly a warfare upon earth. Mrs Shelley, widow of the poet, has thus traced the early bias of his mind, and its predisposing causes:– Refusing to fag at Eton, he was treated with revolting cruelty by masters and boys; this roused instead of taming his spirit, and he rejected the duty of obedience when it was enforced by menaces and punishment. To aversion to the society of his fellow-creatures—such as he found them when collected together into societies, where one egged on the other to acts of tyranny—was joined the deepest sympathy and compassion; while the attachment he felt for individuals, and the admiration with which he regarded their powers and their virtues, led him to entertain a high opinion of the perfectibility of human nature; and he believed that all could reach the highest grade of moral improvement, did not the customs and prejudices of society foster evil passions and excuse evil actions. The oppression which, trembling at every nerve, yet resolute to heroism, it was his ill fortune to encounter at school and at college, led him to dissent in many things from those whose arguments were blows, whose faith appeared to engender blame and execration. “During my existence,” he wrote to a friend in 1812, “I have incessantly speculated, thought, and read.” His readings were not always well chosen ; among them were the works of the French philosophers: as far as metaphysical argument went, he temporarily became a convert. At the same time it was the cardinal article of his faith, that, if men were but taught and induced to treat their fellows with love, charity, and equal rights, this earth would realise Paradise. He looked upon religion as it was professed, and, above all, practised, as hostile, instead of friendly, to the cultivation of those virtues which would make men brothers.” Mrs Shelley conceives that, in the peculiar circumstances, this was not to be wondered at. “At the age of seventeen, fragile in health and frame, of the purest habits in morals, full of devoted generosity and universal kindness, glowing with ardour to attain wisdom, resolved, at every personal sacrifice, to do right, burning with a desire for affection and sympathy, he was treated as a reprobate, cast forth as a criminal. The cause was, that he was sincere, that he believed the opinions which he entertained to be true, and he loved truth with a martyr's love: he was ready to sacrifice station, and fortune, and his dearest affections, at its shrine. The sacrifice was demanded from, and made by, a youth of seventeen.’ It appears that in his youth Shelley was equally inclined to poetry and metaphysics, and hesitated to which he should devote himself. He ended in unit395