Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

The airs and streams renew their joyous tone; The ants, the bees, the swallows reappear; Fresh leaves and flowers deck the dead

Seasons' bier; The amorous birds now pair in every brake, And build their mossy homes in field and

brere; And the green lizard, and the golden snake, Like unimprisoned flames, out of their trance

awake.

XIX. Through wood and stream and field and hill

and Ocean A quickening life from the Earth's heart has

burst As it has ever done, with change and motion From the great morning of the world when

first

God dawned on Chaos; in its stream im

mersed The lamps of Heaven flash with a softer light; All baser things pant with life's sacred thirst; Diffuse themselves; and spend in love's

delight The beauty and the joy of their renewed might.

xx. The leprous corpse touched by this spirit

tender Exhales itself in flowers of gentle breath ; Like incarnations of the stars, when splen

dour Is changed to fragrance, they illumine death And mock the merry worm that wakes

beneath;

Naught we know, dies. Shall that alone

which knows Be as a sword consumed before the sheath By sightless lightning ?—th' intense atom

glows Ą moment, then is quenched in a most cold

repose.

[ocr errors]

Alas! that all we loved of him should be,
But for our grief, as if it had not been,
And grief itself be mortal! Woe is me!
Whence are we, and why are we? of what

scene The actors or spectators ? Great and mean Meet massed in death, who lends what life

nust borrow. As long as skies are blue, and fields are green, Evening must usher night, night urge the

morrow, Month follow month with woe, and year wake

year to sorrow.

XXII. He will awake no more, oh, never more! “ Wake thou,” cried Misery, “childless

Mother, rise “ Out of thy sleep, and slake, in thy heart's

core, A wound more fierce than his with tears

and sighs." And all the Dreams that watched Urania's

eyes, And all the Echoes whom their sister's song Had held in holy silence, cried : “ Arise!” Swift as a Thought by the snake Memory

stung,

From her ambrosial rest the fading Splendour

sprung

XXIII.

She rose like an autumnal Night, that springs
Out of the East, and follows wild and drear
The golden Day, which, on eternal wings,
Even as a ghost abandoning a bier,
Had left the Earth a corpse. Sorrow and fear
So struck, so roused, so rapt Urania ;
So saddened round her like an atmosphere

Of stormy mist; so swept her on her way Even to the mournful place where Adonais lay.

XXIV. Out of her secret Paradise she sped, Through camps and cities rough with stone,

and steel, And human hearts, which to her aëry tread Yielding not, wounded the invisible Palms of her tender feet where'er they fell : And barbed tongues, and thoughts more sharp

than they, Rent the soft Form they never could repel, Whose sacred blood, like the young tears of

May, Paved with eternal flowers that undeserving

way.

[ocr errors]

In the death chamber for a moment Death,
Shamed by the presence of that living Might,
Blushed to annihilation, and the breath
Revisited those lips, and life's pale light
Flashed through those limbs, so late her

dear delight.
“ Leave me not wild and drear and comfort-

less,

“ As silent lightning leaves the starless

night! “ Leave me not !” cried Urania : her distress Roused Death: Death rose and smiled, and

met her vain caress.

[ocr errors]

“ Stay yet awhile! speak to me once again ; “ Kiss me, so long but as a kiss may live; “ And in my heartless breast and burning

brain “ That word, that kiss shall all thoughts else

survive, With food of saddest memory kept alive, “ Now thou art dead, as if it were a part “Of thee, my Adonais! I would give

“ All that I am to be as thou now art ! “ But I am chained to Time, and cannot thence depart!

XXVII. “Oh gentle child, beautiful as thou wert, “Why didst thou leave the trodden paths of

men “Too soon, and with weak hands thougl.

mighty heart “Dare the unpastured dragon in his den? “Defenceless as thou wert, oh where was then “Wisdom the mirrored shield, or scorn the

spear? “Or hadst thou waited the full cycle, when “ Thy spirit should have filled its crescent

sphere, “ The monsters of life's waste had fled from thee like deer.

XXVIII. “The herded wolves, bold only to pursue ;

“The obscene ravens, clamorous o'er the

dead; “ The vultures to the conqueror's banner true, “ Who feed where Desolation first has fed, And whose wings rain contagion ;-how

they fled, “When like Apollo, from his golden bow, “ The Pythian of the age' one arrow sped “And smiled !—The spoilers tempt no second

blow; “They fawn on the proud feet that spurn them

lying low.

ΧΧΙΧ. “The sun comes forth, and many reptiles

spawn; “He sets, and each ephemeral insect then “Is gathered into death without a dawn, “And the immortal stars awake again; “So is it in the world of living men: “A godlike mind soars forth, in its delight “Making earth bare and veiling heaven, and

when “It sinks, the swarms that dimmed or shared

its light “Leave to its kindred lamps the spirit's awful

night.”

[ocr errors]

Thus ceased she: and the mountain shep

herds came,
Their garlands sere, their magic mantles

rent;
The Pilgrim of Eternity, whose fame
Over his living head like Heaven is bent,
An early but enduring monument,

1 Byron.-ED.

« PoprzedniaDalej »